Bay Union King of
Burn and Hockley eye women's laurels at King of the Bay
Durban – With the national double surfski title at stake,
seasoned Durban ocean racing ace Michelle Burn has scooped the services
of teenage rising star Saskia Hockley for the Bay Union King of the Bay
surfski race on Sunday, throwing down the gauntlet to the elite women’s
crews planning to be on the startline on Durban Harbour.
Burn is a multiple former winner of the King of the Bay women’s title at
the popular 22km race that starts at the Durban harbour Bayhead and
crosses the harbour before heading out on an out-and-back ocean leg to
the Mngeni River mouth while schoolgirl Hockley is putting her hand up
as one of the province’s leading junior female paddlers.
“Saskia and I are both Umhlanga Surf Lifesaving Club members, and when
we heard that the King of the Bay was going to be a doubles race, we
decided to paddle together,” said Burn after the pair had completed a
double ski training session together this week.
“The boat is going really nicely and Saskia is strong. She is not
scared of hard work and puts in the effort,” she added.
Hockley, who turns 17 in February, turned heads at the KZN flatwater
marathon champs at Camps Drift last weekend where she romped to victory
in the junior category and went toe-to-toe with established elite stars
Jenna Ward and Bridgitte Hartley for almost the entire senior race, and
then went on to claim the overall K2 gold with Ward on the Sunday.
“I paddle at Blue Lagoon sometimes and see Saskia training with Lee
McGregor’s MacSquad, and it always strikes me how good her technique is
and how well she is going,” said Burn.
Burn has found a rich vein of form as the lockdown eases and is excited
to test herself against what she hopes is a strong field of women’s S2
crews on Sunday.
“It has been great to train and feel no pressure because there weren’t
any events during the lockdown. I am feeling good and looking forward to
racing again,” she said.
“This race has a bit of everything with the flatwater on the harbour for
the first half, but what tends to happen is that we paddle in bunches
across the harbour and the racing only starts once we get out of the
harbour,” said Burn, who is widely respected as a skilled downwind
With Jenna Ward opting to sit out the Bay Union King of the Bay and
defending champion Hayley Nixon in the late stages of pregnancy,
pressure will come from a number of women’s crews, notably lifesavers
Paige Horn and Kyeta Purchase.
can be found at www.kotb.co.za
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Bay Union King of the Bay Logo.
Multiple former winner of the Bay Union
King of The Bay Michelle Burn has secured the services of rising junior
star Saskia Hockley for race that will decide the South
African S2 and KZN S2 titles on Sunday.
Rocks SLC teenage lifesaver Saskia Hockley will team up with seasoned
surfski pro Michelle Burn for the Bay Union King of the Bay double ski
race on Sunday.
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