Newsletter – 8 June 2016

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What is the FNB Durban Downwind?

2016Poster600The Durban Downwind began its journey as Durban’s premier downwind surfski race in June 2014 when it hosted the South African Surfski Championships, ultimately won by Jasper Mocké and Nicole Russell respectively.

In 2015 the race was added to the World Surfski Series calendar as a title race and with this came a new format of one race rather than a five-leg series, with a window period of two days. This window period worked well and the wind blew 25 knots for the paddlers from around SA and abroad to enjoy during the S1 clash. The race was won for the first time by a foreign paddler as Michael Booth from Australia clinched a nail biting finish with Dawid Mocke and Matthew Bouman finishing second and third in the closest race of the world series for the year.

Now, in it’s third year, organisers are looking forward to hosting international paddlers as well as many of South Africa’s best in a show case of downwind paddling. With the awesome backing of title sponsor, FNB the event boasts an amazing R40 000 prize purse across its various age categories and stands as Durban’s premier surfski event.

The format for 2016 will be a 26km race between La Mercy and Marine SLC with the course direction dependent on the wind direction on the day and the two day window period giving organisers the best possible chance of taking advantage of the best available conditions on 25 and 26 June. The singles and doubles races will take place simultaneously with the singles clash being the primary focus however doubles are still welcome at the event.

How to Enter?
The FNB Durban Downwind is a pre-entry ONLY race with an entry fee of R250 for a single and R400 for a double (both paddlers). For safety reasons, we will not be able to accept entries on the day.

Entries can be submitted online HERE.

We have two early entry lucky draw prizes from Thule to give away over the next couple weeks so make sure you get you entries in now to be in line to win these great prizes!

Entries close at midnight on 22 June 2016 after which your only other entry option is to do so at registration on Friday, 24 June from 5-7pm at Marine SLC. Please note these late entries will cost an extra R50 per paddler!!!

FNB’s gift to the first 100 entries
The first 100 paddlers to enter will receive an awesome moisture management event race shirt so be sure to get your entry in now to avoid missing out!

Prize money
Check out the prize money template HERE.

The FNB Durban Downwind aims to wait for the best possible conditions available on race weekend with conditions potentially being extreme. Paddlers need to be confident downwind paddlers to take part in this event, despite the event taking safety very seriously. We don’t want to be ‘big brother’ and having to shout at paddlers on the day, so here is a nine point check list for all the safety required (as per CSA rules):

1. PFD (bright colour)
2. Leash
3. CSA race number (on both sides of the surfski)
4. Cellphone with airtime
5. Safety Trx app loaded and running on your phone
6. A whistle
7. Bright coloured clothing (watch out for the race shirt from FNB for the first 100 paddlers, its bright!)
8. Bright stickers on your boat (recommended 30% of both front and back decks)
9. Bright stickers on your paddle

Without the correct proficiency or any one of these items, the race safety crew reserve the right to withdraw a paddler’s entry or stop a paddler from racing at any time they see fit. Please make sure these safety requirements are met, not just for us as organisers but, most importantly, to ensure you are safe on the ocean!

A big thanks to FNB for their support of our event. Without their backing we simply would not be able to offer the great value that we do to you, the paddlers!

FNB are a huge supporter of paddling in KZN, backing our sport through their title sponsorship of Marine Surfski Series as well as the Dusi Canoe Marathon. Please support the sponsors who support our sport wherever you can! Simply email if you need any information regarding switching to FNB.

Stay in Touch
If you have any further questions regarding the FNB Durban Downwind Surfski Series or want to stay up to speed with all that is happening, visit our website, ‘Like’ us on Facebook (Durban Downwind) or follow us on Twitter (@MarineSeries)!

Barry Lewin
Race Organiser

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