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Back You are here: Home Sports Other Surfski: Top SA Juniors Descend on Durbs for SA Schools Showdown
Monday, 11 March 2013 16:39

Surfski: Top SA Juniors Descend on Durbs for SA Schools Showdown

The tenth and final leg of the hugely popular 2013 Varsity College Marine Surfski Series takes place on Friday 15 March and, with plenty of titles amongst the various age groups and categories still up for grabs, lots of hard fought racing is certain to occur in Durban’s bay in a couple of days’ time.

kRiceThe intensity of the contest will however be taken up a further notch or two as it also doubles as the widely anticipated 2013 Varsity College SA Schools Surfski Challenge where all of the country’s leading ocean paddlers will battle it out for this year’s top honours as well as the highly sought-after Varsity College Sport Life bursary valued at over R40000 awarded to the person who puts in the performance of the champs.

With the likes of Peter Cole’s exciting and talented young Orka Training Squad members such as Kenny Rice (Bergvliet High), Amy Hare and Kirsten Flanagan (both Springfield Convent), amongst others, all set to make their presence felt at this year’s event felt, another strong Western Cape showing could well be expected.

Rice and Hare go into the 2013 event as favourites to claim the under 18 boys and girls titles respectively after they both clinched victory in the same categories in last year’s showdown.

Rice, in particular, has also shown tremendous growth and progress over the past twelve months which has led to him regularly putting in stellar performances and battling it out against some of his more senior and internationally known competitors.

“Kenny (Rice) is the defending champ so he knows what it takes. He is also paddling really well at the moment and if he won it last year and you look at how much he’s improved from then to now then I would definitely say he’ll be the one to watch this year,” said Orka Training Squad head, Peter Cole.

“Hopefully he can just manage himself during this week’s build-up and then have a great race on Friday.”

“I expect the girls race to be a far closer affair and will really be one to watch. Amy (Hare) and Kirst (Flanagan) had a ding-dong battle last year and I expect it will be another ding-dong battle again this time as well.

“They go to the same school, they’re best mates and they race each other week in and week out with a different one of the two winning each time! They’re both phenomenal little paddlers and I reckon it is way too close between them for anyone to call what will happen on the day.

The talented Cape-based crew looks all set to achieve top accolades once again and Cole is confident the group heading for KZN will do well in the national clash.

“As well as Kenny, Amy and Kirst we’ve got a pretty strong group coming up for SA Schools. Alex (Topliss) could do quite nicely and an under 16 youngster, Jonah Paarman, is also one to keep an eye on.
The local lads will however have a slightly different idea of what may unfold this coming Friday evening as the likes of Gene Prato (Glenwood High) and Calvin McKie (Clifton College) look to build on the great performances they have registered throughout this year’s series and use their knowledge of the local conditions to their advantage as best they can.

Prato is likely to lead the local charge with McKie following shortly afterwards however should Maritzburg College twins, Travis and Tyler Wilson, decide to take part in the event the battle for the minor placings could well become a closely fought encounter.

A solitary beacon of hope for the Eastern Cape comes in the form of East London’s Jayme Thompson who will be out to do his best to fragment the string of KZN chasers.

All the action gets underway on the beach just north of Ushaka Pier on Durban’s beachfront at 17h30 on Friday 15 March.

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