The Dunlop Surfski World Cup, taking place in Durban on 26 June, set a world record when 330 entries were received by close of normal entries on 10 June, making it the biggest international surfski event in the world.
The deluge of last-minute entries pushed the number of athletes taking part past the 296 world record set at last year's event, and late entries are now being taken.
Entries have been received from Australia, Hong Kong, Brazil, France and New Zealand, and indications are that entries will be received from a number of other countries in the fortnight before the event.
"We are delighted with the entry, which entrenches Durban's status as the global capital of surfski racing," said race director Billy Harker.
"We deliver brilliant value for money for the paddlers, and the fact that the race starts at the new Marine Surf Lifesaving Club clubhouse at Addington Beach means that there is no risk whatsoever of a mishap going out through the surf, which makes it an attractive prospect for the paddlers."
This year's race will be six kilometres shorter than last year's event. It's a decision that has been well received by the surfski community.
"The intention is to seek good downwind conditions for the event, and that the Dunlop Surfski World Cup should be a good test of downwind paddling ability, so we will adopt a flexible approach to the start time on Sunday, 26 June, to make sure we offer optimal conditions for the paddlers." Harker said.
The event has been boosted by the entries of a large contingent of surfski enthusiasts from clubs in Gauteng, the most yet received from highveld paddlers for the popular event.
Besides the new world record for an international surfski event, Durban also holds the world record for the biggest entry into a domestic surfski event. In May 2003, 525 paddlers took part in a domestic series race.
"Every year the reputation of the Dunlop Surfski World Cup in Durban seems to snowball," Harker added.
"The KwaZulu-Natal coastline seems to deliver every year, and whether we go north to Umdhloti or south to Toti, the scenery is spectacular, and the offshore really exciting."
The Dunlop Surfski World Cup starts at Marine Surf Lifesaving Club, Addington Beach, on Sunday 26 June, and covers 26 kilometres to either Umdhloti or Amanzimtoti, depending on the wind conditions.