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.

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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.

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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!"  

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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.

Women

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.

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Video

[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...

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

Summary Results

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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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