Durban – The annual Bay Union King of the Bay surfski race has been cancelled, after being initially postponed due to the impact of pollution and the recent flooding on the Durban harbour, with the organisers vowing that the popular event will be back in its usual May timeslot next year.
In consultation with the host club and the sponsors, the organising team agreed that the ongoing high levels of pollution in the harbour made it unsafe to host the popular event, which crosses the harbour from the Silt Canal to the harbour breakwater before heading out to sea for an out-and-back lap to the uMngeni River mouth.
“There is an enthusiasm for the event that we have tried to cater for by postponing it rather than cancelling it,” said race director Neels Meyer of Stella Canoe Club.
“Sadly we have run out of time as we are heading into the windy spring months and hosting a race of this kind which attracts paddlers of all abilities is not viable in the volatile weather,” he added.
After extensive engagement with the surfski community there was consensus to refocus on the popular May date and set sights on the 2023 edition, a sentiment shared by the race sponsors.
“The safety of the paddlers and beachgoers is of paramount importance to us,” said Bay Union Managing Director Nick Keary.
“We want to be clear that Bay Union remains absolutely committed to the sponsorship of this iconic event,” he added.