Union Open Ocean Surfski Challenge Media Release
McGregor and Hartley star in surfski series opener
Durban – Hank McGregor and Bridgitte Hartley claimed wins as the
popular four-leg Bay Union Open Ocean Surfski Challenge got
under way in great weather conditions at the Durban Undersea
Club on Sunday morning.
With weather predicted to be moving in from the South West later
in the day the out-and-back race course took paddlers down the
coast before returning to DUC as the Westerly arrived.
McGregor duelled with on-form Brandon van der Walt at the front
of the long course race, before shaking off the Maritzburg
College schoolmaster on the return leg.
"It was a great dice with Brandon van der Walt and I managed to
get the edge on him with about two kilometres to go and opened
up a hundred metre lead," said the multiple marathon world
"It is always hard coming back from overseas and then
refocussing and getting back into training," said McGregor, who
recently won the Mauritius Open Ocean Classic surfski title.
"I was using this race as a good benchmark, and I am still
feeling strong and happy to take the win," the Fenn/Euro Steel
Van der Walt duly finished second, ahead of seasoned surfski
racer Gene Prato. Quinton Rutherford and Mark Perrow teamed up
to take the double ski honours.
Olympic sprint medallist Bridgitte Hartley won the women's
title, showing her growing confidence racing surfskis in ocean
"I went out a little bit too hard but I didn't know what to
expect on the way back, and if the other girls were better than
me in the runs I would have had them catching me," said Hartley.
"That's why I went out hard in the beginning and tried to hang
on to Hamish Mackenzie's wave," she explained.
"I turned about fifth or sixth, and was feeling a bit of
pressure, but on the way back I got into a good rhythm and
caught some really good runs and held on for the win," she said.
Jenna Ward finished second in the women's race with Kyeta
Purchase claiming the last place on the podium.
Stand Up Paddleboarders are ardent supporters of the series and
Matt Swemmer took best advantage of the mild wind conditions to
win the overall SUP honours, with Jacqueline LeCourt de Billot
winning the women's SUP prize.
The Bay Union-backed series is a hotbed of development paddling
talent and always sees emerging paddling prodigies vying for
glory in the short and long course races, with Thubelihle Banda
winning the prize for the best performance from a paddler from
the Point Watersports Club development project.
The second outing of the Sunday morning series next week is the
Citadel Race offering the same options of a six kilometre short
course and a twelve kilometre long course race.
SUMMARY OF RESULTS
BAY UNION RACE
1.Hank McGregor 53:54
2.Brandon van der Walt 54:20
3.Gene Prato 55:46
4.Brendan Delport 57:40
5.Hamish Mackenzie 58:53
1.Bridgitte Hartley 58:56
2.Jenna Ward 1:00:12
3.Kyeta Purchase 1:00:46
4.Lyn Bennet 1:07:28
5.Wilma Deyzel 1:15:29
1.Quinton Rutherford/Mark Perrow 55:33
2.Gustav Kriese/Neil Evans 57:14
3.Gary Behn/Murray Behn 58:28
4.Gary Waud/James Tutton 58:31
5.Skye Prato/Don Gobey 59:12
1.Matt Swemmer 55:35
2.Jon Ivins 1:05:27
3.Jacquiline Le Court de Billot 1:11:05
1.Steve Cohen/A.Smith 42:23
2.Murray SMith/Dylan Smith 42:35
3.Debbie Gillt/Tracey van Greunen 43:53
4.Ian Walker 43:58
5.Sanele Nxumalo 44:33.
More information can be found at
2019 Bay Union Open Ocean Surfski Series Calendar
Race Two - Citadel Race 14 July 2019
Race Three - Geriastskis Doubles Race 21 July 2019
Race Four - Geriatskis Team Relay Race 8 July
(click to download
Click HERE to download
Bay Union Open
Ocean Surfski Logo - JPeg
Hank McGregor opened his account at the
2019 Bay Union Open Ocean Surfski Challenge with a win in the
series-opening Bay Union race.
Bridgitte Hartley won the women's title
at the Bay Union Race, the first leg of the
2019 Bay Union Open Ocean Surfski Challenge .
Hank McGregor used the Bay Union Race, the first leg of the
2019 Bay Union Open Ocean Surfski Challenge as a benchmark for
his return to training after winning the international surfski
race in Mauritius last month.
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