Bay Union King of the Bay Media Release

 No: kotb2001

31 Mar 2020

   Embargo: None

Written by: Dave Macleod

Coronavirus clampdown forces postponement of King of the Bay

Durban - The Bay Union King of the Bay Surfski races have become the latest events to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as the organisers announced that the weekend of paddling events has been postponed to later in the year.

The Bay Union King of the Bay that anchors the weekend of surfski races is an iconic event on the South African paddling calendar as it is the only day in the year that surfskis are allowed to paddle across Durban harbour and out of the breakwaters.

The event has been allocated the SA double ski championships for 2020, and has been supplemented by a single ski race on the Saturday that was allocated the national single ski title decider status, with both serving as the national trials for the ICF Ocean Racing World Championships later in the year.

Event organiser Neels Meyer of Stella Canoe Club said that the events, which was to have been held on 9 and 10 May, had to be postponed, and given the uncertainty of the novel coronavirus pandemic on South Africa and the duration of the lockdown to control the outbreak, setting a new date was not possible yet.

He said that the organisers and sponsors were working with Canoeing South Africa to earmark a date, possibly in November, to stage the two days of racing.

“We are acting responsibly and in the best interests of the sport and our communities to try and help to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus,” said Bay Union’s Gavin Searle.

“Fortunately all the partners to this event are on the same page, so the decision to postpone was an easy one,” said Meyer.

“As concerned South Africans our interest right now is in the well-being of the nation, and we can start to investigate dates for the Bay Union King of the Bay once we are out of the woods with the country’s current health problems,” he added.

More information can be found at


Photo Caption Photographer
Click to download the hi-res pic
Bay Union King of the Bay Logo.


The iconic Bay Union King of The Bay and the new downwind race that has been added to the weekend of surfski action, have both been indefinitely postponed as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown. “We are acting responsibly and in the best interests of the sport and our communities to try and help to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus,” said Bay Union’s Gavin Searle.

Kevin Sawyer/
Gameplan Media

Conditions of usage of photographs: All photographs supplied and hyperlinked herewith may be used free of charge, with full credit to the photographer and agency as provided. The photographs may not be modified or retouched in any way, but may be cropped to suit the layout requirements of the publications. The photographs provided may be used exclusively for editorial purposes, and may be reprinted in any newspaper, magazine, television programme or on any website. These photographs may not be used for any commercial or promotional purpose, including but not limited to posters, advertisements, commercials, promotional email correspondence, point-of-sale material or any retail promotion. Should such usage be desired, please contact us at the details below.
Is this of no value to you?
This media release is intended for use by media professionals covering this specific activity or sport. Should this release not be relevant you, please advise us immediately and we will be glad to remove your name from this particular database. It would be useful to us if you could advise us which subjects you would like to continue receiving releases on.
For any further information, or if you cannot access the images, please contact:
Gameplan Media
(031) 764 3017