After racing onto the podium and winning the national Under 23 river marathon title at the Fish River Canoe Marathon on the weekend, East London local Matt Fenn has set his sights on the Dis-Chem Pete Marlin Surfski classic in his hometown on 5 and 6 November.
The Border ace knows that the field will include some of the world’s best surfski paddlers and some of the newly crowned global title holders from the recent ICF Ocean Racing World Championships in Portugal, but says that the local paddlers always enjoy the advantage of their knowledge of the local conditions.
“Some of the Border locals know a thing or two about the course, mainly on the points,” said Fenn.
“Out at sea I know everyone will bring their A game and will be really strong. I am very excited to see how it goes and I hope I can get some advantage from being a local.”
Fenn will have his brother Josh Fenn, who won the Under 23 silver medal at the ICF Surfski world title deciders in Portugal, as an ally and adversary on the water, and says the sibling rivalry is healthy for both of them.
“I always try my best to beat him!” he said. “He is flying at the moment, so he will definitely be up there. If I finish near him I will be happy.”
“The depth of surfski paddling, looking at the world champs, is just ridiculous, and that means the Pete Marlin is definitely going to be a hotly contested race.”
“I am very excited for the Pete Marlin,” he added. “It is one of my favourite events on the calendar.”