25 October 2017

McGregor Returns to Surfski Racing With Two Wins Over the Weekend

Submitted by Viv Quann
McGregor Returns to Surfski Racing With Two Wins Over the Weekend

DURBAN, KWAZULU-NATAL - This past Friday October 20th saw 75 local paddlers take on the 8km course from the Pirates Surf Lifesaving Club to the Durban Harbour Wall and back in Race 2 of the Wall and Back Surfski Series. Ten-time World Marathon and current World Surfski Series champ, Hank McGregor (Jeep Team/ Gara Paddles/ Euro Steel), racing in his first surfski race since winning the Gara Dolphin Coast Challenge, and claiming the South African Doubles Surfski title in August, once again showed his ocean paddling prowess, powering home a win in a time of 33:07.                                    

Second place in the men’s race went to Gene Prato in a time of 34:00, with Matt Bouman just 17 seconds behind in third place in 34:17.  “It’s been a while since I’ve raced in Durban on my ski and it was flipping awesome!” commented McGregor. McGregor, one of the finest all-round paddlers in history with multiple South African and World surfski and flat-water titles to his name, now shifts his focus to surfski paddling in preparation for the 2017 ICF Canoe Ocean Racing World Championships in Hong Kong from 18-19 November. In the women’s race, 2016 Series winner, Jenna Ward, put on a powerful performance to finish some 8 minutes ahead of second-place finisher, Teegan Hardwick, and Alice Edwards in third. 

On Sunday, McGregor lined up at the start for the last race of the Da'Real Downwind Series – a 30km downwind race from Durban Underwater Club on Vettie’s Beach to Toti Main Beach. The current World Surfski Series champ out-paddled long-time rival, Matt Bouman, to take his second win for the weekend. Third place in the men’s race went to veteran surfski ace, Herman Chalupsky. The women’s race was won by Olympic medallist, Bridgitte Hartley, ahead of Friday’s race winner, Jenna Ward in second, and Sharon Armstrong in third. 

Race 3 of the Wall and Back series takes place on the 27th of October. Results – Wall and Back Race 2


  1. Hank McGregor - 00:33:07
  2. Gene Prato - 00:34:00
  3. Matt Bouman - 00:34:17 


  1. Jenna Ward - 00:42:31
  2. Teegan Hardwick - 00:50:53
  3. Alice Edwards - 00:51:04 

Results – Da'Real Downwind Series Race 4


  1. Hank McGregor
  2. Matthew Bouman
  3. Herman Chalupsky


  1. Bridgitte Hartley
  2. Jenna Ward
  3. Sharon Armstrong


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Upcoming 2017 Illovo Suncoast Pirates Wall and Back Surfski Series events:

Race                      Date                                                     Time

3                              Friday 27 October                               5:15pm

4                              Friday 10 November                           5:30pm

5                              Friday 17 November                           5:30pm

6                              Friday 24 November                           5:30pm 

To find out more about the Wall and Back Series, go to www.wallandback.co.za 

Published in Sports Range