The Cape Point Challenge, an iconic race which started in 1980. It is a 50 km race starting in Scarsborough, around Cape Point to Fish Hoek.
Occasionally, due to weather conditions, the course is reversed. In order to compete in this race, you must qualify at one of the many qualifying raced during the year. This ultra ocean marathon always lives up to its grueling reputation, and as the website promises, you:
Paddle along this beautiful section of coastline starting from Scarborough and into the waters of the Cape Point Nature Reserve, past Olifantsbos, Platboom, The Cape of Good Hope and the dreaded Southwestern Reefs around Cape Point - the South Western most point of the African Continent . Here rugged rocks and sheer cliffs tower more than 200 metres above the sea, cutting deep into the ocean, providing a spectacular backdrop. Once around the point, you enter the quieter waters of False Bay, (past the old stop Buffels Bay) on to Millers Point. With any luck, you'll surf the runs home to Fish Hoek on the famous Millers Runs course.
With brutally flat conditions, the race this year took place on Saturday, December 17. There was a light southeaster blowing, but generally calm conditions with a big slow swell.
In the men’s race, Hank McGregor and Jasper Mocke pulled away from the rest of the elite paddlers early and worked together until McGregor put down the hammer and left Mocke before rounding the Point. By the time he got to the Point, McGregor had 3 km on Mocke, although Mocke managed to close some of that gap throughout the race. Finally towards the end of the race, wind conditions picked up and McGregor was able to use the runs to his clear advantage.
McGregor continued his 2016 domination in all-things-paddle by taking first place. This is his 7th win of the Cape Point Challenge, and his 5th consecutive win. Jasper Mocke maintained position in the race to take second place, with Kenny Rice claiming third. Yannick Laousse and Oscar Chulupsky rounded out the top five, respectively.
In the women’s race, Hayley Nixon claimed first place. This comes on the heels of her winning the World Surfski Series for 2016. Bianca Beavitt took second, and Bridgette Hartley finished third.
Full results can be found here: http://www.durbansurfski.com/2016/12/19/cape-point-challenge-2016/
Photo credits: Owen Middleton