Relay race brings down the curtain on the Siyaphambili surfski series

The winning double/double team at the Indwe Risk Services Citadel Relay race that was the final leg of the Siyaphambili Surfski Series Bruce Pender-Smith, Brad Pearse, Julia McAlister and Shaine McAlister. Lynne Hauptfleisch/Gameplan Media

Durban – Surfski paddlers brought the ground-breaking Siyaphambili Surfski Series to an end with a competitive and spirited single and double ski format contest at the Indwe Risk Management Citadel Relay Race at the Point Waterfront on Sunday.

Race One winner Gene Prato set the tone with a fast first lap on the 5,1km course set up along the Durban beachfront, with hardly any wind or swell to help the paddlers.

He handed over to his double ski team mates Colin Simpkins and Luke Achmad who returned with the first all-double ski team crew of Brad Pearse and Julia McAlister right on their tail.

Former surfski world champion Haley Nixon partnered Siyaphambili athlete Thubalithle Banda, part of a team with former Springbok wing Justin Swart and Lungelo Shange to finish third.

Many of the Siyaphambili paddler were partnered with experienced Durban surfski regulars, showcasing their enthusiasm and strength and their rapidly developing surfski skills in the relay race.

“Running this series has been an important part of the process of empowering the members of the Siyaphambili Club to administer their club and host events that provide a source of income for the club,” said club co-ordinator Jacqui Boyd.

“The support from the Durban surfski community has been fantastic,” she added. 

“The regular involvement of the Geriatskis helps to teach the young paddlers important open ocean surfski skills, and today’s race where every Siyphambili paddler was included in one of the relay teams evidences that ongoing relationship.

“It has been tough hosting this series in October when weather conditions are often unpredictable, but the core surfski community has supported the three races and given the club a boost in so many ways,” she concluded.

Double/Double Teams 
1 Shaine McAlister/Bruce Pender-Smith, Brad Pearse/Julia McAlister 1.09.22
2 Hayley Nixon/Thubelihle Banda, Justin Swart/Lungelo Shange 1.10.52
3 Skye Prato/Don Gobey, Bruce Glenday/Richard Hogg 1.14.20
4 John Dimmick/Senzo Ncgobo. Greg Vogt/Mikaila Brown 1.15.50
5 Ian Marais/Craig McIntosh. Buckey Symons/ Keelyn Tucker 1.16.30
6 Steve Evans/Nigel Oxenham, Trevor Vernes/Jorg Wellinger 1.16.40
7 Menanteau Serfontein/Kwanele Mngoma. Lynn Combrink/Wandile Dube 1.18.21
8 Derek Hauptfleisch/Keigan Clarke, Gary Clarke/Karen Botha 1.26.11

Single/Double Teams 
1 Gene Prato. Colin Simpkins/Luke Achmad 1.09.28
2 Grant Smith, Gavin Searle/Kwanele Banda 1.13.53
3 Duncan Cartwright, Charl Massyn/Lyn Bennett 1.16.50
4 David Aikins, Wally Bodin/Steven Taylor 1.17.07
5 Dave Fraser, Lwandile Gaza/Peter Manning 1.22.20
6 Craig Smith, Sean Mc Kenna/Neville Grunow 1.29.06
7 Terence Galloway, Leigh-Anne Fisher/Kay-Lyn Todd 1.39.55

Single/Single Teams 
1 Gareth Miles, Gavin Botha 1.23.59
2 Paul Cormack, Jayden Jansen Van Rensburg 1.25.18
3 Brandon Jackson, Gary Bowler 1.29.32
4 Vanessa Mayhew, Tracey Nuss 1.30.05
5 Monique Boshoff, Lucy Markewicz 1.31.11

More information can be found at