is SUPracer.com's new South African SUP Correspondent, bringing you the latest Stand Up Paddle race results, news and pics from Cape Town to Durban and everywhere in between.
Peter is one of South Africa's most experienced paddlers and is also the founder of SUP Culture
and Watersports Warehouse
. Check out the latest posts about South African SUP racing below...
October marks the beginning of summer in Cape Town and with it, the return of the PRIMI Naish Downwind Dash race series. Now in it’s 15th year (with SUP being included for the past five years), the classic Milnerton to Big Bay Downwinder is run every Wednesday night for 10 weeks, from October through mid-December and another 10 weeks from mid-January to March.
Last night’s season opener had soft winds with 12-23 knots and a 3-4ft swell running. Some of the guys had been training as much as mother nature had allowed in previous weeks, but winds are still a bit fickle this time of year so for many, this was the first downwind run since last summer. → READ MORE
Naish SUP South Africa sponsored and organised the 2nd stop on the South African SUPSA Race Tour last weekend. The racing was held in Durban at New Pier and counted towards selection for the 2015 ISA Worlds. With Dylan Frick doing his duty in Europe, it was up to pre-event favorite Ethan Koopmans to fight off the local Durban paddlers.
Ethan has lifted his game and was untouchable in both the long distance, however Shelley Bradfield’s tech race performance was the highlight of the day, for the wrong reasons… → READ MORE
And so the long road to the ISA World Paddleboard Championship in Nicaragua continues…
After yesterday revealing the new lineup of the 2012 Silver Medal winning country, Team USA, today it’s time to see who’ll be representing the 2013 Silver Medalists: Team South Africa. → READ MORE
Light winds greeted the PRIMI Naish downwind addicts as Wednesday night continues to tease the event. The week prior to race day (Thu-Tues) provided six days straight of epic downwinds in the 30knot + range…..and tonight we barely had 10knots! At least the direction was still a perfect S-SE but light wind downwinders are rare in Cape Town and it was good to see 30+ paddlers take part.
Paddling in these conditions is about milking every little push you can find and straight off thestart, Brigette van Aswegen showed her intentions. Brigette is training for the ISA Worlds in Nicaragua and her form is clearly improving rapidly as she took off, leaving ladies and gents alike, in her wake. Mishka Steyn caught up and stuck with Brigette but Brigette held it to the line and took a well deserved win in 1.08.12 with Mishka a mere 13 secs behind. Monika Wolgemuth took a fine 3rd in 1.15.03 while Maleen Hoekstra decided the boat was a better option as the last week of paddling was taking it’s toll. → READ MORE
As was forecast, conditions peaked properly for the 2nd race in the 2014 PRIMI Naish Downwind Dash Series here in Cape Town, South Africa.
Swell at 3.5 meters and 17 seconds had most of the fleet dreading hopping in the water at Milnerton Lighthouse and especially dodging the rocks at the exit in Big Bay. The wind was a pretty standard 22-30knots whipping up beautiful runners for the entire 10 km downwind run. With conditions looking a little ominous, the field had been whittled down to 27 of the more experienced paddlers. → READ MORE
After sitting it out for 3 weeks straight we finally managed to get wind for our Wednesday night race. The wolf-pack has been feasting on 4-5 downwinds per week – and tonight we got very contestable conditions with a 15-23knot breeze and a solid 2-3m swell pounding the put in and exit areas.
30 paddlers lined up with a good handful of newcomers. Dani Reinhart from Switzerland who took 2nd to Ethan Koopmans at the NISCO Worlds in Las Vegas last year, swapped out his windsurfer and flatwater SUP board for a downwind Glide. Sebastien Cattelan made a welcome return on his inflatable but promptly broke his paddle and canoed his way to the finish where he chose to not go through the finish gate to register a DNF….never a dull moment! → READ MORE
Chris Bertish has made a name for himself doing things a little differently: First guy to paddle in (not tow) at Jaws in 2000, winning Maverick’s Big Wave Invitational in 2010, in the biggest wave in recorded paddle in history (on a borrowed board because his didn’t show up) and then stand up paddling 320km up the South African West Coast in 2012, completely unassisted & unsupported, facing sharks, massive waves and unfavourable winds whilst carrying everything (tent, food, comms etc) on his board.
This time round he’s turned his focus back on one of his first loves of SUP – downwinding. Chris was the first guy to do our local 10km Cape Town Milnerton downwinder which has since grown into the annual PRIMI Naish 20x race series. He was unbeatable for the first 3 years and held the course record up until recently as well. I had the pleasure of joining him in 2011 on a 65km downwinder from Cape Town Waterfront to Yzerfontein – it took us 7 hours and I spent an hour in the support boat because he’d gotten too far ahead…. That was one of many occasions where I realised this guy is not your average Joe….
The latest challenge Chris decided to tackle, was the 12 hour open sea record, which supposedly stands at 120km. Chris reasoned that our South Easter would help propel him up the coast at speeds in excess of 10km/h, meaning 120km was his goal. → READ MORE
The 2013 PRIMI Naish Downwind Championship decider was held at Woodbridge Island, Milnerton on 11th Dec. The race takes the paddlers 10.1km downwind to Big Bay. Conditions were very contestable with 17-23knots of wind and no swell.
As the country mourns the loss of one of the worlds greatest leaders, our paddling fraternity dedicated this paddle to the life of Nelson Mandela and held a one minutes silence prior to the start in his memory. It was quite emotional event having Robben Island as a backdrop, just trying to fathom how Madiba managed to come from incarceration to making such a profound difference in all of our lives – Respect.
But back to the paddling – Dylan Frick was holding the lead going into the 10th and final race of the season. 4 races were cancelled due to lack of wind but fortunately the weather co-operated making it our 6th completed race this year… → READ MORE
A fresh bout of wind rocked up just in time for the 5th race of the PRIMI Naish Downwind series – 15-22knots and a 2-3ft wave made exit and paddling a breeze. Everyone got through the breakers unscathed and in start one it was Rory Smyth who shot out of the blocks and got a great start. Mishka Steyn also featured prominently as the first group set off for the finish in Big Bay in fine fashion.
Second start was again dominated by Dylan Frick who paddles hard and fast from the very first stroke. Ethan Koopmans didn’t give Dylan too much rope this time and these two set off on a battle royal never before seen on our downwinders. The two followed each other on every run so they at one point where way off line and even offered a glimmer of hope for the pursuit team of Peter Petersen, Joshua Robertson and Brad Adams – it remained all but a glimmer and never more…. The Bertish brothers, Greg and Chris were absent due to injury and other commitments, while Ivan van Vuuren was a non-starter as the wind did not exceed 25knots….This left the battle for the lead entirely to Dylan and Ethan and opened up opportunities for the lower placed paddlers to make their mark. → READ MORE
Finally we got the wind to coincide with our weekly Wednesday night PRIMI Naish Downwind Dash – we’ve been doing 4-5 social downwinds a week for the month of November, but with no wind on Wednesdays it means this was the first race since October 23rd.
Click through for the full story… → READ MORE
Cool little clip courtesy of our South Africa correspondent Peter Petersen, showing off the skills of nine-year-old Cameron Tripney on his first ever downwind run.
So… how many of us had the guts to paddle through 25+ knot winds in a really cold patch of water that’s famous for its giant sharks… before our tenth birthday? → READ MORE
The third event in the 10 race “PRIMI Naish Downwind Dash Series” finally saw some decent wind with 20-30knots fanning the 10km course from Milnerton to Big Bay. Dylan Frick has been running riot winning everything he’s entered for as long as one cares to remember – but strong wind downwinds have not always been a favorite with him, so tonights paddle was wide open.
Chris Bertish is always a firm favorite in strong downwind conditions but his pre-race prep programme may have broken a lesser man. Sunday he did a 67km downwinder un-assisted in under 7 hours, then he went for a short downwind with his girlfriend in Langebaan that same afternoon. Monday he went to gym and swam, same on Tuesday before doing the Milnerton – Big Bay 10km downwind as a warm-up for tonights race only just making it back in time for the start. Surely his batteries would be low by now? → READ MORE
5-10knots of Southerly wind, with a touch of SW at the finish, made for marginal downwind conditions during race #2 of the 2013/14 PRIMI Naish Downwind Dash Series. There were some bumps and there were also 35 takers for the challenge – including a welcome comeback for Chris Bertish. Chris’s return was much awaited as he is a multiple SA downwind champion and has spent the past months getting to grips with the SIC bullet 17’ which has had so much success in Hawaii. The talk of the night was whether Chris on the Bullet was enough to unseat the seemingly unbeatable Dylan Frick on his modified 14’ Sprint. → READ MORE
The summer winds kicked in 5 days prior to first our race night and many SUP’s, surf skis and a lonely OC6, took advantage by clocking numerous practice runs.
It was the first race of the 2013/2014 PRIMI Naish downwind season after a 6 month hiatus. Click through to see how it all went down… → READ MORE
The fifth and final race in the 2013 SUPSA National Race Tour was held at Germiston Lake, Johannesburg on the 7th of Sept. The Germiston Lake area was populated in the hey-days of gold-mining and rumour has it it still packs plenty of gold and other minerals below the heavy weeds that have now made weed fins compulsory equipment for paddlers.
Germiston is sitting at 1600 meters (5,200 feet) altitude, so the air is somewhat thinner than down at the coast, which would take its toll on the visitors from the coast. The region is also extremely dry this time of year – the locals claim it’s drier than Kimi Raikonnen’s humour and that even the camels left for Sahara some time back… The air temp was 25 degrees celsius with virtually no wind, or in other words:perfect flatwater racing conditions. → READ MORE