30 June 2008Hank McGregor paddled a perfect race in testing rough sea conditions to win his second Durban Surf Ski World Cup title on Sunday in a contest that was laced with intrigue and ultimately decided by tactics and composure on the water.McGregor pinned his ears back and stuck to a line the he felt would be the best straight course from the start at Vetch’s Pier in Durban to Westbrook beach outside Tongaat, while around him the elite paddlers fell foul of tactical errors and lapses in judgment in the three-metre high seas and a south-westerly wind that gusted up to thirty knots.‘Conditions were perfect for me’“Conditions were perfect for me, but I actually didn’t know whether I had won the race until I reached the beach finish,” said a relieved McGregor after the race – relieved because he had been despondent to see a ski finish ahead of him. It turned out that it belonged to a back-marker who had enjoyed a fast race from their reversed-order start.It was only once he had asked the race timekeeper, Margie Oliver, where he had finished, and was told that he had won, that McGregor could punch the air in triumph.The race provided a captivating duel as McGregor stuck to his straight line option, while talented Durban youngster Clint Pretorius opted for a line much further inshore. Cape ace Dawid Mocke went two kilometres out to sea, while the defending champion, Oscar Chalupsky, switched lines throughout the race.‘I panicked’“Hats off to Hank as he raced a great race, but I can’t believe that with 45 years of experience I panicked and changed my mind in the middle of the race,” said Chalupsky, who was unnerved by reports that Mocke had taken the lead with his gamble to race far out to sea where the runs were formidable.Mocke conceded that he too had strayed too far out to sea, even though he had stuck with the readings from his GPS Navigation device. “Suddenly I started getting this reading from my GPS telling me to go in closer, and I realised that I was too far out,” said Mocke afterwards.He cut sharply towards shore as the race neared the finish at Westbrook Beach, but could only watch as first McGregor reached the finish and then Pretorius, leaving him in third place overall.Second placeIt was, however, enough to see him leapfrog into second place in the final World Series rankings, ahead of Tahitian Lewis Laughlan, who did not fare well on the day and finished eighteenth overall.Oscar Chalupsky finished fifth, just behind his younger brother Herman, who had doggedly persisted with a line closer inshore throughout the race.His fifth place was enough to wrap up victory in the World Series rankings for the veteran surf ski paddler, after he held off the challenges of Mocke and Laughlan.Women’s winnerThe women’s title was successfully defended by Cape Town star Alexa Cole (nee Lombard), who thrived in the big downwind conditions. She led the ladies race from start to finish, holding off Kiwi ace Katie Pocock, to win by less than 30 seconds.“I had no idea where I was in the race because the sea was so big and I never saw any of the other girls,” said Cole. “When I got to the finish I was trying to concentrate to make sure I didn’t make a mistake in the shore break. Then I heard over the loudspeakers that I was the first woman home.“I also heard the announcer saying that Katie (Pocock) was right behind me, which added just a touch of pressure as I was coming in through the big shore break!”StungIn addition to encountering dolphins and flying fish during the race, Cole was also stung on the hand by a bluebottle, which caused uncomfortable swelling of the glands in her arm.“The downwind conditions were just perfect for me,” said Cole afterwards. “It wasn’t as big as last year’s race, and I never felt out of control.”Durban star Michelle Eder wrapped up third ahead of Nathalie Veckranges and Tiffany Kruger.Tough conditionsThe thrilling action on the heaving seas north of Durban proved to be too much for the junior world marathon champion Grant Van Der Walt. Racing in his first surf ski race, the Johannesburg schoolboy overshot the finish and was eventually rescued from the beach at Princes Grant, 20 kilometres north of the finish.Durban paddler Steph De Robbillard also caused anxious moments for his seconds and family. He was unaccounted for late into the day, until he was located at Tinley Manor.Scottburgh star Shadrack Mkhize excelled, finishing just ahead of the first double ski, paddled by Butch Murray and Gary Albers. Kelly Howe and Thomas Prior took the mixed doubles class, while Jenny Cullinan and Bettina Risch were the first all women’s double ski crew home.RESULTSDurban Surf Ski World CupMenHank McGregor (RSA) 1:56:24Clint Pretorius (RSA) 1:57:07Dawid Mocke (RSA) 1:57:40Herman Chalupsky (RSA) 1:58:59Oscar Chalupsky (RSA) 1:59:01Jeremy Cotter (Aus) 1:59:37Tim Jacobs (Aus) 1:59:47Dean Gardiner (Aus) 2:00:48Matt Bouman (Aus) 2:01:44Daryl Bartho (RSA) 2:02:59 LadiesAlexa Cole (RSA) 2:21:01Katie Pocock (NZL) 2:21:05Michele Eder (RSA) 2:25:44Tiffany Kruger (RSA) 2:29:43Natalie Veckranges (RSA) 2:36:45 SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publicationor on your website?See: Using SAinfo material
Govt. to seek death penalty for Kopardi rapists Mr. Nikam had argued that a criminal conspiracy was hatched by the three accused, Jitendra alias ‘Pappu’ Shinde, Santosh Bhaval and Nitin Bhailume for the rape and murder of the minor. He said Shinde (accused no. 1) attempted to molest the girl five days before the actual crime that took place on July 13.The Kopardi crime spurred a wave of ‘muk morchas’ (silent rallies) from the Maratha community across the State and buttressed the community’s claim for Maratha reservation and a curb on the misuse of the Atrocity Act.Also Read The Ahmednagar police first arrested Shinde (25) from Shrigonda, Bhaval (36) from Karjat.Bhailume (26 from Pune. All three were contractual workers in private companies or construction sites.The incident was likened to the 2012 Nirbhaya rape case in the extent of its brutality, with medical reports suggesting that violence of a particularly feral nature was inflicted on the 15-year-old girl, who belonged to the Maratha community.Reports stated that the victim’s limbs were broken, her arms dislocated from her shoulders, and her skin shorn from her body. After the crime, the accused, who belong to a lower caste, allegedly threatened the parents of the victim that they would file an atrocity case against them if they dared to lodge a case of rape and murder. The Ahmednagar district and sessions court in Maharashtra on Monday rejected a petition of the defence counsel for one of the accused in the Kopardi rape and murder case seeking the summoning of Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam as one of the witnesses.Last month, Balasaheb Khopade, lawyer for Santosh Baval, one of the accused in the rape and murder of a minor in Kopardi village last July, submitted the unusual petition in the court.The reason the defence counsel gave in the petition for naming Mr. Nikam as one of the witnesses was that he was ostensibly ‘biased’. Advocate Khopade, along with his daughter, advocate Vijaylaxmi Khopade, had accused Mr. Nikam of ‘coaching’ witnesses in his home and maintained that fabricated documents were submitted as evidence by the prosecution.Following the quashing of his petition, Mr. Khopade said he would move the Bombay High Court on the same. He said the Ahmednagar court had given time till July 24 to review the state of the appeal on his petition (summoning Mr. Nikam) in the High Court.In his petition, Mr. Khopade pointed to the big time lag between the appointment of Mr. Nikam as Special Public Prosecutor (barely 10 days after the rape incident) and the filing of the charge sheet naming 70 witnesses on October 7 last year (86 days after the crime).The 350-page charge sheet that was filed by the Ahmednagar police under sections 302 and 376 (a) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) set forth testimonies of the 70 witnesses, including the girl’s kith and kin.Also Read Ahmednagar tense after brutal murder of minor girl
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Khursheed Alam was released on a parole for just three hours on Wednesday to attend the last rites of his younger brother Shahnawaz Alam, who died of lung cancer on Tuesday evening.An official said the former employees union leader who joined the PDP a few years ago, was shifted from the Centaur Lake View hotel, a designated sub-jail, on Wednesday morning to attend the last rites here.“Mr. Alam was escorted by a posse of security personnel to Khanyar and was again whisked away after the burial. We expected the State government to release him for at least four days so that he could participate in all the congregational prayers to be offered,” a relative said on the condition of anonymity.A police official said the agencies were “weighing the options to release him again to attend the congregational prayers”.Mr. Alam was among 179 political leaders arrested in the crackdown launched on the mainstream leaders in J&K before the Centre revoked J&K’s special status.