20 June 2014
I’m sure all of you who will tackling the first ever FNB Mazars Durban Downwind this weekend are on the edge of your seats right now and, aside from waiting for this mail, are constantly checking the weather.
Unfortunately we certainly are not going to get the epic downwind conditions we were hoping for however we are going to try our best to give the paddlers the best racing conditions possible.
Saturday 21 June – SA Single (S1) Surfski Champs
There is still a lot of left over SW swell from the wind that has been blowing for much of this week and, at worst, we are going to get tomorrow’s racing going with the swell as best we can. Hence, we will be heading from Marine SLC to La Mercy on the north coast with an early morning start at 8:00am!
Yes, we know this is very early – and we apologise in advance to those travelling in from out of town who will have to wake up really early – but this is a national champs and we are trying to take advantage of the best conditions as best we can!
- Race packs – these will be given out at registration tonight from 5-8pm.
- Boat stickers – you will find these in you race pack. PLEASE make you support the sponsors who have shown our event such great support and generosity by putting one sticker on each site of the front of your surfski. Please note – no stickers, no prize money!!! If you are not able to collect your race pack tonight for whatever reason, there will be stickers available at race briefing in the club on the morning of the race.
- Safety – all paddlers MUST have a PFD (life jacket) and a cellphone in a dry pouch. You will not be allowed to start the race without them!
- Logistics – there are a lot of road closers throughout Durban due to the Top Gear Festival so please make sure you plan your route carefully beforehand and leave plenty of time to get to the club. A list of road closures can be found here
07:00 – Paddlers gather at Marine SLC clubhouse & check your batch
07:15 – Race briefing (compulsory for ALL paddlers!) inside Marine SLC clubhouse
07:20-07:50 – Beach check-in. We need to know the exact number of boats on the water so everyone must get their name ticked off in their batch pound before warming up
8:00am – Start of A batch with B and C batches to go in quick succession after A batch
9:30 to 9:45am – First paddlers expected to arrive at La Mercy
- Finish – we have had some question about the surf at the finish. We did a surf check this morning and the surf was not what the reports were predicting. It was 3-4 foot and quite soft this morning. The tide will be high when paddlers are expected in on Saturday which also means a softer landing than in previous years. We will have 2 beach lifeguards and a jetski on surf duty at the finish, just in case, as well.
- Prize giving – There is NO prize giving after the singles racing on Saturday. All prizes will be given out after the finish of the doubles race on Sunday. Rugby will be on the TV’s back at Marine SLC and Robsons will be on hand to supply some well-deserved ice-cold beer after you’ve tackled the 26km national champs!
If you have any questions, now is the time to ask. Please email the race director, Barry Lewin on email@example.com
Sunday 22 June – SA Double (S2) Surfski Champs
It looks like we will switch direction for the doubles race on Sunday with a light NE wind predicted. Therefore the course will be from Marine SLC to Amanzimtoti with a start at 1pm as we look to wait for the wind to pick up a little which should produce some bumps and hopefully some real fun for the doubles crews.
N.B – This may change closer to the time!!! Should this be the case we will let you know via sms , Facebook and Twitter.
12:00 – Paddlers gather at Marine SLC clubhouse & check your batch
12:15 – Race Briefing (compulsory for ALL paddlers) inside Marine SLC clubhouse
12:20-12:40 – Beach check-in. We need to know the exact number of boats on the water so everyone must get their name ticked off in their batch pound. After you have checked in there is a 1km warm up paddle to the start line that will be at the end of the harbor mouth’s North pier.
13:00 – Start of A batch with B and C batches to go in quick succession after A batch
14:30-14:45 – First paddlers expected to arrive at Toti.
Prize giving will be held back at Marine SLC as soon as possible after the race. We hope to update you on the exact time of prize giving via sms on the day.
All that’s left to say is all the best to everyone who will be on the water this weekend, good luck and we look forward to seeing you at registration this evening!