Bouman comes out on top in series finale

Saskia Hockly (right) paddles into the sunset at the finish to win the women’s race at the Fenn Challenge, the final race of the Marine Series on Friday evening. Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media

Durban – Umhlanga surfski ace Matt Bouman wrapped up the overall Marine Series honours with an emphatic victory in the Fenn Challenge that brought down the curtain on the popular Friday evening surfski series.

Bouman, who has never been outside the top two positions and raced all six legs of the series, winning three of them, had enough points to edge out Hank McGregor who also won three races.

After a week of unseasonably cold rainy weather, the big field was treated to great racing conditions with a rainbow and clear sunset for the triangular four-lap race.

Bouman was able to grind away extending his lead on each lap to win by two minutes from Jean-Luc Mauvis and Jason Eckstrand.

In the women’s race junior Saskia Hockly grabbed another overall win but it wasn’t enough to deny Michelle Burn the overall series honours.

The well-supported short course race was won by the double ski crew of Malcolm and Kaiden Pitt from the consistent single ski performer Kwanele Banda.

The six series races provided vastly different paddling conditions every week and was consistently well supported as elite and social paddlers took full advantage of the return of paddling events after the Covid-19 lockdown regulations left many canoeing and surfski events cancelled.

“The work done behind the scenes by Canoeing SA and the KZN Canoe Union to get paddling to the point where we could stage the Friday night series was remarkable,” said series organiser Trevor Martin.

“There were many issues that had to be dealt with to ensure that the races complied fully with the current regulations and that we could attract surfski paddlers to the series responsibly and safely.

“While it was inconvenient at times and required a change in mind-set from the participants, the level of compliance with the new regulations was really encouraging, and what was even more pleasing was the way that the paddlers took it upon themselves to deal with the few who were not fully compliant.

“It bodes well for the coming months when Canoeing SA and KZN Canoeing have confirmed some popular events like the Fenn SA Surfski Champs on 10 and 11 April and the Sunday morning winter surfski series starting the following week,” he added. 

The final series standing in all the age groups will be released early in the new week.

1 Matt Bouman 0:44:11.43 
2 Jean-Luc Mauvis 0:46:13.75 
3 Jason Eckstrand 0:46:31.66 
4 Brad Pearse 0:47:45.56 
5 Shaun Burgin/Lance Howarth 0:47:51.31 
6 Connor Botha 0:48:40.30 
7 Brett Hadiaris 0:48:44.19 
8 Steve Cohen 0:49:04.23 
9 Jody Taylor/Duane Taylor 0:49:07.88 
10 Matthew Coetzer 0:49:09.36 
11 Josh Simpkins 0:49:12.32 
12 Geoff Thompson/Brendon Waters 0:49:16.47 
13 Skye Prato/Don Gobey 0:49:17.93 
14 Sebastian Garreau 0:49:25.65 
15 Oliver Burn 0:49:56.37 
16 Dean Chiazzari/Stanley Whiting 0:50:11.93 
17 Peter Watt 0:50:14.99 
18 Simon Grout/Tim Firth 0:50:34.30 
19 Andrew Cairns 0:50:56.41 
20 Billy Harker/Pierre Carbonel 0:51:03.54 
1 Saskia Hockly 0:51:25.26
2. Valmajean Hockly 0:54:59.07
3.Tannah Smith 0:57:36.69

1 Malcolm Pitt/Kaiden Pitt 0:27:10.75 
2 Kwanele Banda 0:27:35.47 
3 Matthew Allen 0:27:49.18 
4 Lunga Mngadi 0:27:50.88 
5 James Tutton 0:28:45.93 
6 Keith Storey 0:29:45.81 
7 Reece Tredoux Truter 0:29:53.19 
8 Deon Woodley 0:30:17.01 
9 Raquel Robbins 0:30:39.72 
10 Gary Bowler/Catherine Hampton 0:30:43.35 
1.Murray James 0:41:37.09
2.Jeanne Grace 0:44:12.24

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