McGregor on course for World Cup

Sunday, 12 June 2011 20:27 | Written by  Gameplan Media
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Donna Winter won her "most difficult race of the series so far" Donna Winter won her "most difficult race of the series so far" Credits: Anthony Grote/Gameplan Media

Durban – Hank McGregor's scintillating form in the Discovery Sunglass Hut Surfski Series continued on Sunday 12 June when he demolished the rest of the field in the CMH Toyota Pirates Umhlanga Pirates surfski race by over three and a half minutes.

“…on my own”

With many of the top paddlers deciding to rest up before their final preparations for the Dunlop Surfski World Cup in two weeks' time it was up to Western Cape star Sean Rice to push the local ace, however four kilometres into the race and already the class of the local star started to show.

"It was unfortunately a bit boring out there today because the conditions were offshore the whole time so you'd work hard to get onto a run but by the time you caught the run it had already fizzled out," said McGregor.

Hank McGregor

Hank McGregor

"Sean came with me up front but I managed to break free after a couple of kilometres and so I just tried to work hard on my own."

"It's always great to get another win under the belt and keep the momentum going ahead of World Cup however the World Cup is very different story with it being a downwind," he added.

Sean Rice

Rice, whose spent the past week getting some invaluable training in KZN waters, put in a far stronger performance compared to last week however even his best effort wasn't enough to stop McGregor.

"Overall I'm happy with how things went today. Obviously I would have loved to actually have been racing Hank (McGregor) however its sometimes a good thing to get beaten," said Rice. "To step out of what is familiar to you and expose yourself to what else is out there helps you realise just how fast fast really is!"

Discovery Sunglass Hut Surfski Series

...just made it... a paddler ramps an incoming set

Clint Pretorius

Clint Pretorius took another step forward from his performance last week after a prolonged period in the wilderness however finishing nearly thirteen minutes behind McGregor a lot of hard work still lies ahead in the next couple of weeks if he wants to be challenging for the title come 26 June.

"It was good to get some more mileage under the belt before World Cup but Hank's just in such great from at the moment so I guess I've just got to keep working hard and hope that conditions favour me on the day because if it is a true downwind then it could be anyone's game," said Pretorius.

Women’s Race

In the ladies race it was once again Donna Winter who claimed the honours although this was by far her most difficult victory of the five she has secured thus far this series.

"I swam early on and lost my juice bottle in the surf so I knew I was going to be up against it from then on," said Winter. "I worked hard but I just completely blew a little way from the end."

"Unfortunately they weren't the greatest conditions today and things became particularly difficult when the wind really picked up with two kilometres to go," she added.

Discovery Sunglass Hut Surfski Series

There's a right way and a wrong way...

Doubles

Robin Tindall and Richard Lowe put in a strong performance in the doubles race to claim the win ahead of brothers Nigel and Mike Stevens. In the short course category Malec Odendall claimed the singles race whilst the doubles race was won by Michael Elion and Gareth Dias.

Race seven of the series, the Island Tribe Scottburgh Surfski Classic, takes place on Sunday 19 June at 09h00 at Scottburgh main beach.

More information can be found at www.surfski.co.za

Discovery Sunglass Hut Surfski Series

SUMMARY OF RESULTS - CMH TOYOTA PIRATES UMHLANGA PIRATES SURFSKI RACE
SIXTH LEG OF THE DISCOVERY SUNGLASS HUT SURFSKI SERIES

Long Course – Men

  1. Hank McGregor 2:00.54
  2. Sean Rice 2:03.45
  3. Clint Pretorius 2:13.11
  4. Brandon van der Walt 2:13.51
  5. Murray Smith 2:15.39
  6. Shadrack Mkhize 2:20.54
  7. Shaun Austin 2:21.44
  8. Steve Cohen 2:21.51
  9. Mark Essery 2:22.03
  10. Eric Hildebrandt 2:23.55

Long Course – Women

  1. Donna Winter 2:34.24
  2. Anna Clifford Arwidi 3:05.4

Long Course – Juniors

  1. Calvin McKie 2:34.24
  2. Gene Prato 2:38.04
  3. Lyall Whitehead 3:00.16 

Long Course - Doubles

  1. Robin Tindall/Richard Lowe 2:10.14
  2. Nigel Stevens/Mike Stevens 2:11.16
  3. Warren Valentine/Marc Germiquet 2:12.01

Short Course – Singles

  1. Malec Odendall 1:08.16
  2. Sthembiso Mbatha 1:09.47
  3. Robin Saggers 1:09.57

Short Course - Doubles

  1. 1. Michael Elion/Gareth Dias 1:05.02 
  2. 2. David Cameron/Adam Turkn 1:13.53
  3. 3. Lieben Bardenhorst/Lieben Bardenhorst 1:15.49

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