Nixon & McGregor Dominate World's Oldest Surfski Race in Durban

Saturday, 09 June 2018 15:16 | Written by  Gameplan Media
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Hank McGregor won by a country mile... Hank McGregor won by a country mile... Credits: Top Foto/Gameplan Media

The world's oldest surfski race, the Pirates Umhlanga Pirates, dished up some kind conditions as Hank McGregor and Hayley Nixon trounced their respective men's and ladies fields on Saturday.

It was a typically dominant display from Euro Steel/Fenn Kayaks' McGregor who paddled away from the field in the opening kilometers and was never threatened.

Fight for second

The fight was for second position with a bunch of paddlers battling it out for the two other podium spots.

On the return leg from Umhlanga back to Pirates, Luke Nisbet took control of second position and Gene Prato managed to hold on to third a minute behind Nisbet.

Women's Race

The ladies race was a one paddler contest as Hayley Nixon continued her impressive form to claim victory four minutes ahead of Sabina Lawrie.

"We had some pretty awesome conditions for an out and back race," Nixon said.

2017 ICF Ocean Racing World Champion Hayley Nixon

2017 ICF Ocean Racing World Champion Hayley Nixon

"The conditions at Pirates were manageable on the way out and with a mild bump it made for a great race.  It was a great paddle and the conditions were perfect. We saw a few dolphins as well which was special."

Conditions were not condusive to catching long runs and paddlers had to slog it out on the flat water to the Umhlanga light house and back, racing conditions that Nixon thrived in.

PUP Beach

Great day for the beach - but there wasn't much movement in the water!


"It was pretty tough, honest racing and you need to dig deep to catch those little runs, but it was beautiful and we had a nice clean wave coming into the finish line.

"I think there was a bit of carnage in the surf at the finish and I nearly became one of the victims but I managed to stay in my boat luckily!" she added.

"It was an awesome day and well done to Dave Harker and Pirates for putting on a great event."

In the doubles race it was the ever-green Lee McGregor and Richard Lowe who dominated the rest of the field to take the two-man race title.

Murray Smith and Steve Cohen finished in second place while Stretch Struwig and Mike Stevens took home third spot in the doubles race.


Lee McGregor and Richard Lowe

SUMMARY OF RESULTS - Pirates Umhlanga Pirates Surfski Race

Click here for the full results


  1. Hank McGregor 1:53:50
  2. Luke Nisbet 1:58:40
  3. Gene Prato 1:59:59
  4. Barry Lewin 2:00:58
  5. Tyron Maher 2:01:03


  1. Hayley Nixon 2:13:47
  2. Sabina Lawrie 2:17:31


  1. Richard Lowe/Lee McGregor 1:57:37
  2. Murray Smith/Steve Cohen 1:59:11
  3. Stretch Struwig/Mike Stevens 1:59:15
  4. Lee Furby/Quinton Rutherford 2:00:30
  5. Bruce Wenke/Linton Hope 2:00:46



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