Prato masters flat seas to claim first winter surfski series win

Durban delivered a calm picturesque day for the paddlers taking part in the Point Watersport Marine Race, the second leg of the Winter Surfski Series on Sunday morning.

Durban –  Faced with a calm and flat Durban Bay, Gene Prato used his accumulated skill and experience to claim line honours in the Point WaterSport Marine Race, the second leg of the popular winter surfski series on Sunday morning.

With the second race building on the season opener, the two-two lap affair took the paddlers out into the deeper ocean for a downwind leg to Pirates SLC and then back to Marine SLC.

Prato started with the singles long course field behind the double ski field, and battled his way to the front of his batch by the deep ocean turn buoy, where his downwind experience came to the fore as he raced away to win the single ski race going away.

“The guys were fast off the start to the first turn buoy,” said Prato. “I managed to get ahead just before the start of the downwind leg and then tried to work as hard as I could to get away from them. For the rest of the race I was by myself!”

He was a few second short of the days fastest time, posted by the double ski duo of Carl Folscher and Shane Millward, and said that the conditions had proved to be tough for the paddlers.

“There was a little bump on the downwind leg but it made you tired rather than allowing you to catch it,” he explained.

Prato finished more than a minute clear of Jean-Luc Mauvis, with Paul Rabinowitz close behind him.

Schoolgirl Tannah Smith was the first woman single ski home, as the elite field was short of a number of the top racers who were away competing in the Western Cape during the week.

Louisa Van Staden and Wilma Deyzel  won the women’s double ski race and took overall line honours as well.

Jonathan Maehler won the 8km short course race from the double ski crew of Wandile Dube and Keelyn Tucker.

In two weeks’ time the third series race from Marine SLC starts on Sunday 16 May at 9am.

1 Shane Millward/Carl Folscher 1:02:05.33 
2 Gene Prato 1:02:45.69 
3 Lee Furby/Barry Painting 1:03:41.23 
4 Jean Luc Mauvis 1:03:54.89 
5 Paul Rabinowitz 1:04:10.89 
6 Nicholas Cook/Craig Cook 1:04:42.87 
7 Charl Massyn/Duncan Cartwright 1:05:51.58 
8 Murray Behn/Sarah Jones 1:05:56.76 
9 Bryce Hatton/Marc Stanton 1:06:04.65 
10 Gary Behn/Anthony Edmonds 1:06:12.49 
11 Matthew Millward 1:07:17.21 
12 Christopher Muller 1:07:35.66 
13 Jeannie McCall/Shaun Burgin 1:07:39.79 
14 Grant Fincham/Paul Darby Wade 1:07:44.32 
15 Colin Simpkins/Olivia Woodburn 1:07:53.75 
16 Andrew Cairns 1:08:10.89 
17 Michel De Rauville 1:08:24.46 
18 Joe Terblanche 1:08:56.97 
19 Bryce Lawson 1:09:28.57 
20 Benjamin Maehler 1:09:53.61 
1 Louisa Van Staden/Wilma Deyzel 1:14:56.25 
2 Tannah Smith 1:17:15:02
3 Nicky Irvine/Kate Frost 1:19:40.65 
4 Jacqui De Billot/Kirsten Oliver 1:23:13.74 
1 Jonathan Maehler 0:36:11.64 
2 Wandile Dube/Keelyn Tucker 0:36:22.01 
3 Jonathan Hollinshead/Matthew Hollinshead 0:36:26.99 
4 Kevin Duke/David Glassom 0:36:32.56 
5 Brian Church 0:39:04.98 
6 David Cobbold 0:39:09.98 
7 Keith Storey 0:40:01.23 
8 Deon Woodley 0:40:06.88 
9 Kate Clarence 0:40:14.57 
10 Andrew Atkinson/Kim Riley 0:40:21.51 

Sunday 16th May – Race 3 – Marine (9km / 18km)
Sunday 30th May – Bay Union King of the Bay (9km / 21km)
Saturday 12th June – Pirates – Umhlanga – Pirates (26km)
Saturday 26th / Sunday 27th June – Scottburgh2Brighton (47km)
More information can be found at