Featured Race---Cape Point Challenge

2016 Entries are open...... but not for very much longer

There are exactly 3 weeks left until registration for the 2016 FENN Cape Point Challenge.

Entries close on the 5th, of December 2016. Any late entries will attract a hefty late entry penalty.

Next Sunday is your last chance to qualify and win.
Remember one lucky qualifier will win R 900 (your entry fee) , the more qualifiers you do the better your odds. So hurry up and get those entries in and make sure you qualify. Winner will be drawn after the last qualifier. Details to follow

The Cape Point Challenge, better known as the most grueling one-day surf ski race of the year, always lives up to its reputation.

Whether you are racing for the honor of the title, or just want to complete this ultra ocean marathon, the challenge lies in paddling yourself around Cape Point, a feat which will always be one of your proudest.  The race characteristically nurtures a close sense of camaraderie between all competitors because of the accomplishment, whether successful or not, of getting from Scarborough to Fish Hoek.

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 meters 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.

http://www.capepointchallenge.co.za/

Hayley Nixon is 2016 World Surfski Series Champ!

2016 World Surfski Series Champ, Hayley Nixon and Carbonology's Andy Ross

In blazing hot, flat conditions, the women fought it out at the Perth Doctor with South African Hayley Nixon taking the win with a time of 2:09:22.1.  Teneale Hatton from New Zealand pushed to the end, finishing second, less than 6 seconds behind Nixon in the final sprint. Nicole Russell, also from South Africa, rounded out the top three spots.

Tegan Fraser (Aus) claimed the fourth spot, followed by Wendy Reyntjes (Aus) in fifth, Rachel Clarke (NZ) in sixth, and Jaime Roberts (Aus) in seventh.  Complete results can be found here.

Start of Women's Race

Coming into the race on Saturday, the women’s top finisher for the World Surfski Series was up for grabs between Hayley Nixon and Nicole Russell who are training partners in South Africa.  With her win at The Doctor, Hayley Nixon claims the winning title in the World Surfski Series for 2016.

Nicole Russell and Hayley Nixon

Nicole Russell and Hayley Nixon

Teneale Hatton

McGregor Leaves No Doubts

Hank McGregor capped off a phenomenal 2016 campaign with yet another World Series win at the Perth Doctor yesterday.  The 38-year-old South African has shown no signs of slowing down as he has captured the overall World Series title with surgical precision.

 

In addition to winning World Marathon K1 and K2 titles (with Jasper Mocke), Mcgregor has finished the year with surfski wins at Molokai, the Dragon Run, Pete Marlin, Mauritius and now the Doctor.

 

Cory Hill made it a brawl, staying with Mcgregor through most of the race, fading slightly at the end and finishing with a respectable second place.  Hill, the reigning ICF World Surfski Champion, closed out his own remarkable season with consistent form all year, making a strong case as the Heir Apparent to the throne.

Mark Anderson finished strong on the day for a hard-earned third place, just ahead of Dawid  and Jasper Mocke in fourth and fifth respectively.

Top U-23 paddler Mackenzie Hynard moves back up in the overall with a strong showing at sixth, followed by another top finish for American Austin Kieffer.

Kenny Rice, edged out Olympic K1 Champion Kenny Wallace as Brendan Rice completed the top ten.  

It was a day for the strong as high temperatures with winds at 5-10 mph kept surfing conditions to a minimum.

 

Ever have that dream where you're flying?

When it comes to ski porn, everyone has their own take on what constitutes capturing the perfect downwind.

Overlaying dubstep, syncing some rock or just letting the sound of naked carbon cut down a wave are the most commonly used formats.

But what Peter Morgan is doing over in the Mid-Atlantic is set apart. Peter seems to have an uncanny way of creating an ethereal dreamscape, replete with haunting soundtrack set against pulsing water and a silhouetted paddler transcendentally dancing with the waves.                

 It's a strangely hypnotic effect.

Thanks for the contribution!

http://www.valkyriedownwind.com/

 

 

 

 

 

Wave For Wave at the West Coast Downwinder---Austin Kieffer

Kieffer and Mocke going Toe to Toe at the West Downwinder

The flag goes down and already I’m behind, scrambling to get off the line.



There is nothing quite like the start of surfski race. They are notorious for vague starting instructions, no punishment for jumping the line, and a field of eager athletes. Race nerves exist in any sport, but in surfski racing you have to add the worry of being left behind before the race even begins.



That being said, I love it. The nerves keep you on your toes and truly make you feel like you must be ready at all times. You can race your heart out, but if you let your competition get away before the race even starts, then you don’t stand a chance.

Not an easy lot to beat

Last weekend, the West Coast Downwinder was held in Perth, Australia and drew over 160 athletes from around the country and the world. The conditions for the World Series Race were perfect. The sun was shining, it was a pleasant 80 degrees, and the wind was pumping along the coast. As the entire field launched out off the beach, the nerves set in, and the positioning before the race was on.



I have found that the best thing to do at the start of the race is to mark the best guys. Of course, I try to make sure to get my own warm up in and stick to my program, but I am absolutely sure I don’t get caught unaware when the elites line up. When they decide it’s time to go, they can often make a choice even the race organizer can’t reverse. Not to mention the starting rules for this race were; “”when you see the flag go up, be ready”. When the race organizer deems the line ready (could be 5 seconds, could be 2 minutes), he will drop the flag and the race will begin.” It’s already tough drawing an arbitrary line in the ocean between two buoys, but add wind and waves pushing the pack forward while an antsy group of elite athletes  “hold the line”--- it becomes much harder to follow.

Course Runs Tight Along the Coast

The line of boats had already moved well past the set “starting line,” and while I was trying to avoid being crowded out or turned in  the wrong direction, the flag went down.  I lined up next to Jasper and saw him shoot off the line. I scrambled to chase him and luckily was able to pull hard onto a wave right away. The race was on! 



What a start! Immediately, 10 guys pulled ahead of the pack and there I was, surfing beside some of the best in the sport, going wave for wave with Cory Hill, Jasper Mocke, Dawid Mocke, and Tom Schilperoort. Surfing and racing head-to-head are my two favorite parts of the sport. And when you combine them right off the line? I couldn’t help but smile. For anyone who knows me, a smile is not a particularly uncommon facial expression, but this one was special. I was doing what I loved and side by side with my heroes.

Hammer Down!

The race was an absolute battle. Cory and Dawid pulled out ahead and diced it out till the end. My race was a balancing game of pushing hard and surfing intelligently. The surfing was technical. While the race as a true downwind, the course was not completely in the direction of the wind. The waves and wind were angling to shore and racers needed to parallel the coast for 22km. But the waves called to me. Enticing me to drop down their faces, gaining effortless speed. Following the siren waves off course as the recorded GPS speed spike convinced me it was the right choice. The conditions were more challenging than I initially gave them credit. And I realized about midway through the race that I definitely needed more side surfing in my training.



When it was all said and done, I had a blast! I paddled well, gave it my all, and learned a great deal about the conditions. I was proud of my fitness, but it would seem I need more than half a year to build the stamina to trade leads with Cory (who finished first, just ahead of Dawid). And to top it all off, I ended my race with a thrilling run up the beach just behind Jasper Mocke.



With every paddle in the ocean, I can feel myself improving: adjusting to the ocean, the waves, the heat, and the competition. This trip has already been invaluable for my racing and I can’t wait for The Doctor this weekend (last World Title Race of 2016).

ACA Names Joe Glickman for Legend of Paddling Award

The American Canoe Association has posthumously bestowed Surfski advocate, author, competitor, and friend to all paddlers, Joe Glickman with the prestigious "Legends of Paddling" award. 

From the ACA:

The ACA is proud to announce that this year's Legend of Paddling Award is in the name of Joe Glickman. This award is presented each year to an individual for their legendary contributions to paddlesports. Recipients of this prestigious award are inducted into the ACA Paddlesport Hall of Fame.

 

Joe "Glicker" Glickman was the wordsmith of paddlesports. The way he was able to convey the thoughts of all paddlers in an engaging, insightful and comical way was second to none. Joe was a father, husband, athlete, writer, filmmaker, friend, and an all-around good guy. As a two-time member of the U.S. National Marathon Kayak Team, he was an inspiration to all who knew whim and a legend in every sense of the word. The passion he had for paddlesports and ensuring its future success was limitless. His vivacity, kindness, and energy was infectious but it was his selflessness that touched the lives of so many.

 

 
In memory of this incredible man, the U.S. Surfski Championships have announced that they will be awarding the "Glicker Inspirational Paddling Medal" to the top non-elite finisher in the long course, who is racing in the U.S. Surfski Championships for the first time.
 
As an international advocate, coach and mentor to many paddlers, Joe will be sorely missed but his legacy will last forever. A couple of weeks before Joe passed away, his good friend Russ Anderson jokingly implemented a new policy into his training program nicknamed OMMFG (One More Mile for Glicker) where one extra mile would be added on at the end of each session to pick up a little bit of the slack as Joe couldn't paddle as much.
 
Hundreds of paddlers are now donning OMMFG stickers which are dedicated to Joe and the everlasting impression he has left on the international paddlesports community.
 
Joe passed away on May 24, 2015 after losing his baddle with Pancreatic Cancer.
 
The ACA appreciates monumental efforts and love that Joe gave to the paddling community.
 

If you would like more information about the ACA National Awards, please follow www.americancanoe.org/Awards

Chill and Russell Win at West Coast Downwinder

The West Coast Downwinder 2016 ran on Friday November 18. This race is unique in that it runs completely parallel to the Perth coastline for the entire length of the race.  At no stage are you more than a 500 m offshore giving the impression that you are paddling on a wave conveyor belt for 24 kms!

The men's race ended with Cory Hill (Aus) taking 1st place.  Dawid Mocke (RSA) placed 2nd, Brendan Rice (Aus), 3rd, and Mark Anderson (Aus), 4th.  These guys all finished within 1:30 of each other, with Cory Hill racing at an average speed of 10.55 mph (16.98 kmp).

Dawid Mocke, Cory HIll, Brendan Rice

Dawid Mocke, Cory HIll, Brendan Rice

In the women's race, Nicole Russell (RSA) took the win.  Haley Nixon (RSA) came in 2nd, Jaime Roberts (Aus), 3rd, and Wendy Reyntjes (Aus), 4th.  Nicole's average speed was 9.16 mph (14.74 kmh).

Nicole Russel

Nicole Russel

You can see the full results here.

USA Olympic Development Announcement

The USA Canoe Kayak Sprint Selection Committee is pleased to announce the 2017 Olympic Development Program (ODP) National Team Training Squads. (CLICK HERE FOR ODP SQUADS DOCUMENT). The attached document details the inaugural ODP Squads which are divided into the disciplines of Women's Kayak, Women's Canoe, Men's Kayak and Men's Canoe. Each discipline is then divided into Senior, U23, JR born 1999, JR born 2000, JR born 2001, and JR born 2002 or later. Athletes were assigned points based on theirs and their coaches responses to 10 questions about their best ever performances and testing results. These results then further divided the athletes into Elite, A, B and Development Training Squads. The announcement document details the color key and the ODP points margins.

 

The Elite and A National Team Training Squads will be used as a guideline for the National Team Coach, the High Performance Director and the Selection Committee when making decisions on potential support to athletes for the 2017 racing session and as a guideline for pre purchasing flights, accreditation and nominal entries to World Cups and other International Competitions ahead of National Team Trials in Lanier, Georgia on May 20th and 21st, 2017 and for the OHR selection at National Championships in Clermont, Florida on August 2nd to August 5th 2017. It is hoped that this pre purchase plan will result in significant savings for Elite and A Team athletes and their sponsors.

 

The actual National Team Selection Criteria for the various 2017 National Teams will be posted before the end of the year and will be the final decision maker as to who is selected to the 2017 Sprint USA National Teams. Prior selection to an ODP Training Squad does not guarantee that an athlete will race at a World Cup, OHR or World Championships that decision still depends on results at Trials, Pre-World Training Camps, World Cup results and Time Trials.

 

As USA Canoe Kayak coaches we encourage you to please use the training squad information and announcement to encourage your athletes to strive for excellence in paddling as we build up towards the 2020 and 2024 Olympic Games.... 

Source:  http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Canoe-Kayak

Recap---The 2016 Dragon Run

Big showing for the women's division

The 2016 Hong Kong Dragon Run has been Run and won by South Africa's Hank McGregor in the men's event and New Zealand's Teneale Hatton in the women's event. Both victories were hard fought affairs.

Hank and his new V12 at the start at Clear Water Bay

The paddlers woke up on race morning with the good news that the wind had been blowing at a steady 12 to 15 knots all night out of the East North East. By the time the race started this had risen to 15 to 18 knots out of the North East which is the perfect wind for this race. 

When the gun sounded it wasn't long before two distinct packs formed on the way out to the Ninepins. Dawid Mocke led the charge on the left while a group containing the Rice brothers, Matt Bouman, Cain Eckstein and Cory Hill were on the right-hand side. 

After the first 3kms, it was Australian Iron Man and pull up world record holder Caine Eckstein that showed the way. This was his first ocean ski race in three years and part of his preparation for his tilt at the NZ Coast to Coast this coming February and, hopefully, another tilt at the Coolangatta Gold next year. 

Meanwhile, in the women's event, it was Teneale that led out from defending champion Nikki Russell, Rachael Clarke and, the emerging talent, Hayley Nixon. 

By the time the first competitors got to the Ninepin Island rounding mark, after a tough 7km grind across the slop, it was Hank and Cory covering each other's every move and getting first use of the runs. Following closely behind was Sean Rice from Matt Bouman, Dawid Mocke and Caine Eckstein rounding out the top six. 

While in the women's it was a hard fought affair to the first mark with all the main ladies within touching distance of one another. 

The downwind section can be a bit tricky for the uninitiated with swell and wind chop seemingly going every which way. For the experienced Dragon Run paddlers it was what we wanted and it provided a fairly direct line to the second mark - The Kissing Whales. 

Hank and Cory diced backwards and forwards on slightly different lines but ultimately arrived at Kissing Whales at the exact same time.  Cory told me he knew he was in for a torrid time in the last 4km with the World Marathon K1 champion but gave everything he had. The lead changed a couple of times but with about 2km to go Hank dropped the hammer and forged what was to be the winning margin of 18 seconds. 

Hank was extremely happy to come away defending his title in what was probably this years most competitive field. He now heads to the Doctor in Perth to try and claim about the only piece of silverware missing from his crowded trophy cabinet. 

Sean Rice paddled well, as he always does at the Dragon Run, for a fine third while 40 year old Matt Bouman showed he still has amazing speed for his fourth placing. 

Men's Top Ten

1 Hank McGregor - New Epic V12

2 Cory Hill - Fenn Elite S

3 Sean Rice - Think UNO Max G3

4 Matt Bouman - Epic V14

5 Dawid Mocke - Fenn Elite S

6 Caine Eckstein - Fenn Elite S

7 Kenny Rice - Think UNO Max G3

8 Jasper Mocke - New Epic V12

9 Austin Keiffer - Fenn Elite S

10 Ian Black - Fenn Elite S

Men's Top 7

The Ladies race proved to be every bit as competitive as the mens with Teneale Hatton holding off a late charge from Hayley Nixon. Hayley was closing the gap ever so slightly however the finish line came too soon and it was Teneale who secured a memorable win by 33 seconds. 

The race for third and fourth was also an absolute beauty with Rachael Clarke holding off Jenna Ward by a mere 3 seconds. 

Last years defending champion Nikki Russell couldn't find her groove on the day and finished a couple of minutes further back in fifth. 

Ladies Top Five

1 Teneale Hatton -  New Think UNO 

2 Hayley Nixon - Carbonology Pulse

3 Rachael Clarke - Epic V10L

4 Jenna Ward - Fenn Spark

5 Nikki Russell - Fenn Spark

Ladies Top 3

A big congratulations must go out to the race committee for putting on another well run event. We had the best men and women on the planet racing in what is a great test of your all around abilities.  

The Dragon Run is an important event in trying grow our fabulous sport throughout Asia. We had competitors from China, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Vietnam and of course Hong Kong from the Asian region and a host of paddlers from all parts of the globe making this a truly international race. 

To all our sponsors a massive thank you. As any race organizer knows we can't do it without their help. 

So to next year and the ICF World Surf Ski champion will be crowned on this course. We look forward to welcoming everybody from around the world to what should be a defining event for Surf Ski in Asia.

Full Results  

The Fork Less Paddled---Lindsey O'Shea

Sunrise over Big South Fork.  Photo by Shara Sumner

After a long summer of racing, most paddlers are done competing and have settled in to enjoy the colder months on land. But Ted Burnell just doesn't know when to say when. I ran into him at kayak events for several consecutive weeks, and in October he disclosed, "I'm growing tired of seeing you!" Not long after, he suggested we team up for the Big South Fork River Race. Because Ted didn't mind dragging dead weight around in his kayak as long as he'd have a chance to paddle, he agreed to transport me and his Stellar tandem surfski up to the Big South Fork National River and Scenic Area in Whitley City, Kentucky. Ted and I had never paddled a tandem together, but we were pining to be pioneers at the inaugural Big South Fork River Dash.

Ted Burnell and Lindsey O'Shea

Ted Burnell and Lindsey O'Shea

The 8-Mile race was capped at 50 total entrants, and it filled easily. Local paddlers seemed genuinely surprised that people traveled so far to attend the event. Many cozied up overnight in the Alum Ford Campground, at the site of race start. Some unique aspects of this particular race were the wide variety of watercraft represented: entrants included everything from Girl Scout-style canoes to a rowing shell!  There was an OC-1 paddler from Chicago who is more Hawaiian than anyone I've ever met from Hawaii. There was a canoe paddled by a girl dressed as a monster and her partner wearing a monkey mask. One lady mounted an alligator to the bow of her kayak. One stand-up paddler did the whole course barefoot! Big South Fork River Dash was a veritable remix of all the best parts of kayaking: revelry, rivalry, and responsibility.

 

Photo by Lindsey O'Shea

Photo by Lindsey O'Shea

Photo by Lindsey O'Shea

We were fortunate to be able to paddle the race in weather that was cold, but mild for November. I'm always excited to wear pogies, anyway. As we lined up to begin the race, our boat started to fill with water. This kayak has no bailer plugs, so when it sits still, water enters from the bottom. As soon as the horn sounded to start the race, we paddled furiously, but didn't go anywhere. To drain the water and gain forward momentum took far longer than it does in a single ski, but soon enough, we started to make progress. We quickly caught the fast guys at the front of the pack, and I was thrilled! I finally had the opportunity to experience what it's like to be up with the big dogs, who are usually miles ahead of me during any other race. That thrill didn't last long, however. Ted steered Joe DiChiacchio's Ion into a cliff along the bank of the river, and seconds later, we pulled away from everyone, even overtaking the rowboat.

Photo by Greg Davis

Fortunately, that meant we had the first turn entirely to ourselves, without having to consider other vessels while circumnavigating the center buoy. Headed back down the course, we were surprised to see that we had such a significant lead. Big South Fork made for great viewing of other competitors as our paths crossed, and we were able to cheer or joyfully heckle one another up and down the river. Ted deftly maneuvered the 24-foot long barge we were paddling through the second turn, and we were home free. We pulled up to the finish, frigid but satisfied with our performance. We handed the boat off to the Junior ROTC volunteers there from a local high school. They were courteous, respectful, and eager to help assist as necessary. Most of the racers stuck around the boat landing area for several hours, as paddlers of all skill levels streamed in. We swapped stories, played frisbee, and enjoyed one last hurrah of the paddling season.

Only later did I realize that neither Ted nor myself carried a GPS device with us to measure speed or distance. We didn't even have a stopwatch between us! Paddling without continuous data was liberating--we had no clue how fast or how far we had gone. Though we hadn't set a goal, or even a guesstimate, we managed to finish in less than an hour! Regardless of how far or how fast you paddled, every finisher received a colorful commemorative coin, fancier than any other paddling medal I have collected. The trophies were even more impressive: laser-cut wooden slabs detailing a map of Big South Fork Country and a single paddle blade. The raffle, held at the Big South Fork Scenic Railroad depot, was more multifarious than others I had witnessed before. The most unusual prizes were several ghillie suits--those swamp monster outfits hunters wear to decorate with twigs and blend into the forest. We all went home winners, but the true prize goes to race director Gerry Seavo James, who turned a grassroots event into a serendipitous success!

Finishing Medal

Finishing Medal

Ted named his tandem surfski the "Chattanooga Ohana," incorporating the Hawaiian word for "family" to capture the community aspect of the sport. But the paddling ohana obviously extends far beyond Molokai and  Chattajack, with just as warm-hearted folks in Kentucky as I bet you can find in Capetown. Given McCreary County's support and interest in wilderness activities, River Dash has the potential to grow into an alluring annual affair.

Scott Cummins and his father.  Photo by Lindsey O'Shea

Photo by Greg Davis

Epic Kayaks Releases New V 12

Epic Kayaks have released an update on their V-12 model with a clear directional change towards enhancing big water performance.

The following design statement from Greg Barton was released explaining the redesign:

Even though the Epic V14 has been very successful in major, openwater events (including 3 Molokai victories), our team riders expressed the desire for a surfski that is more nimble in the runs. So we added a significant amount of rocker, reconfigured the cockpit to give a dryer ride, moved the rudder forward for more control and added a hint of extra stability to give full confidence when it’s time to lay the hammer down."

Think Kayak Release Updated Line-Up For 2017

Think Kayak have released their 2017 line-up.  The current crop features a retooling of several models from intermediate through high-end ski range.

Evo

Evo

EVO--- The flagship of the Think line will be sporting a new svelte form for the upcoming year.  The volume has been lowered and cutaways at the paddle entry have been enhanced  to increase catch effectiveness.  Debrito closeable bailer replaces previous Venturi model. The hump in the cockpit has also seen a reduction.  

Ion

Ion---The Ion has witnessed a more dramatic departure.  Rocker has been dramatically reduced as well as chines. Creating a sleeker more stable looking version of it's former self. Other adjustments mirror the Evo, with cutaways at the catch, reduced hump, Debrito bailer and lowered volume.

Uno Max

Uno Max---Latest incarnation features a tweaked hull and rocker profile with a slightly widened bucket. Debrito bailer as well.   Hull modifications are aimed at increasing stability and wave performance. 

Little Sister

Uno---Low volume counterpart to the Max.

 

http://thinkkayak.com/

World Surfski Championship Standings 2016

With one title race left to go, Hank Mcgregor has been declared the World Surfski Series Champion, as it is mathematically impossible for him to lose the title with any result in the final race:  Perth Doctor

Hank Mcgregor

Hank Mcgregor

The women’s title, however, is up for grabs between six women.  The champion will be decided on November 26/27 with the completion of the Perth Doctor.

Impressive Women's Field at the Dragon Run

Impressive Women's Field at the Dragon Run


Top Ten Men’s Standings:

  1. Hank Mcgregor

  2. Cory Hill

  3. Dawid Mocke

  4. Matthew Bouman

  5. Jasper Mocke

  6. Kenneth Rice

  7. Barry Lewin

  8. Kyle Friedenstein

  9. Colin Simpkins

  10. Sean Rice

Top Ten Women’s Standings:

  1. Haley Nixon

  2. Jenna Ward

  3. Nikki Russell

  4. Angie Mouden

  5. Chloe Bunnett

  6. Wendy Reyntjes

  7. Teneale Hatton

  8. Rachel Clark

  9. Michele Eray

  10. Sara Rafael


Full information concerning points and standings in the World Surfski Series can be found here.

ACA Approves Surfski--- Will Be Included In Program

The oldest sporting organization in America has adopted the Surfski into the fold.  The American Canoe Association board of directors have unanimously voted to include the surfski within the program. 

This is a significant step forward for the ski in many ways, not the least of which impacts the potential to greatly enhance popularity.    

 

Kenny Howell, back from the 2016 ACA National Paddlesports Conference reporting on the session:

ACA Chief operating Officer Chris Stec (l) and Kenny Howell (r)

 

The ACA committee for Safety, Education and Instruction (SEIC) unanimously approved our proposal for surfski as a unique discipline within the ACA! This is a great leap forward, and I could hardly contain myself these past few days. It opens up so many new possibilities for the sport we love, and we will soon be able to offer ACA sanctioned surfski skills courses, assessments, and instructor certification workshops. Stuff like this just doesn’t happen every day. We had an excellent team composed of several ACA instructors and instructor-trainers from across the USA who helped craft the curriculum and instructor criteria. The heavy lifting was done by Chris Hipgrave (GM of the Nantahala Paddlesports School, ACA whitewater instructor and surfski competitor), Ben Lawry (ACA multi-discipline Instructor Trainer and competitor in many paddle disciplines), and yours truly. At the final committee meeting, which was open to all ACA members, I read the attached letter of intent to help explain our reasons for pushing for a new discipline. We showed Joe Glickman’s movie about surfski as I read the letter, which was a nice touch as it forced the audience to watch the movie instead of staring at me while reading the letter!

Letter of INtent, page 1

Letter of Intent, Page 2

The ACA Board of Directors still needs to sign off on the surfski discipline, but this appears to be a formality. Some admin details and finishing touches remain before we can move forward, but we are well on our way! In the long run, I believe this bodes well for surfski in America. It will help grow the sport safely, and now we have a voice within a great organization. The ACA is America’s oldest sport organization, founded in 1880, with thousands of members and dozens of affiliate clubs nationwide! It’s mission includes not just paddlesports education and instructor training, but environmental stewardship and protection. Other disciplines within the ACA umbrella include River Kayaking, Coastal Kayaking, SUP, Rafting, Prone Paddling, and of course Canoeing.   
Photo by John Dye: ACA National Paddlesports Conference. Surfski Educational session.  

Photo by John Dye: ACA National Paddlesports Conference. Surfski Educational session.

 

Looking forward to a healthy dialogue on surfski education with all our paddling brothers and sisters.
Paddlers ready!
Kenny Howell

 

Mcgregor and Hatton Tame The Dragon.

The 2016 edition of the Dragon Run took place under grey skies and featured rough conditions.

On the Men's podium: 1st Hank McGregor (RSA), 2nd Cory Hill (Aus), 3rd Sean Rice (RSA), 4th Matt Bouman (RSA), 5th Dawid Mocke (RSA), 6th Caine Eckstein (Aus), 7th Kenny Rice (RSA).

This is the third win for McGregor who also took first in 2013 and 2015.

On the women's podium:  1st Teneale Hatton (NZ), 2nd Hayley Nixon (RSA), 3rd Rachel Clarke (NZ).

This was Hatton's first Dragon Run.  Last year Nicole Russell from South Africa took the win.

Full results can be found here.

Oscar Chalupsky Receives Heart Scare

12-Time Molokai winner Oscar Chalupsky received a scare yesterday.  Chalupsky, reports that he experienced abnormal heart flutterings during a training paddle and immediately went for tests.  

He reports that he was diagnosed with arterial fibrillation and was administered a procedure to shock his heart back into rhythm. 

We checked in with Oscar this morning and he reports that he is back at 100% and is intending to return immediately to training and competing. 

The 53-year old paddler has remained active on the competitive circuit this past year including several top placings and a run at winning his thirteenth Molokai title.

Chalupsky getting the all-clear

Top-Tier Paddlers Ready for the Dragon Run Tomorrow

2015 Podium--from left: Adrian Boros, Hank Mcgregor, Sean Rice

The far East is clearly in line with the rising worldwide popularity of the surfski, as well over 100 ski paddlers are currently registered for the Hong Kong Dragon run set to take place Saturday, November 12th.  

The 24 km long course is set as the money race. With $4,500 purse for the top male and female athletes.

This year's event has all the makings of a true world-class smackdown, as top paddlers: Sean and Kenny Rice, Dawid Mocke, Jasper Mocke, Cory Hill, Patrick Dolan, Sam Mayhew, Mackenzie Hynard, Austin Kiefer and Barry Lewin have all signed on to have a go. 

Dawid Mocke

Not to be outdone by the men, the women have brought out the big guns as well, with Jenna Ward, Teneale Hatton, Nicole Russell, Rachel Clarke, Angie Mouden and Hayley Nixon all ready to leave all out there to be the first to arrive att the finish.   

Jenna Ward

The HKDR has shown increasing participation among elite paddlers and is increasing its' stock as a go-to event for many. With the addition of a solid purse and unique location, the race  is poised to continue it's upward trajectory in the coming years.

Check back soon for race results.  

World Surfski Series Set For Big 2016 Finish

With 12 of the 17, World Series events completed it is time to reflect on what has been a very successful year so far. We have successfully ranked 733 athletes and the top 10 ranked competitors make for an interesting read, however, we still have 3 title races upcoming in November.  First up on November 6th East London's Pete Marlin, on the 12th the Hong Kong Dragon Run and  on November the 26th the Perth Doctor. We are likely to see some large shuffling in the final rankings. Hank McGregor is an example of this, Hank has won every race he has competed in, yet is only ranked 8th having only completed one title race. His ranking will change going into the final races of the year and will possibly see him at the top of the final standings. See the Current standings below.

The Current Top 10 Men.

  1. Cory Hill  (2498)
  2. Jasper Mocke (2486)
  3. Mark Anderson (2476)
  4. Oscar Chalupsky (2474)
  5. Dawid Mocke (2474)
  6. Kyle Friedenstein (1968)
  7. Colin Simpkins (1840)
  8. Hank McGregor (1500)
  9. Michael Booth (1495)
  10. Sean Rice (1494)

The Current Top 10 Women.

  1. Angie Mouden (1500)
  2. Michele Eray (1496)
  3. Haley Nixon (1495)
  4. Sara Rafael (1495)
  5. Chloe Bunnet (1493)
  6. Sofia Coelho (1487)
  7. Amaia Osaba Olaberri (1486)
  8. Wendy Reyntjies (1000)
  9. Michelle Burn (998)
  10. Nikki Mocke (994)

Sean Rice Takes The Win At The Dutch Coast Race

Upcoming World Surfski Series Races:          

  • Dragon Run, Hong Kong, China, November 12,  Title Race
  • West Coast Downwinder, November 20 - November 21, Non-Title
  • Doctor, Perth, Australia, November 26 - November 27, Title Race
  • Cape Point Challenge, Cape Town, South Africa, December 17, Non-Title

Source:  ttp://us12.campaign-archive1.com/?u=46032ff1fe5c4fbd13e25fc0c&id=1e4f6c4da8