Bouman on Marine Surfski Series scoreboard


Words: Kyle Gilham | Photo: Anthony Grote

Durban – Mountain of a man Matt Bouman opened his 2014 Varsity College Marine Surfski Series account with a commanding victory in the Billy the Bums Surfski Challenge on Friday evening while Sharon Armstrong took full advantage of the absence of many of the series’ top performing women to claim victory in the ladies race.

Bouman on Marine Surfski Series scoreboard

A testing surf zone proved tricky for paddlers as they headed out and then back in at the finish with many suffering an involuntary dismount from their skis at some stage of the clash.

Bouman (Epic Kayaks) however breezed through 8km challenge uncontested as he looked to make up for his race one absence and get his series title challenge underway.

“It was good to get a win but I’m quite unfit at the moment so it was a bit of a lungbuster throughout,” said Bouman. “It was a bit tough being back at race pace again after a little break but, at the same time, it was great being back the ski!”

Former South African lifeguard talent turned Australian ironman star Wade Krieger made a welcome return to the local paddling scene as he fended off a stiff challenge from series organiser and Varsity College/Team Jeep competitor Barry Lewin to claim second place.

“Wade and I got away nice and cleanly at the start but Matt came past us halfway through the first lap and we never saw him again,” chuckled Lewin.

“Wade then got away from me on the two legs into the wind and I managed to bring it back on both the downwind legs before we enjoyed a bit of a sprint finish for the line which he took.”

With the likes of Michelle Burn (Fenn/Team Jeep), Danica Bartho (Fenn/Barthos Fish Co.), Jenna Ward (Fenn) and co. all in Underberg for the N3TC Drak Challenge, the door was left wide open for Armstrong to get a rare race victory under her belt ahead of second placed Maya Opperman.

Regular top doubles performer Wayne Wilson teamed up with swimming sensation Sean Dias and the pair raced to a hard-fought victory in the paired category ahead of masters stars Lee McGregor and Alan Hold while Ryan Atkins and Julie Cornelius claimed the mixed doubles victory.

The short course singles clash saw Mthembeni Mkhize finish nearly two minutes ahead of Malcolm Pitt with Trent Baird and Sandile Shange claiming the doubles category.

The McCarthy Toyota Durban Kingsmead Surfski Challenge, race three of the Varsity College Marine Surfski Series, takes place on Friday 25 February at Marine Surf Lifesaving Club at Addington Beach at 17h30. More information can be found at


Long course

1.Matt Bouman 36.18
2.Wade Krieger 37.18
3.Barry Lewin 37.22
4.Bradley Hancock 37.49
5.Mark Mulder 38.40

1.Sharon Armstrong 51.15
2.Maya Opperman 55.29

Junior Boys
1.Luke Criticos 41.18
2.Jordan Clauson 41.38
3.Keagan Kok 43.00

1.Wayne Wilson/Sean Dias 36.46
2.Lee McGregor/Alan Hold 37.04
3.Calvin McKie/Byron McKie 37.50

Mixed Doubles
1.Ryan Atkins/Julie Cornelius 39.22
2.Paul Scruby/Angela Scruby 41.32
3.Jason Ekstrand/Diana Leyden 47.02

Short course

1.Mthembeni Mkhize 23.43
2.Malcolm Pitt 25.39
3.Gareth Hazel 26.26

1.Trent Baird/Sandile Shange 24.42
2.Geoffrey Speirs/Nic Tingle 30.14
3.Clint Sheppard/Row Waldburger 30.30