Matt Bouman stepped up to the plate when the second leg of the Bay Union Open Ocean Surfski Challenge took the paddlers out into the runs and currents off the Bluff on Sunday, using his expertise to bag the Citadel Open Ocean Challenge, his first win in the four race series.
With a gentle South Wester forecast, the race from DUC was an out-and-back loop to turncans off the fences south of the harbour, offering good runs on the way back, but with the approach of the cold front the wind picked up steadily during the morning, making for tough and choppy conditions for the paddlers.
Bouman used his years of deep water racing experience to good effect as he cantered home to win from the on-form Gene Prato by thirty seconds, and Wade Krieger snatching the last step on the overall podium from Grant van der Walt and Andy Birkett.
"Matt took charge and pulled all the way down to the turncan, and one we turned there were pretty decent runs coming back, and in those conditions Matt is so good," said Prato.
"No one was going to touch him and he just pulled away," he added.
"It was so frustrating actually, because he looked like he was taking it so easy, which just makes it harder when you are trying to catch him," said Prato.
In the women's race, Michelle Burn revelled in the runs to win from Nikki Russell, reversing last week's result, with Kyeta Purchase and Christie Mackenzie behind them.
Burn said that her big base of marathon training had paid dividends but added that she was worried that her heavy training session at Camps Drift the day before might hamstring her.
"Actually most of the girls were at the Drift training, so we were all pretty tired," said Burn, who started the race shadowing Nikki Russell, before making her move just before the 6km mark at the Bluff turncan.
"The wind was strengthening and it was quite choppy, but when we turned, the runs were insane," she said. "I was having so much fun, and when I turned and looked back I had managed to string together a couple of big runs to get ahead of Nikki.
"It was tough when we turned at the harbour, because the final slog into the finish felt like another headwind because of the shape of the Bay, but I was very pleased to able to get home ahead of Nikki," said Burn.
Jenna Ward opted to paddle in a double with Sabina Lawrie, and finished fifteenth overall.
Zoog Haynes and Lance Howarth were the first double ski home, in sixth overall.
The popular 6km short course was won by Matt Mahoun from Steve Evans and the women's double ski crew of Tracey Nuss and Sharon Armstrong.
In the Stand Up Paddleboard class that took on the short course Julian Ryder showed his class by streaking away from Nicholas Park-Ross and Matt Swemmer, followed by Jon Ivins and the form female SUP paddler Lande Williamson.
The weekly Sunday now shifts to the Geriatskis Open Ocean Challenge, starting at DUC at 09:00 next Sunday, July 23.
Bay Union Open Ocean Challenge Series
Summary of Results - Citadel Open Ocean Challenge
1 Matthew Bouman 0:56:36.66
2 Gene Prato 0:57:02.85
3 Wade Krieger 0:57:16.76
4 Grant Van Der Walt 0:57:36.39
5 Andy Birkett 0:57:54.89
6 Zoog Haynes/Lance Howarth 0:57:56.07
7 Clinton Cook 0:58:00.97
8 Barry Lewin 0:58:09.37
9 Richard Lowe/Callam Davis 0:58:25.32
10 Linton Hope/Bruce Wenke 0:58:53.35
11 Bailey De Fondaumiere 0:59:17.66
12 Matt Gunning/Alex Roberts 0:59:30.34
13 Hamish Lovemore 1:00:13.55
14 Shaun Burgin/Donna Winter 1:00:14.70
15 Jenna Ward/Sabina Lawrie 1:00:34.25
16 Tyron Maher 1:00:43.28
17 Herman Chalupsky 1:01:12.64
18 Mark Anderson 1:01:24.10
19 Grant Smith/Nicholas Horn 1:02:02.90
20 Richard Burn 1:03:04.59
1 Michelle Burn 1:04:55.36
2 Nikki Russell 1:05:25.62
3 Kyeta Purchase 1:08:05.91
4 Christie Mackenzie 1:13:34.06
1 Matthew Mahoun 00:47:14,98
2 Steve Evans 00:47:47,64
3 Sharon Armstrong/Tracey Nuss 00:48:17,25
4 Mhlengi Mngadi 00:53:18,39
5 David Rees 00:53:42,76
6 Conraad Purchase 00:54:31,06
7 Ayanda Dube 00:55:42,09
8 Siobhan Sharp 00:56:15,26
9 Mark Pullen 00:56:22,74
10 Roy Thomson 00:59:08,42
1 Julian Ryder 01:07:26,20
2 Nicholas Park-Ross 01:13:38,49
3 Matthew Swemmer 01:13:42,90
4 Jon Ivins 01:23:10,60
5 Lande Williamson 01:25:21,70
Race 3 - July 23, Geriatskis Open Ocean Challenge
Race 4 - July 30, Geriatskis Open Ocean Challenge