McGregor wraps up 2019 Marine Series title

Durban - Four wins from four races for Hank McGregor saw the ocean racing hero claim another Marine Surfski Series title after he won the Surfski Challenge on Friday night. 

McGregor, who missed a handful of races in the build up to the Dusi, returned on Friday and gave the field a masterclass in ocean racing. 

“It was great to get my fourth win of the series and the series title,” the star said. 

“You had to paddle quite hard for all three legs but I managed to get a gap over Gene Prato and the rest of the field on the first lap and stretch it all the way to the finish. 

“It was another great evening for paddling and with next week's race being the last of the series it would be great to see Durban coming and taking part.”

Finishing second in the singles race was Gene Prato, who has been a consistent performer this series, ahead of Wade Krieger in third. 

On international women’s day it was Jenna Ward who took her third win of the series in the women's singles.

Friday’s race saw Ocean Racing world champion Hayley Nixon made her first appearance of the series and teamed up with Michelle Burn to take the ladies doubles race win. 

“It was unusual that this was my first race of the series,” Nixon said. 

“It was great to be back and we really enjoyed the race in a tricky shore and mid break. 

“Michelle (Burn) and I are paddling the Freedom Paddle, also SA Doubles championships, together so it was good for us to have a hit out together. 

“As fate would have it Christie (McKenzie) and Kyeta were also racing together as well as the up and coming lifesavers Paige (Horne) and Alice (Edward) so it was good having three strong ladies crews.”

Purchase and Mackenzie finished second with Horne and Edward finishing in third. 

The young crew of Hamish Lovemore and Hamish Mackenzie took the doubles honours ahead of Zoog Haynes and Clyde Barendse in second with Nixon and Burn finishing as the third double home overall. 

Youngster Sam Butcher was the first junior boat across the line. 

In the short course Shaine and Julia McAlister took line honours with Matt Maroun in second while Reynard van Antwerpen and Kendra Robinson in third. 

The first lady home in the short course was Monique Boshoff with Siobhan Sharp in second and Raquel Robbins in third. 

Next week is the tenth and final race of the 2019 Marine Surfski Series.