Dear G-Bay Winter Series Paddler, Sponsor and Supporter
Despite an extreme offshore Berg wind warning the 1st G-Bay Winter Paddling Series kicked off on Sunday 2nd June in excellent conditions that favoured everyone’s skill level. A small but enthusiastic field of surfski and SUP paddlers were set a safety-oriented 6km course from the corner beach start past the GB Harbour along the Gordon’s Bay cliffs to the 5 Houses Rock as a turning point and return leg to the start with long course completing two laps and able to support any novice paddlers in need of assistance in the bumpy but almost windless onshore conditions.
Promising junior Bartho Visser won the 12km ski long course overall in a 1h02:43 pipping perennial winner Anton Holtzhausen by 3 seconds with series convenor Jamii Hamlin managing to claw back onto the podium having lost ground to Stephan du Toit whilst checking on a few paddlers straying a little off course to avoid the bumpiness. Former Springbok canoeist Donia Kamstra won the Ladies convincingly in 1h07:58 with rising star Kira Bester coming in second and taking the Junior Ladies as well. With Gay Pepler and Danie Nel having a ding dong in the over 65 Bullets, with Gary took the glory along with receiving his permanent number #11 for a 100% attendance since the series was started in 2007/8.
The short course had Joshua Kruger of Natural Energy taking the SUP win in 1h05:20 whilst in the surfski Paul Jacobs in 45:45m took the win from Scott Hogg whilst Noeleen Vermark was the 1st Lady and 3rd overall in 53:21m whilst Lifesaving stalwart and former WCCU administrator Jurie Wessels took the Bullets podium.
Since several of paddlers had been wary of the strong wind forecast and decided not to arrive, the request for a 3km Sprint course within the corner of the bay will be set up for novice SUPers and also ideally suited for the likes of under 12 Strand Lifesaving Nipper Champions Calhan and Liam Clarke wishing to keep their prone racing skills ticking over during the winter.
Race No2 is the 30 June, with updates and info available via G-Bay Winter Series Fb profile and Whatsup Group.
The G-Bay Winter Series key focus is to ensure the format and course options are accessible to all surfski, SUP and prone paddlers within the protection of the Gordon’s Bay corner that is well sheltered from strong winter conditions. Post race a complimentary soup with bread is served by hosting eatery Potters Pantry and with NSRI Station No 9 on standby for any emergency and safety requirements as a portion of the entries fee collected allocated to support their endeavours.
The series ensured #EveryonesAWinner as all paddlers are eligible to receive a lucky draw prize whilst podium places get bragging rights and photos. Many thanks to the sponsors Funky Pants, Freedom Paddle, Mocke Ocean Gear, Natural Energy, Brian’s Kayaks, Go Deep, RYD, Cape Classic, Triggerfish Brewery, Ecostake, Manor on the Bay and Malan Lourens Viljoen Attorneys.