Durban – The annual Bay Union King of the Bay surf ski race has been cancelled, after being postponed because of the impact of pollution and the recent flooding on the Durban harbour.
On Thursday night, the organisers said they would now look forward to hosting the event in its usual May timeslot next year.
“The Mercury” reported this week that an environmental conservation organisation, Adopt-a-River, has raised concern about the high E coli levels in Durban rivers, including the uMngeni River.
Explaining the reason for the cancellation, the organisers said in consultation with the host club and the sponsors, the organising team agreed that the continued high levels of pollution in the harbour made it unsafe to host the 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.
Race director Neels Meyer of Stella Canoe Club said due to the enthusiasm for the event it had postponed rather than cancelled when it could not be held earlier this year.
“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.”
The organisers have decided to set their sights on the 2023 edition.
“The safety of the paddlers and beachgoers is of paramount importance to us,” said Bay Union managing director Nick Keary.
More information can be found at www.wintersurfskiseries.co.za