I love racing season, especially the winter series. Classic weekend with your mates on some of the best beaches in the world. Been getting mails from www.barrylewin.co.za reads in Europe and Canada bitching and moaning about the stupidly cold conditions they paddle in.
Well Durban don’t have no winter, O boy and it delivered again today. Moderate surf with a stiff SW wind (died during the race) and the sun shining.
Didn’t get a great start. Not like me! Was standing in hole and got held by a wave. Just made the back of the front bunch into the wind. 3 Laps of 5km so no need to panic. Parked off in the slip till the first till the downwind leg where I could go a bit wider to find open water and some runs. It was really small and you had to really work hard for what you got out of the sea. This suits me!
Caught up some 4 or 5 places on the downwind let but missed Matt Bouman’s wave on the into the wind section by only like 5m. Matt Powered away into the distance and left me on my own in 2nd to paddle the rest of the 2 and a bit laps on my own.
From then on it was about pacing myself. Got hard enough in to the wind to stay away from the chasing pack 3 boats (Grant Van De Walt, Herman and Oscar) and saving as much for the downwind leg as this is where you can really make up time. The bunch sat 100m behind till the last lap where I managed to open a bit more and make it I bit more comfortable. Only finished 1min10 behind Matt, which I was happy with. Matt is on huge form and extremely focused, He has put in the time and its showing in his dominance.
Michele Eray won the ladies again this week but only by a nose. She had a run up the beach with Michelle Eder of Team jeep South Africa. Great paddle from the smallest person in the field with the biggest guts. Good to see her give the best a decent go.
Hope to get some photos ASAP!