Manson and Friedenstein Dominate 46.5km Scottburgh to Brighton

Sunday, 15 July 2012 16:06 | Written by 
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Bevan Manson and Kyle Friedenstein (East London) show the Durban paddlers how it's done! Bevan Manson and Kyle Friedenstein (East London) show the Durban paddlers how it's done! Credits: Anthony Grote/Gameplan Media

Durban, South Africa - Former Discovery Scottburgh to Brighton winner Bevan Manson and fellow East London based, 19-year-old paddling talent Kyle Friedenstein not only outshone a classy field but also overcame treacherous conditions in the second half of the race to deservedly claim this year's spoils. 

Manson, a former Durban boy who has called East London home for the past few years, previously claimed the title back in 2007 but has flown somewhat under the radar in major paddling events in recent years.  This year however, he reminded all of just what he is capable of in the grueling surfski marathon.

Bevan Manson and Kyle Friedenstein

Bevan Manson and Kyle Friedenstein played a tactically astute race

Together with his younger counterpart, Manson took full advantage of a stroke of tactical brilliance as well as the misfortunes of race leaders Brandon van der Walt and Wayne Wilson in the second half of the 46.5km affair to edge out his local compatriots.


"There were some great runs leftover from yesterday's conditions which we tried to take full advantage of throughout," said Manson. "The four front boats had all been together up until Toti but once we got back out after the Toti stop we sat inside for about a kilometer before we punched back to the outside.

Scottburgh to Brighton

Oofffff!  The Scottburgh to Brighton race requires paddlers to negotiate the surf line four times.

Punching out

"We were falling off the back of the group a bit though so we came back inside again and there must have been a bit more current there because we suddenly were going at least two kilometers quicker than we were on the outside.

"That was when we were able to get away from the rest of the guys, with about fifteen kilometers to go, but I was really expecting them to come back at us. Fortunately though we were able to hold them off all the way to the finish!" he added.

Whilst far less experienced than his partner, particularly when it comes to time spent in KwaZulu-Natal's waters, Friedenstein, an exciting prospect for the future, never once looked out of his depth throughout the 46.5km slog and more than held his own.

"We've got a really nice training squad going back at home but this was obviously a very different prospect. I learnt a lot being out there with Bevan, watching his lines," said the young Friedenstein.
"This is definitely the biggest result of my career thus far!" he added.

"Kyle was absolutely monster out there today," added Manson. "He's done incredibly well for a 19-year-old and we really paddled well together.”

Sthembiso Mbatha and Mkwaba Banda

Sthembiso Mbatha and Mkwaba Banda - no problems through the surf...

Popped juice bag

The sub-vet duo of Daryl Bartho and Grant Woollaston narrowly edged out the Westville brothers Luke and Adam Nisbet who, having led the race for part of the journey, had to overcome bouts of serious cramps and back spasms in the closing stages.

"My juice bag popped just as we were heading out at the start at Scottburgh and so the only liquids I could get was some coke at Toti so I really blew in the second half and my back was really killing me," said older brother Luke.

"The race only really starts at Toti and when you're not feeling good there then you know you're in a bit of trouble," said Adam.

"We still had quite a controlled race though and you can't ever be upset with a podium spot in a race as tough as this," added Luke. "It’s great to be able to tick that box, especially when you've got a pumping North Easter in your face." 

Canoeing South Africa General Manager Travis Wilkinson and Warren Valentine grabbed a commendable fourth whilst Discovery Best 4 Surfski Series doubles category winners Luke Chalupsky and Shaun Dias rounded out the top five.

Mark Lewin and Linton Hope

Mark Lewin and Linton Hope claimed the Masters title

Single hander

Meanwhile, despite the exceptionally challenging conditions, Brandon van der Walt demonstrated some incredibly determination to single handedly bring home his double ski after his partner Wayne Wilson was forced to retire from the race due to suffering debilitating cramps and mild hyperthermia.

"It was disappointing Wayne was forced to pull out because we had been going really well and were leading for a while but just after we got out at Toti he really was battling and started vomiting so when the jetski came past he had to jump out," said van der Walt.

"I wanted to finish though so I just had to carry on going. With the wind pumping as it was and being alone in a double ski meant I was going at about seven kilometers an hour and it seemed like it would never end.

“As I got closer to the finish I looked at the surf backline and I was pretty worried because I was absolutely broken. But I got in without swimming so I was really stoked," he chuckled.

Women’s Race

River aces Abby Adie (Team Best 4 Kayak Centre) and Hilary Pitchford showed once again just how strong a combination they are as they powered home ahead of the renowned surfski crew of Nikki Russell and Natalie Veckranges to claim the women's race.

Abby and Hilary

Hilary Pitchford and Abby Adie dominated the women's race


Having finished first and second respectively in the junior section of the recently concluded Discovery Best 4 Surfski Series the combination of Gene Prato (Glenwood High) and Calvin McKie (Clifton College) clinched the junior title and a highly commendable eighth overall.

Calvin McKie and Gene Prato

Calvin McKie and Gene Prato winning the Juniors section

More info can be found at

Discovery Best 4 Surfski Series


Overall Men

  1. Bevan Manson/Kyle Friedenstein 3.46.52
  2. Daryl Bartho/Grant Woollaston 3.51.13
  3. Luke Nisbet/Adam Nisbet 3.51.24
  4. Travis Wilkinson/Warren Valentine 3.55.08
  5. Luke Chalupsky/Shaun Dias 4.08.35

Hilary Pitchford and Abby Adie

Hilary Pitchford and Abby Adie

Overall Women

  1. Abby Adie/Hilary Pitchford 4.54.49
  2. Natalie Veckranges/Nicole Russell 5.03.0

Mixed Doubles

  1. Len Jenkins/Julie Cornelius 4.37.27
  2. Brian Taylor/Angela Scruby 5.11.16
  3. Antje Manfroni/Keith Flemmer 5.29.51


  1. Gene Prato/Calvin McKie 4.15.44


  1. Daryl Bartho/Grant Woollaston 3.51.13


  1. Travis Wilkinson/Warren Valentine 3.55.08


  1. Nigel Stevens/Mike Stevens 4.12.26


  1. Mark Lewin/Linton Hope 4.16.47

Sub-Grand Master

  1. Graham Holm/Gary Ralph 5.12.07

Grand Master

  1. David Gillmer/Peter O'Connor 5.27.5

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