With plans to host the ICF Ocean Racing World Championships in the Spanish town of Lanzarote in the first week of July, Canoeing South Africa has rubber stamped plans to stage a new two-day surfski event in Durban on 10 and 11 April that will double as the national single and double ski championship and serve as the trials for the national teams.
The races will be based at DUC off Vetch’s beach and will be staged to take best advantage of the prevailing weather conditions to provide downwind ocean racing conditions, with the best of the weekend’s conditions earmarked for the single ski race.
The new event will be run by a committee of experienced surfski administrators, under the authority of CSA surfski committee head Peter Cole.
“The ICF is reviewing the plans for the Worlds in the first week of April, as there are still a lot of unknowns regarding Covid-19 regulations and how it affects travel,” said Cole.
“For us, it is important to stage our national championships, and the KZN team has been asked to organise it as part of the agreed rotation of the SA Champs,” he added.
While the local organising committee under Dave Harker sets about fleshing out the plans for the weekend, they have confirmed that they will race over a 28km course from DUC to Amanzimtoti if a North Easterly wind is blowing and a 23km course from DUC to Mdloti if the weather is coming from the South West.
The weekend of downwind racing will attract surfski enthusiasts from the Eastern and Western Cape to Durban, as well as the band of Gauteng surfski enthusiasts that regularly support the event.
It will fall a fortnight after the conclusion of the popular Friday night Marine Surfski Series, which has been drawing big fields to its weekly races.