McGregor firm favourite after race four

Monday, 28 May 2012 12:35 | Written by  Gameplan Media
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Hank McGregor (Team Best 4 Kayak Centre) made it three from three when he won the Hansa 5 Beaches surfski race, race four of the Discovery Best 4 Surfski Series. Hank McGregor (Team Best 4 Kayak Centre) made it three from three when he won the Hansa 5 Beaches surfski race, race four of the Discovery Best 4 Surfski Series. Credits: Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media

Durban – Paddling sensation Hank McGregor (Team Best 4 Kayak Centre) exploited the magnificent conditions on KZN’s South Coast perfectly as he eased to victory in the Hansa 5 Beaches surfski race, his third consecutive win in this year’s Discovery Best 4 Surfski Series.

Since his delayed start to the this year’s series after missing out on the opening encounter due to international commitments McGregor has been in lethal form and Sunday’s twenty-one kilometer shootout from Wydenham to Amazimtoti was no different as he eased across the line three minutes ahead of Barry Lewin (Team Jeep/Varsity College) and Luke Nisbet.

The South Coast Surf

“This is always such a great race and it’s definitely one of my favourite races on the surfski calendar but it can still be pretty tricky with all the ins and outs at the different beaches. Anything can happen in the waves and here on the South Coast the surf is particularly powerful so if you get it wrong it really can cost you,” said McGregor.

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Hank McGregor of Team Best 4 Kayak Centre made light work of the Winklespruit portage en route to victory in the Hansa 5 Beaches surfski race, race four of the Discovery Best 4 Surfski Series.

“Fortunately though I managed to get away really well and had a really clean race up until Warner beach where I wore a couple waves on the head which woke me up a bit and got me going again to the finish.”

“Conditions were great out there today and it was great to be able to do the proper 5 Beaches course again for the first time in a while. I really enjoy this race and wish there were a couple more races like it,” he added.

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Action a plenty as paddlers make their way out through the surf in the Hansa 5 Beaches surfski race, race four of the Discovery Best 4 Surfski Series.

Despite the likes of the van der Walt brothers, Grant and Brandon, Chalupsky brothers, Oscar and Herman and Durban surfski star Matt Bouman all absent from the field the victory was still well-earned by McGregor and one which puts him in firm control of proceedings as the series approaches the halfway mark.

Molokai Recovery?

“It’s obviously a pity Grant (van der Walt) couldn’t be out there today (due to a lower back injury) and I thought maybe Oscar and Matt might have come out for a bit of a paddle after Molokai last week but it wasn’t to be,” said McGregor.

“On this course though it doesn’t really matter who you’re up against, the ins and outs help keep you pretty motivated all the time and Barry (Lewin) still has a solid race so it was great to get another win under the belt,” he added.

Another Podium Finish for Barry Lewin

Despite his best efforts Lewin could do little about McGregor's dominance and crossed the line in a deserved second place, his second podium finish in a row and a result which sees him move into a strong position on the leaderboard with six races to go.

“Racing like this is as good as it gets in my opinion,” said Lewin. “Coming from a lifesaving background I absolutely love how this race combines the freedom of being out on the ocean with the challenge of getting in and out of these five beach breaks.”

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The tricky South Coast surf claimed a couple of victims as they made their way in at the finish at Amanzimtoti in the Hansa 5 Beaches surfski race, race four of the Discovery Best 4 Surfski Series.

“It’s no secret that I love it down here on the South Coast but this race is particularly special to me because of the way it seems brings back a lot of the excitement to the sport of surfski.”

“I managed to get out pretty cleanly at the start and I decided to take a bit of a wider line than Hank to try find a bit more of the ground swell but that definitely didn’t work out for me and it wasn’t long before Hank had opened up a pretty big lead which was always going to be tough to do anything about.”

“You can’t afford to relax in a race like this though because anything can happen when guys are going in and out of the surf at each of the beaches but Hank was faultless today.”

“I’m really happy with how my season’s gone so far and with the KZN Champs, which is one of two big races for me this season, coming up in just a couple of weeks’ time I definitely feel that everything is all on track for that,” he added.

 

Second Win for Nicole

Despite a valiant effort from Danica Vorster in the latter half of the ladies race to close the gap between herself and Nicole Russell, Russell managed to narrowly edge Vorster out to notch up her second victory of the series whilst Jenna ward claimed third.

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Nicole Russell held off a spirited effort by Danica Vorster to claim the ladies race in the Hansa 5 Beaches surfski race, race four of the Discovery Best 4 Surfski Series.

The ladies title race looks set to take yet another interesting turn next week as race five sees the hugely anticipated return of Michelle Eder having recently returned from her honeymoon with her husband Oliver Burn.

Eder’s return adds even more to the ladies’ mix which is already interestingly poised as Russell, Vorster, last week’s winner Kerry Segal and Jenna Ward, who claimed victory in the opening leg, all sit within touching distance of each other on the log.

 

Clifton oust Glenwood High 

The Gene Prato show which has dominated proceedings in the first three encounters of the series, was temporarily halted when Clifton pupil Calvin McKie claimed the junior boys category with Prato (Glenwood High) having to settle for second and the Wilson twins, Travis and Tyler (Maritzburg College), claiming third and fourth respectively.

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Daryl Bartho and Scott Rutherford wrapped a commanding victory in the doubles category in the Hansa 5 Beaches surfski race, race four of the Discovery Best 4 Surfski Series.

The Luke Chalupsky and Shaun Dias steam train which has ruled the roost in the doubles category in recent weeks was also derailed in week four as the powerhouse combination of Daryl Bartho and Scott Rutherford destroyed the rest of the field and cruised to a four minute victory over Chalupsky and Dias.

Race five of the Discovery Best 4 Surfski Series, the Discovery Winkle surfski race, takes place at Winklespruit on the South Coast on Sunday 3 June with racing getting underway at 09h00. More info can be found at www.surfski.co.za.

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That's how it's done! A double crew successfully negotiate the surf at finish of the Hansa 5 Beaches surfski race, race four of the Discovery Best 4 Surfski Series.

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SUMMARY OF RESULTS - HANSA 5 BEASHES SURFSKI RACE

RACE FOUR OF THE DISCOVERY BEST 4 SURFSKI SERIES

 

LONG COURSE:
Men
1.Hank McGregor 1:26.21
2.Barry Lewin 1:29.26
3.Luke Nisbet 1:32.33
4.Adam Nisbet 1:33.10
5.Mark Mulder 1:38.17
6.Shadrack Mkhize 1:41.19
7.Shaun Austin 1:41.25
8.Quinton Rutherford 1:41.36
9.Rowan Matthews 1:42.36
10.Calvin McKie (U18) 1:43.28
 
Women
1.Nicole Russell 1:57.35
2.Danica Vorster 1:57.54
3.Jenna Ward 2:03.00
 
Doubles
1.Daryl Bartho/Scott Rutherford 1:27.29
2.Luke Chalupsky/Shaun Dias 1:31.47
2.Ross Poacher/Justin Gillmer 1:39.36
 

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