Yet another Classic for McGregor in South Africa

Sunday, 17 June 2012 15:45 | Written by  Gameplan Media
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Classic surf conditions at Scottburgh Classic surf conditions at Scottburgh

Scottburgh, South Africa – Paddlers couldn’t have asked for better conditions for the Island Tribe Scottburgh Surfski Classic, race seven of the Discovery Best 4 Surfski Series, and, despite some drama in the closing stages of one of the series’ unique feature races, it was once again Hank McGregor who lead the field home.

Five from Five

With five wins from as many starts in this year's series McGregor (Team Best 4 Kayak Centre) now stands perfectly poised to clinch yet another winter series title should he claim a favourable result in next weekend's Epic Kayak's KZN Surfski Champs, which also looks set to be his final participation in the 2012 edition of the series.

 "Overall I had a fantastic race today. I wasn't quite firing on all cylinders having been a bit sick after SA Marathon Champs last weekend so I'm really stoked to have been able to have pulled off the win," said McGregor.

Hank McGregor

Hank McGregor cruises in for his five win in as many entries.

"This was a crucial one for me to do because I can only do one more race this series with Mauritius and Berg coming up and now I've got five in the bag so hopefully I can get a good result next weekend which would give me the series win as well!" he added. 

Despite being the dominate force throughout this year's series, some last minute drama in Sunday's race saw McGregor having to find an extra gear in order to claim his fifth victory of the ten-leg affair.


Amidst a cloud of confusion at the final surf turn McGregor and Len Jenkins crossed the finish line with a quarter lap still to do, however the Team Best 4 Kayak Centre star, Barry Lewin (Team Jeep) and Jenkins dug deep and, after returning to the water, set out to hunt down temporary race leader Brandon van der Walt.

Try as he may Lewin didn't have enough left in the tank to stay in the hunt with McGregor and Jenkins who were relentless in their efforts and, with the finish line in sight, managed to haul in a brave van der Walt.

Narrow Victory

Egged on by the crowd on the rocks nearby a thrilling end sprint between the three ensued and it McGregor who hit the beach first and narrowly claimed a deserved win.

"Myself and Len got away and were neck and neck in the first lap before I managed to drop him coming in to the surf turn on the second lap," said McGregor. "However there wasn't a turning flag as there was meant to be so I headed for the finish line."

"Len followed me to the line and Barry came towards the shore but then we saw Brandon head off for the bottom buoy so we had to restart again and catching him became a new challenge, especially as he was flying out in front." 

"Fortunately we still managed to catch him and cross the line first and it’s not every day you get to get two wins in the same race," he chuckled.

Perfect conditions

After last year's disappointment of the Scottburgh event having to be cancelled due to freakishly big seas paddlers were thrilled to see the near perfect conditions this time around and the popular surf turns were well received as always.

"It's always tricky going in and out here at Scottburgh and if you make mistake it’s going to cost you. Fortunately today there was no real surf to worry about though and once you got out it was dead flat," said McGregor.

Doubles punching through

The crowd (and photographers) appreciated the surf action...

"The surf turns were great fun and were also nice and exciting for the crowd as well," he added.

Having pushed McGregor all the way Jenkins finished a deserved second with Lewin and van der Walt sportingly agreeing on a tied third place result whilst Grant van der Walt (Team Best 4 Kayak Centre) closed out the top five.

"They were my kind of conditions out there today," said Jenkins. "It's taken a little while to work on a couple things in the ski compared to being in the river but I'm really enjoying it at the moment."

"It was a good hard race, especially with the confusion with the last surf turn, but all in all I'm happy with how things went for me today," he added.

Surf Action

The surf was easy to handle, and the paddlers used it to full advantage...

Women’s Race

The young high school scholar from the South Coast, Kerry Segal, claimed the ladies race after the unfortunate disqualification of Nicole Russell who unintentionally did not complete the course and the withdrawal of Michelle Eder (Team Jeep) due to cramp.

"It was really flat out there today which suited me perfectly," said Segal. "I had a bad start though when I fell out on my way out and really battled to get back into the ski in the surf so by the time I got out I was quite a long way back and had to work pretty hard to catch up."

 Nicole Russell

Nicole Russell took the wrong course

"Fortunately I managed to catch Jenna (Ward) and then Michelle unluckily had to pull out and Nikki (Russell) was a bit confused about the course so it was a bit of a fortunate win but it was still great to get another win nonetheless!"

"It’s the KZN Surfski Champs next weekend so I'm hoping to do well there but it’s a downwind which isn't exactly my strength so we'll just have to see how things go," she added.


In the doubles section Codey McKittrick and Calvin McKie dominated proceedings and cruised to victory ahead of Gustav Kriese and Neil Evans whilst Graham Hooper won the singles section of the short course and Konrad Karcz and Robyn Turton the short course doubles category.

The series now shifts its attention to the all-new and exciting race eight of the Discovery Best 4 Surfski Series, the singles leg of the Epic Kayaks KZN Surfski Champs which takes place from Marine Surf Lifesaving Club on Saturday 23 whilst the doubles leg of the event takes place on Sunday 24 June. More info can be found at

Discovery Best 4 Series



Long Course – Singles


1.Hank McGregor

2.Len Jenkins

3. (Tie) Barry Lewin, Brandon van der Walt

5.Grant van der Walt

6.Adam Nisbet

7.Daryl Bartho

8.Mark Mulder

9.Murray Smith

10.Oliver Burn


1.Kerry Segal 1:23.36

2.Jenna Ward 1:24.04

3.Sharon Armstrong 1:29.56



1.Codey McKittrick/Calvin McKie 1:06.14

2.Gustav Kriese/Neil Evans 1:07.15

3.Bruce Hatton/Marc Standton 1:07.24


1.Cara Bush/Penny Bush 1:24.25

2.Maya Oppermann/Kelly Biljoen 1:26.20


1.Richard Philps/Angela Scruby 1:10.12

2.Joe Boy/Louisa van Staden 1:12.38

3.Derek Hauptfleisch/Lynn Hauptfleisch 1:15/57

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