Bay Union King of the Bay Media Release

 No: kotb1804

27 May 2018

   Embargo: None

Written by: Dave Macleod

Birkett finally bags King of the Bay

Durban - Dusi champ Andy Birkett added the Bay Union King of the Bay title to his impressive CV as he took full advantage of the mild winter weather to bag the 22km race that slipped through his fingers last year.

"There was a big group of paddlers together as we got out of the harbour, including last year's winner Brandon van der Walt.

"He  tried to make a break in the small swell with Matt Bouman, but once we were out in the ocean we all spread out.

"Matt (Bouman) went deep, I was in the middle and Brandon chose a shallower line.

"I managed to get a little gap on Matt (Bouman), but he used his skill in the ocean and caught me just before the turning bouy.

"I managed to get away from him again after the turn. I think the conditions suited me a bit more than Matt, but it was an awesome day to be out on the ocean," said Birkett, who lost last year's title to Van der Walt with his bungled portage up the beach to the finish line.

The women's race was won by Olympic medallist Bridgitte Hartley against a heavily depleted women's sinles field.

"We had flat conditions very similar to last year, but it was quite fun once we got outside the harbour mouth there was a little bit of a swell, and you could catch some bumps," said Hartley.

"I was just trying to put my head down to catch boats ahead of me, and when we turned I raced a guy in a single for the last two or three kilometres," she said.

With Hayley Nixon away in Hawaaii for the Molokai, the small women's field saw Sabina Lawrie secure the runners up berth.

The competitive double ski race fell to the on-form youngsters Hamish Lovemore and Clint Cook, with the women's crew of onna Winter and Kerry Segal finishing a credible sevent overall.

Bay Union King of the Bay
Long Course 22km
1 Andy Birkett 1:36:38
2 Matthew Bouman 1:37:39
3 Luke Nisbet 1:40:57
4 Brandon Van Der Walt 1:41:11
5 Stewart Little 1:43:20
6 Jason Graham 1:43:21
7 Lee Mcgregor 1:43:44
8 Tyron Maher 1:43:48
9 Gene Prato 1:44:46
10 Ant Stott 1:45:04

1 Bridgitte Hartley 1:52:15
2 Sabina Lawrie 1:56:01

Double skis
1 Hamish Lovemore Clinton Cook 1:35:43.90
2 Luke Symons Michel De Rauville 1:40:32.86
3 Gustav Kriese Neil Evans 1:41:13.69
4 Bruce Wenke Linton Hope 1:42:46.10
5 Bruce Pender-Smith Eric Hildebrandt 1:43:56.73
6 Marc Germiquet Gary Behn 1:43:56.95
7 Donna Winter Kerry Segal 1:46:02.65
8 Justin Swart Dave Harker 1:46:41.60
9 Mark Ussher Jeffrey Maingard 1:47:16.28
10 Skye Prato Don Gobey 1:47:33.07

More information can be found at


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Andy Birkett turns for the finish in the Bay Union King of the Bay on Sunday, with the iconic Moses Mabhida stadium in the background.

Kevin Sawyer/
Gameplan Media

Andy Birkewtt (EuroSteel) paddles into the finish to claim thethe Bay Union King of the Bay title on Sunday.

Lynne Hauptfleisch/
Gameplan Media

Bridgitte Hartley (Euro Steel) won thw women's title at the Bay Union King of the Bay on Sunday.

Lynne Hauptfleisch/
Gameplan Media

Matt Bouman (SMG/Epic kayaks) is first off the start line at the Bay Union King of the Bay on Sunday.

Kevin Sawyer/
Gameplan Media

Lee McGregor leads a group across Durban harbour, dwarfed by docked ships at the Bay Union King of the Bay on Sunday.

Kevin Sawyer/
Gameplan Media

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