Von Wildemann Powers through Monster Swells ** Awesome Video MORE PICS **

Sunday, 15 November 2009 12:49 | Written by  Gameplan Media
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Sedgefield, South Africa: The Eastern Cape 2008 SA Men's Surf Ski Champion, Richard von Wildemann claimed this year's 22km Hansa Victoria Bay-Sedgefield race which forms part of the Discovery Men's Health Surf Ski Series in a nerve-wrecking and risky finish through monstrous 5 metre swells, finishing a mere 20 seconds clear of Durban legend Herman Chalupsky on Saturday afternoon, 14th November 2009.


Staggered Start - Staggered Starters!

Race Organiser Alistair Fraser was forced to make a precautionary safety-call and hold a late staggered race-start with graded batches of paddlers waiting for breaks through huge closing-out waves off Victoria Bay Point.


Although about 20 crews elected not to start the race, whilst a fleet of 60 surfskis, including 3 indomitable ladies in single skis, eventually braved the mighty Southern Cape ocean and made their way down the coast in light 16kph south-westerly wind conditions, towards Gericke Point at Sedgefield. A flotiilla of safety jet-skis and NSRI rubber-ducks were in attendance throughout the race.

Light Wind

The light wind conditions didn't really suit the likes of Graeme Solomon (third) and I today," said Chalupsky, "as it was really a hard pull for 1hour and 30 minutes.  It suited the youngsters like Chopper [von Wildemann] much better!"  




East London's Southern Shamaal contender Bevan Manson was the fourth elite men's single-ski paddler home on the day with his veteran East London team-mate Hennie Roos finishing in a creditable fifth place.


Only three hard-core ladies tackled the tough surf-ski ocean paddling challenge and were led home by Beijing K4 canoe-sprint finalist Michelle Eray with Big Bay's (Blouberg) gutsy young SA Marathon K1 team-member, Bianca Beavitt finishing second, just ahead of Port Elizabeth stalwart Kirsten Wessels taking third position.




[Editor: Here's some video of the start - courtesy of Christo Conradie of Pentagon Productions (www.abcde.co.za).

Billy Harker was coaching the paddlers through the sets, with the aid of a local surf lifesaver who was watching the sets coming in.  When they gave the signal, the paddlers went like hell to get out before the next set came in...!]




Here are some pics sent into us by Jamii Hamlin - thanks Jamii!

In the pics of the start, you can see the pier where a local lifeguard was watching the waves and signalling when it was "safe" to attempt the run at the swells!

The finish was no picnic either...


For more information detailed results go to www.surfski.co.za. 

Summary Results


22 Kms Single Ski Race

  1. Richard von Wildemann 1:29:40
  2. Herman Chalupsky 1:30:18
  3. Graeme Solomon 1:33:20
  4. Bevan Manson 1:33:48
  5. Hennie Roos 1:35:10

Women's 22kms Single Ski Race

  1. Michelle Eray 1:44:02
  2. Bianca Beavitt 2:07:06
  3. Kirstin Wessels 2:20:48

Mens Double 22kms Ski Race

  1. Ernest van Riet/Heinrich Schloms 1:33:12
  2. Steph Le Roux/Martin John Fraser-Mackenzie 1:40:00
  3. Rob Maclean/ Shaun Butler 1:41:53

The next series race takes place at 09h00 on Sunday 22nd November at the Powerade Oceana Powerboat Club in Tablebay, Cape Town.

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