Maher and Van Der Walt impress in their first double surfski outing


Durban – Tyron Maher and Brandon Van Der Walt got their double ski partnership off to the best possible start by racing away to win the third leg of the Bay Union Open Ocean Surfski Challenge in Durban Bay on Sunday morning.

With the Indian Ocean whipped up by the South-Westerly wind that battered Durban on Saturday, the organisers opted to stage the Geriatskis Double Ski Race in the bay and set a northerly out-and-back course from the race base at Point Undersea Club to Blue Lagoon and back.

Maher, fresh from his win in the recent Berg River Canoe Marathon, struck a deal with last weeks race winner Van Der Walt to partner up for the double ski season leading towards the Dolphin Coast Challenge.

“We took it easy in the beginning and just hung onto the diamond,” said Maher. “There were some good bumps left over from the big South Wester so we decided to put the hammer down after about three kilometres.

“Hamish Lovemore and Hamish Mackenzie hung on for a little bit before we managed to open up a gap. Then we just had to concentrate on keeping a rhythm going,” said Maher. “We turned into the wind and then just ground our way back to the finish.”

It was the first outing in a boat together and Van Der Walt was pleased with how the race went in the tricky, rough sea conditions.

“We played it pretty much by ear from the start and then went out on our own,” said Van Der Walt. “Gene Prato and Oliver Burn upped the pace so we came over to them,” he said.

With Maher steering the double ski, Van Der Walt said that his ability as the sea got rougher gave them a significant advantage. “Tyron (Maher) just started linking together the runs as the bumps got bigger.

“We were able to keep the boat speed up which helps to catch those runs when they come. That was the secret to our success today,” said Van Der Walt.

The women’s race saw Jenna Ward teaming up with Kyeta Purchase with the main challenge coming from world champ Hayley Nixon and Louisa van Staden and Sabina Lawrie and Saskia Hockley.

Ward said that the race was an ideal opportunity for the duo to work on their training for the world marathon champions in China in October.

“We felt today was a good chance to jump into a double and test ourselves against some of the men’s combinations,” said Ward.

“It was a tough racing in the wind but luckily Kyeta (Purchase) was strong in the back and we were happy with it as a training session,” she added.

“We had a good start which set us up and we were able to sit with some of the guys,” added Purchase.

“Going there was fun in the runs and bumps but on the way back it was no fun at all going straight into the wind but I guess it is also just part of the training,” said Purchase.

Cam Hudson showed little after effects of his 70km paddle at Shongweni Day on Mandela Day as he cantered home as the first single ski, followed by the irrepressible Billy Harker and Allan Lawrie.

The short course, also raced on a northerly out-and-back lap to Pirates SLC and back was won by Teegan Hardwick and Alice Edward ahead of Carmel Billson and Tamryn Mckie, with Stuart Carter the first single ski home.

Michael Klos was the first of seven SUP paddlers home.

The final race of the Sunday morning series next week is the Geriastskis Team Relay Race offering the same options of a six kilometre short course and a twelve kilometre long course race.

1 Tyron Maher/Brandon Van Der Walt 0:55:13.58
2 Hamish Lovemore/Hamish Mackenzie 0:56:11.49
3 Gene Prato/Oliver Burn 0:57:34.60
4 Brendon Delport/Richard Lowe 0:57:56.57
5 Shane Millward/Carl Folscher 0:59:17.10
6 Barry Lewin/Tracey Van Greunen 0:59:21.12
7 Alex Masina/Jarryd Walker 1:00:19.60
8 Sam Butcher/Matthew Millward 1:00:43.32
9 James Matthews/Rowan Matthews 1:01:13.81
10 Juan Maree/Craig Sparks 1:01:32.70

1 Jenna Ward/Kyeta Purchase 1:01:37.11
2 Hayley Nixon/Louisa Van Staden 1:04:53.95
3 Sabina Lawrie/Saskia Hockly 1:06:06.65
4 Siobhan Sharp/Monique Boshoff 1:18:52.89

1 Cameron Hudson 1:06:20.86
2 Billy Harker 1:11:02.68
3 Allan Lawrie 1:13:00.21
4 Daryn Brown 1:15:04.26
5 Jeremy Douglas 1:15:17.00
6 Guy Collyer 1:16:09.78
7 Shannon Parker-Dennison 1:24:30.08
8 Clive Hockly 1:24:39.41

1 Teegan Hardwick/Alice Edward 0:45:43.03
2 Carmel Billson/Tamryn Mckie 0:46:58.70
3 Jody Taylor/Duane Taylor 0:47:39.94
4 James Law/Matthew Doyle 0:47:47.41
5 Stuart Carter 0:47:50.87
6 Pieter Botha/Ethan Fuller 0:47:54.23
7 Paul Scruby/Wandile Dube 0:47:57.90
8 John Dimmick/Senzo Ngcobo 0:48:05.63
9 Richard Cliff/Shane Misdorp 0:48:15.21
10 Joshua Hauptfleisch/Derek Hauptfleisch 0:48:45.25

1 Michael Klos 0:59:50.00
2 Matthew Swemmer 1:03:25.00
3 Jon Ivins 1:11:32.00
4 Mia Foster 1:13:57.00
5 Karisa Grace 1:21:27.00
6 Jeanne Grace 1:22:06.00
7 Lande Williamson 1:24:09.00