For the first time in three weeks paddlers could get into the Durban surf following a string of threatening conditions, and it was Matt Bouman who took his first win for the 2017 Illovo Suncoast Pirates Wall and Back Surfski Series on Friday.
Bouman, who recently returned from representing South Africa at the ICF Ocean Racing World Championships in Hong Kong last week, showed very few signs of fatigue as he managed to just fight off Wade Krieger and Gene Prato to take his first win of the 2017 series.
"It was a bit damp out there this evening which might have kept a few people away from the race," Epic Kayaks' Bouman mentioned.
"We had really good conditions though with a lot of help from the bumps that were out there and it's great to be getting back into a routine of starting the weekend with a race on Friday evening."
Despite the absence of a number of the top paddlers as they wrap up their international racing season, Bouman still had to keep his wits about him against a field that would lap up any opportunity should he slip up.
"The Perth Doctor is taking place this weekend so there were a few guys away but there were still enough talented individuals to push the pace and keep the race interesting.
"Both Wade Krieger and Gene Prato are paddling well and we enjoyed a nice tight race to the turn buoy.
"On the way home I managed to squeeze a bit more help from the ocean than they did to narrowly take the win. "It is always a privilege to come out on top against paddlers that you value.
"The Pirates Surf Club and the sponsors have put on an exceptional series for us this year and they have made it really inviting for us paddlers," a satisfied Bouman added.
Siobhan Sharp was the only lady to take on race four of this years series and she equipped herself well on Friday evening.
The doubles showdown is always an exciting one, and race four's tussle lived up to expectations with Lance Howarth and Zoog Heyns taking home the bragging rights ahead of the mixed pair of Shaun Burgin and Donna Winter with Anton Fouche and Linton Hope in second and third respectively.
The fifth and final race of the 2017 Illovo Suncoast Pirates Wall and Back Surfski Series takes place at 17h17 on Thursday 30 November.