SA Schools Champs to illuminate Durban's beachfront
Durban - This Friday's final leg of the 2018 FNB Surfski Series, the Varsity
College Surfski Challenge and Varsity College SA Schools Championships, will
showcase the best junior surfski paddlers from around the country battling
it out for national honours at the Marine Surf Lifesaving Club.
The cream of the Under 18 and Under 16 ocean racing crop will be on the
start line in Durban this Friday with a number of 2017's top achievers
returning for a shot at a national title, and a prized bursary to study at
Amongst the class of 2018 will be a handful of paddlers that did battle for
South Africa at the 2017 ICF Ocean Racing World Championships in Hong Kong.
Young Zara Wood from East London provided one of the paddles of the event
for South Africa when she finished third in the Junior Girls category behind
fellow South African Sabina Lawrie, who won the title, and Australia's
Currently in the Under 16 age group, Wood is going into the contest on
Friday with a relaxed attitude and doesn't feel like she needs to put too
much pressure on herself.
"It would be incredible to win the overall girls title and I would love to
win but I am going to go and have fun," she said in the car on her way up to
"I have been training hard and I am excited to see who I will be coming up
"I know that Amy Peckett is going to be there and she is a very strong
paddler so it is going to be an exciting race."
Checking weather conditions is a vital part of surfski preparations and Wood
is hopeful that the conditions on Friday will line up with her ideal ocean
"I like big swells with good, long runs and I think that the conditions on
Friday are going to be quite similar to what I am used to back home.
"Racing in Durban isn't very familiar to me but I have an idea having raced
their once before," Wood added.
Amy Peckett will be another force to be reckoned along with her Epworth
teammate Car Waud.
One of the paddlers that will be hoping to get himself on top of the Under
18 podium this year is Western Cape star Uli Hart. The youngster took part
in the 2017 Ocean Racing World Cup as a replacement and finished fifth in
the junior boys division.
"My preparation for this Friday has been good and I am really looking
forward to the race," the SACS pupil mentioned. "I am not too familiar with
the conditions in Durban but I know from a few past races that the wind
doesn't tend to blow as much as here in the Cape.
"This means that there might not be as much assistance for us than I am used
to so I am preparing for a tough, flat paddle.
"There is often quite a big break to get through and I remember that from SA
Schools Champs last year so I am also going to be wary of that!" he added.
The Under 18 Boys showdown is always an exciting one and this year will be
no different with a number of paddlers putting their names into the
From the Eastern Cape, Matthew Fenn will offer up a stern challenge and from
a KwaZulu-Natal perspective Brendon Delport and Hamish Mackenzie will be
hoping to make an impact on proceedings.
More information can be found at
FNB Surfski Series Logo
Western Cape school by Uli Hart will be gunning
for a national schools title at the Varsity College Surfski Challenge and
Varsity College SA Schools Champs on Friday evening, the final race of the
2018 FNB Surfski Series.
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