Millers Downwind Series: Race 1

Yesterday saw the start and first race, of the Millers Downwind Series. 38 frothing paddlers met at False Bay Sailing Club for what was promising to be an all time run. At the club we were seeing a live wind reading averaging 30 knots. The anticipation was rising as boards were being loaded onto the trailers, and we made our way to the start line, at Millers Point.

We arrived at Millers and the conditions were absolutely perfect, a steady 25-30 knot South Easter was lining up from the Millers slipway straight onto Fish Hoek Beach. Some last minute tactics were exchanged by the seasoned pro’s and advice was given to some of the new comers. A few hi-fives were thrown around for good measure and then it was time to start! The starting procedure was staggered, which would ensure all groups would hit Fish Hoek Beach at roughly the same time. Off first and the biggest of the groups was the “Shark Bait” group. This group consisted of two prone paddlers (Kit and Brett), Brad Ewing at 16, our youngest competitor, the newcomers and 4 ladies (5 in total including Tarryn) a new record for the Millers. 15 Minutes later the whistle blew for the “Shark Spotters”, which to the dismay of the crowds, included one of the favorites Greg Bertish, as well as Tarryn King, hot off her US tour and top 10 finisher of the Pacific Paddle Games. Last but not least, 5 minutes later it was the start of the “Shark Warriors”.

'Shark Bait' group off to a good start

‘Shark Bait’ group off to a good start

 

"Shark Spotters" share some last minute tactics

“Shark Spotters” share some last minute tactics

 

'Shark Spotters' making their way to the start

‘Shark Spotters’ making their way to the start

 

'Shark Spotters' charge off from the starting block

‘Shark Spotters’ charge off from the starting block

 

Greg Bertish on the left | Mike Theron & MIke Oxley on the Right Heading off with the 'Shark Spotters'

Greg Bertish on the left | Mike Theron & MIke Oxley on the Right Heading off with the ‘Shark Spotters’

 

Leaving the slipway, it was a 100m crosswind dash in order to set a good line. From there, it was smooth sailing straight past Roman Rock Lighthouse, and into the Fish Hoek Bay. Fresh off the plane we saw Tom King immediately pulling away from the rest of the ”Shark Warriors”, who had all taken a tighter line after noticing some of the “Shark Spotters” getting blown a little deep. With Tom flying to victory, the real race was for second place, where we saw a battle go down between Gary Van Rooyen, Pete Peterson, Sean Avni and Petro Muskas. Throughout the first half it was anyone’s call between Sean, Gary, Peter and Pietro, but shortly after Roman Rock Lighthouse, we saw Gary, Peter and Sean pull away from Pietro, and from here to Fish Hoek they were run for run. Coming up to the beach it was Sean and Gary who managed to get a wave ahead of Peter and touching the beach first was Sean who pipped Gary to the Post by 1 Second.

 

Gary van Rooyen and Pete Peterson head to head from the very beginning

Gary van Rooyen and Pete Peterson head to head from the very beginning

 

'Shark Warriors' heading off

‘Shark Warriors’ heading off

 

Smiles for miles over some celebratory beers

Smiles for miles over some celebratory beers

 

Not long after the entire field was in, hi-fives were making the rounds, smiles were the trophies of choice and the beers were flowing.

A big thanks to all the participants, drivers, time keepers (Candace and Lizanie) and Sponsors : Coreban and Xpression on the Beach.

See you all on the 7th of November for Race number 2.

 

Results