Bay Union King of
24 July 2019
by: Nick Tatham
King of the Bay set
for exciting men’s showdown
Durban – After being forced to postpone two months ago, the ‘reloaded’
Bay Union King of the Bay, is one to look forward to as KZN’s top
surfski paddlers fight it out over the 22km course on Sunday, 4 August.
The race had to be moved from its original date due to the severe floods
experienced in the Durban area in early May.
The event often draws a large entry due to its unique start at the Silt
Canal in the Durban harbour from where paddlers take on eight kilometres
of flat water that traverses the length of the harbour before exiting
through the harbour breakwaters.
After leaving the shelter of the iconic East Coast port the paddlers
then race out and back to the uMgeni River mouth before finishing at
Marine Surf Lifesaving Club.
The race was won last year by Andy Birkett, but the river marathon world
champ, who now lives in East London, will be racing in the Sella Descent
in Spain over that weekend, where he and Hank McGregor will be aiming to
win the K2 title on the 50th anniversary of the first South African crew
to claim the title.
Despite McGregor’s absence and that of other pacesetters like Matt
Bouman, Durban boasts some of the country’s best surfski racers and they
will be expected on the Bay Union King of the Bay start line.
Former winner Brandon van der Walt, Luke Nisbett and Gene Prato will
more than likely be there to fight it out however there is another group
of paddlers coming through that should provide a stern test.
Tyron Maher has been in good form and recently won the Berg River Canoe
Marathon team title with Hamish Lovemore.
Lovemore is no stranger to Durban surfski races and will be keen to be
in the thick of the action at this year’s King of the Bay.
Van der Walt and Maher teamed up to take the Geriatski’s Doubles race
over the weekend. It was Van der Walt’s second win of the 2019 Bay Union
Ocean Surfski Challenge series following his win at the Citadel race the
Van der Walt last won the King of the Bay title in 2017 when he beat
last year’s champion Birkett in an exciting end sprint and the current
Master in Charge of Canoeing at Maritzburg College is in fine form.
The fact that the KZN singles title will also be on the line is sure to
entice the best of the local men available on the day down to the silt
canal start on the Bluff side of the harbour.
Date: Sunday, 04 August 2019
Course: Silt Canal, Durban Harbour to Marine Surf Lifesaving Club
Distances: Short Course 11km | Long Course 22km
can be found at www.kotb.co.za
Click to download the hi-res
Bay Union King of the Bay Logo.
Having last won the race in
2017, Maritzburg College's Master in Charge of Canoeing Brandon van der
Walt might be the man to watch at this year's Bay Union King of the Bay
on Sunday, 4 August.
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