Wade Krieger and Jenna Ward claimed wins at the opening Wall and Back Surfski Series race at the Suncoast Pirates Surf Lifesaving Club on Friday.
The opening salvo was missing defending champion Hank McGregor, however the competition between winner Krieger and Matt Bouman was always going to be interesting.
“It was a tough race especially taking on Matt (Bouman) who is a really tough rival and fierce competitor,” said Herbalife/Epic Kayak’s Krieger.
The first race of the 2015 series followed a very similar pattern with Krieger and Bouman fighting it out for the honours.
Krieger took the honours in 2015 and repeated the achievement again in 2016.
“The race got really intense on the way back with Matthew and I going head to head but I have been in that situation before with Hank (McGregor) so I knew that I couldn’t give up,” said Krieger.
SMG/Epic Kayak’s Bouman was pipped to the line by just three seconds with Steve Woods completing the podium, finishing just under three minutes behind the winner.
Owing in part to the difficulty of the conditions Euro Steel/Fenn Kayak’s Ward was the only female paddler to take on the first race of the series finishing fourteenth overall.
“It was really fun to be back in the sea racing despite the big surf and choppy water,” said Ward.
View more results here.