Bouman "owed a win" at a Durban World Cup

Wednesday, 15 June 2011 21:10 | Written by  Gameplan Media
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Matt Bouman Matt Bouman

Durban - Durban surfski racer Matt Bouman is a man on a mission ahead of the Dunlop Surfski World Cup next Sunday, as the 34 year old Durbanite is consumed by his desire to win his hometown World Cup title and erase the disappointment of 2010.

Pipped at the post

Last year Bouman and eventual champion Dawid Mocke were locked in a titanic heavyweight slugfest that came down to tactics into the finish at Winklespruit beach.

Bouman took an aggressive shortcut into the finish on a diagonal line while Mocke went square behind the backline and waited till he got a gap between the big sets to race directly to the finish line.

Dunlop Surfski World Cup 2010

Bouman (L) gambled and lost to Mocke (R)

The paddlers met at the finish line where race officials adjudged Mocke to have thrust the nose of his ski marginally ahead of Bouman.

[Editor: for the story of the race that ended with the closest finish in surfski history, click here.]

“I am due a win”

"I have been disappointed for the last three years but last year really upset me," said Bouman. "I want to win the title so badly. It is my town. This is my Bay. I reckon I am due a win."

The property developer has had a different build-up to the event, having taken a meandering route through the world of sprints that has seen him cobbled together in a variety of crewboats as well as racing effectively in the K1 events.

There is still a chance that he may be recalled to the sprint squad for the all-important Olympic qualifying event at the world champs later in the year, particularly if his brute strength is needed in a K4.

"Yes my preparation has been different this year, but to be honest I am fitter and stronger than I have been for a long time," said Bouman.

Matt Bouman

Matt Bouman has dominated in the Durban series...

Shorter Course

He is also thrilled that the race format has been shortened by 6km, lopping 25 minutes off the racing at the time when elite athletes run the biggest risk of blowing if the pace is hot. "The 26km format is music to my ears," he said.

He has tipped the same shortlist of elite racers to be in the race at the death - Hank McGregor and Dawid Mocke - but has also factored in 2009 winner Clint Pretorius.

"Don't believe what he tells you, he is incredibly fit. he is the new Oscar Chalupsky and if the conditions produce a big downwind he will be right there," said Bouman.

[Editor: Australian Bruce Taylor, who beat Mocke and McGregor in Perth in January will also be on the start line…]

Best surfski paddler in the world

Bouman was delighted to learn that a number of respected international paddlers would be on the startline for the event, but said that to win in Durban meant you were probably the best surfski paddler in the world.

"Durban has the best downwind paddlers in the world, so if you win the Dunlop Surfski World Cup, you can claim to have beaten the best," he said.

The Dunlop Surfski World Cup starts at Marine SLC, Addington Beach on Sunday 26 June, and covers 26km to either Umdhloti or Amanzimtoti.

More information can be found at

Dunlop Surfski World Cup

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