28 June 2017

Hank McGregor Takes 2nd Place In A Gripping Durban Downwind

Submitted by Viv Quann
Hank McGregor Takes 2nd Place In A Gripping Durban Downwind

PIETERMARITZBURG, 28 JUNE 2017 – Saturday, 24 June, saw South Africa’s top surfski paddlers fight it out for the FNB Durban Downwind title, as well as the South African Singles Surfski Champion crown. Surfski paddlers from around the country gathered in Durban for an exciting 26km downwind challenge from La Mercy to Marine Surf Lifesaving Club, with the elite paddlers aiming to qualify for the South African team for the ICF Ocean Racing World Championships in Hong Kong in November. 

At La Mercy, the race set off with a backline start, where huge surf made it difficult for the paddlers to get out to the start line. Nineteen paddlers, including Dusi Champ, Andy Birkett, were forced to withdraw after breaking their skis in the backline break. Current World Surfski Series champion, Hank McGregor (Jeep Team), faced a serious challenge from Euro Steel’s Jasper Mocké as it came down to the line.

McGregor opted for a straight-line course closer ashore, while Mocké and his brother Dawid, chose a deep-water line. McGregor struggled through the surf coming in, beaching earlier than expected, and had to run to the finish line. Mocké, lining up his run, picked his way through the surf right to the finish. Despite running to the finish along the beach, McGregor finished less than one second behind Jasper Mocké, and clinched a slot in the national team for the World Champs. Third place went to Dawid Mocké, who won a sprint race with Kenny Rice for the last podium spot. 

Results – FNB Durban Downwind 2017

Men

1. Jasper Mocké      1:29:18.54

2. Hank McGregor    1:29:19.13

3. Dawid Mocké       1:29:55.32

 Women

1. Michelle Burn       1:42:58.20

2. Hayley Nixon        1:44:05.68

3. Nikki Russell        1:45:07.59 

Doubles

1. Zoog Haynes/Lance Howarth    1:32:48.69

2. Donna Winter/Shaun Burgin      1:37:18.48

3. Bruce Wenke/Justin Wenke      1:42:56.54 

###  EDITOR’S NOTES FNB Durban Downwind information

The Durban Downwind began its journey as Durban’s premier downwind surfski race in June 2014 when it hosted the South African Surfski Championships, ultimately won by Jasper Mocké and Nicole Russell respectively. In 2015 the race was added to the World Surfski Series calendar as a title race and with this came a new format of one race rather than a five-leg series, with a window period of two days. 

This window period worked well and the wind blew 25 knots for the paddlers from around SA and abroad to enjoy during the S1 clash. The race was won for the first time by a foreign paddler as Michael Booth from Australia clinched a nail biting finish with Dawid Mocké and Matthew Bouman finishing second and third respectively in the closest race of the world series for the year, and in 2016, Hank McGregor put his name on the Durban Downwind title list. With the awesome backing of title sponsor, FNB the event boasts an amazing R10 000 prize purse across its various age categories.

 For more info, visit www.durbandownwind.co.za 

Photo Credit: Gameplan Media   

Written and Distributed by Hot Salsa Media on behalf of Jeep Team SAAll enquiries to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / 0894 486 2136 Thank you.   

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Published in Sports Range