Mocke, Hartley Cruise to Victory in Epic Conditions At SeaDog.

Jasper Mocke Opens His SeaDog Account

Jasper Mocke Opens His SeaDog Account

Read More On The SeaDog Series: https://www.facebook.com/seadogpaddleseries/ 

Race 1 of the Fidelity ADT SeaDog Paddle Series & MountainLion Run Series, sponsored by Great White Sport & Surf, went down in classic SeaDog fashion with record attendance from the 150+ athletes who lined up this past Friday. The race was dominated by newcomer Bridgitte Hartley and regular podium feature Jasper Mocke in a tight battle across all categories.

With the first SeaDog race traditionally heralding the start of summer, it was a classic evening on Fish Hoek Beach as a light south-east wind and 2-3 foot shore break made for an interesting contest arena for both SeaDog paddlers and MountainLion runners. Great White Sport & Surf (55 Main Rd, Fish Hoek), were on-hand to deliver a classy evening.

Jasper Mocke cruises over the finish line at the Great White Sport & Surf Race 1. (Photo: Cape Town Sport Photography)

Jasper Mocke cruises over the finish line at the Great White Sport & Surf Race 1. (Photo: Cape Town Sport Photography)

In the men’s race, a stellar field made victory that much sweeter for Jasper Mocke (Euro Steel Sport/Epic Kayaks & Paddles/Mocke Paddling) as he paddled away from the pack on the second-last lap after a tight group battle for the majority of the race. “It took quite a bit out of me to keep up with Kenny Rice and Nicholas Notten for the first lap. Thereafter, Kenny and I broke away and we went head-to-head for the majority of the race.” said Mocke. “Finally, on the top turn of the second-last lap I got a 10 meter gap on Kenny which materialized into a one or two run gap on the downwind leg, and I held that all the way across the line”.

Rice (Euro Steel Sport/Varsity College/Think Kayaks) was in contention the whole way, and his sensational form from last season, where he won eight of the last ten races, seems not to have abated one bit. Also within shouting distance were Mark Keeling (3rd), Nicholas Notten and Kyle Friedenstein.

In the ladies race it was straight to the top of the podium for Olympic medalist Bridgitte Hartley (Euro Steel Sport) on her maiden SeaDog voyage, after a tough battle with SeaDog stalwarts Nikki Mocke and Kirsten Flanagan. “It was my first SeaDog and it was so much fun! I had no idea what to expect but Nikki gave me a few pointers,” said Hartley. “I had a slow start but once I found my rhythm and picked better lines through the kelp beds on the upwind section, I found myself really having fun and I managed to link some good runs on the downwind leg!”.

Tight racing can be seen as Hartley, Mocke and Flanagan all compete for valuable meters. (Photo: Cape Town Sport Photography)

Tight racing can be seen as Hartley, Mocke and Flanagan all compete for valuable meters. (Photo: Cape Town Sport Photography)

Hartley eventually pulled away from the bunch to claim R500 cash and a well-deserved SeaDog victory.

In the MountainLion Run Series Race 1, a new course shone some light on some exceptional running. Riaan Shaw seemed to cruise across the Fish Hoek beach sand and claimed a well-deserved victory in under 21 minutes. Tristan Bernstein and Josh van Blerk, both deep south locals, rounded off the podium and went home with cash prize money. In the ladies race, young Holly Cleworth didn't put a foot wrong and won her race in fine style. The Niemann mother/daughter pairing were there to finish off the top three. Runners enjoyed the new, easier 5km route which sent them across Fish Hoek beach, towards Kalk Bay and back. The scenic views and easy course made for some big smiles at the festive post-race prizegiving.

MountainLion Runners set off along the beautiful Fish Hoek beach for the new, fun and easy 5km route. (Photo: Cape Town Sport Photography).

MountainLion Runners set off along the beautiful Fish Hoek beach for the new, fun and easy 5km route. (Photo: Cape Town Sport Photography).

SeaDog would like to thank sponsors Fidelity ADT, Great White Sport & Surf, ORKA Paddling Shop & Thule Fitment Center, Bamboo Warehouse, Mocke Paddling, Varsity College, Chalford Wealth, Dunlop Tyres SA, Mugg & Bean Longbeach Mall and IamSuperbar for their unwavering support. For more info on these fine brands, contact SeaDog Paddle Series on Facebook.

Up next is Race 2 of the Fidelity ADT SeaDog Paddle Series & MountainLion Run Series, with numbers expected to stay at an all-time high level as the Cape paddling community gears up for the 25th running of the classic Fenn Cape Point Challenge.

The Fidelity ADT SeaDog Paddle Series &MountainLion Run Series is a fun 7km paddle and 5km run series starting at 18:00 from Fish Hoek Surf Lifesaving Club every Friday. The series runs for another 9 weeks and is never cancelled. For more info please call 082 536 2160 or message the SeaDog Paddle Series on Facebook. All photo’s courtesy of John Hishin & Cape Town Sport Photography. To order, email john@capetownsportphotography.co.za.

Source: https://www.facebook.com/notes/seadog-paddle-series/mocke-hartley-cruise-to-victory-in-epic-conditions/1864132023601045/

Read More On The SeaDog Series: https://www.facebook.com/seadogpaddleseries/ 

Destination--Chattanooga, Tennessee

chatta1.jpg

The meteoric rise in popularity of the Chattajack race has earmarked the last week of October as one of the most significant domestic marathon paddling race dates on the calendar each year. Throngs of competitors migrate to Chattanooga, Tennessee from all over the country and in some cases--the world to have a go at the 31+ mile course.

Visitors to Chattanooga will find a bounty of outdoor activities and an absolutely thriving paddling community.  Enjoying the area does not need to hurt your bank account. You can find many low-cost options available if you know where to look.

So if you’re traveling to Chattanooga for the race or even just want to come to town for a trip, here is your insider’s guide to enjoying a selective list for some of the best of what Chattanooga has to offer.

Starting with the least expensive

Starting with the least expensive

Lodging---It’s free!  Well, not really, but almost.  You cannot get any closer to the start line than Maclellen Island, and you can spend the night for a small fee (or not--people have been known to poach camp--but you wouldn’t do that; right?).  You can purchase a camping pass for $25 that will cover up to ten people. The Island features primitive camping sites as well as an outhouse and dry sleeping shelter with several built-in bunks.  You’ll share the Island with Osprey, a Heron rookery and great views of the city, Walnut Street Bridge and the Bluff View Arts District. It’s not the Holiday Inn, but if you’re on a budget and want keep close to the action, this is your place.  Bonus: a quick paddle across the river and you’ll be at Coolidge Park and can enjoy running water and public bathrooms.

http://www.chattanoogaaudubon.org/maclellan-island-access.html

Hostels are a thing in Chattown.  If privacy isn’t a priority and you’d like to save a few bucks, A hostel is a great way to go. Check out the Crash Pad and En Root for options. Open kitchen, laundry, WiFi, and a common area are all standard.  The Crash Pad offers a free locally sourced breakfast as well.   

http://www.enroothouse.com/

http://www.crashpadchattanooga.com/

Great accommodations at the Crash Pad

Great accommodations at the Crash Pad

Other close albeit more pricey options include Spring Hill Suites by Marriot on Riverside drive and the Hampton/Double Tree by the Hilton are all within spittin’ distance of the start line.  Aside from the proximity to the staging area, staying near downtown has other advantages as well.  Chattanooga begs to be explored and walking is one of the best ways to take it all in. Prices start around $129 per night.

Although a little further away, The Read House and the Chattanooga Choo Choo offer guests an opportunity to connect with a bit of Chattanooga history.

The historic Read House was originally built in mid-late 1800’s and doubled as a civil war hospital.  The hotel maintains the charm of bygone eras and has hosted a slew of celebrities including: Oprah Winfrey, Gary Cooper, Winston Churchill and Al Capone.  

Old World Charm at the Read House

Old World Charm at the Read House

Bring a Ghostbuster Proton Pack and ask for room 311. The room is apparently haunted by Annalisa Netherly, a Chattanooga prostitute found decapitated in the room who is said to haunt it to this day.

The Chattanooga Choo Choo is another good option.  You can stay in the historic hotel or opt for a unique experience by reserving a night in one of the hotel’s fixed train cars. The Choo Choo is on the south side of town, and features many attractions within walking distance of the hotel; options include The Terminal Brewhouse, Revelry Room, Comedy Catch and newly opened Songbirds Guitar Museum all situated on the hotel compound.

Who doesn't love guitars?  Songbirds celebrates the Axe.

Who doesn't love guitars?  Songbirds celebrates the Axe.

Eats:

The South is known for Barbeque and Chattanooga presents a solid collection of candidates to be reckoned with. Shufords BBQ brings a sweet and tangy sauce with just a hint of heat.  Try the BBQ baked potato with a side of their hugely popular Brunswick Stew. The hole-in-the-wall is situated at the foot of Signal Mountain along the way to the Suck Creek Boat Ramp (about mile 10 on the Chattajack course).  Others include: The Purple Daisy Picnic Cafe and Sugar’s Ribs.

Can't go wrong at The Terminal

Can't go wrong at The Terminal

The Terminal Brewhouse is another excellent choice if you’re in the area.  The Terminal has an array of possibilities that include: vegetarian, seafood, pizza, burgers and unique appetizers with plenty of healthy options.  They brew their own beer on site with roughly six on-hand at any given time. Wanna try them all? For about the cost of one pint you can order the sampler flight.

Tremont Tops The Burger List

Tremont Tops The Burger List

Tremont Tavern--In a word--Burger.  Tremont Tavern has been consistently voted time and again as the spot with the best burgers in the area--and they have beer too!

Sluggos---100% vegan menu with well thought out entrees and an eclectic atmosphere.

Sofa King Juicy Burger (get it?) Not quite Tremont Tavern, but pretty good, and bonus for the best shakes in town.

River Street Deli--Don’t let the unassuming name fool you. This is a true New York style delicatessen, run by a true New Yorker.  I know, because when I talked with him, we immediately spoke in secret Yankee code. River Street Deli is square in the heart of Coolidge Park and is walking distance from the old Chattajack launch.  This is one of those places that locals know about and now, so do you.  The food is EXCELLENT!  Try the muffaletta and you’ll be talking with your hands like a pro.

Other great options:

Tupelo Honey--Great Breakfast and solid entrees.

Pickle Barrel--A Chattanooga Original. Greasy spoon, but better.

Embargo 62--Cuban food done right.

Urban Stack--Boutique burgers and mixed drinks.  Yes, they do have a Bacon Manhattan.

The Bacon Manhattan at Urban Stack

The Bacon Manhattan at Urban Stack

Bluff View Arts District (Hunter Museum)--Rembrandt’s Coffee House, Tony’s Pasta and Back Inn Cafe.  Great European styled setting and three restaurants on the same property. You’ll feel so Euro.

Flat Iron Deli--lunch only but if you can get out there before they close, try the cornbread salad.

Yellow Deli--Possibly the most unique place in Chattanooga, if not for the decor, for the history.  Have a look for yourself.  http://www.thestrangeandnew.com/go-urban/2015/7/24/cult-sandwiches-the-story-behind-chattanoogas-yellow-deli

 Oh, and the food is pretty good too--all fresh and handmade.

Provino’s--Strip Mall eating has never been so good. You arrive in suburbia, but once you open the doors you’re transported to a place of garlicky goodness, where the bread and free salad just keep coming. Provino’s has taken on all comer’s and has retained it’s crown as most popular Italian food in Chattanooga.  

 

Beer:

Sampler Flight at Moccasin Bend Brewing Company--Note the attentive bartender

Sampler Flight at Moccasin Bend Brewing Company--Note the attentive bartender

Good craft and local beer options are available for the beleaguered traveler.  The most unique of which is easily Moccasin Bend Brewing Company. Their tagline is “Keep Chattanooga Weird”,  So they clearly embrace beer outside the box. Don’t expect to be treated like royalty when you walk in either.  They are all about the beer here and can be a little curmudgeonly about it. But honestly, the beer is so good, you’ll easily look past it--Think Soup Nazi.

For more standard fare but very good nonetheless, step over to Chattanooga Brewing Company for a solid Ale.

Splitting the difference between the two is the Terminal Brewhouse. Slight twists on old favorites make for a great pairing with the Terminal’s superb food.

 

Outdoor Activities:

Chattanooga is an overachiever in this area. Variety is the name of the game here.  Epic road cycling, mountain biking, rowing, paddling, rock climbing, caving, hang gliding, fishing, hiking, running and swimming possibilities abound.  

Here are a few notable starting ideas:

chatta12.jpg
  • Explore the downtown area on foot or on your mountain bike by combining urban sections with the Riverwalk Trail, which extends from the Chickamauga Dam all the way to the base of Lookout Mountain.  Then ride over to nearby Stringers Ridge for some heart-pumping singletrack with views of the city.

  • Travel up Lookout Mountain to take advantage of great views at Point Park.  Drive a bit further down Scenic Highway to check out hang gliding at the Lookout Mountain Hang Gliding Park. A few miles further and you can hike at Cloudland Canyon.  Adjacent to Cloudland, the 5 points trailhead features up to 50 miles of sweet singletrack for hiking, biking or horses. If the rain has been heavy, you can also grab your WW kayak and poach some class V rapids that cascade through the park.

  • Jump in with the Chattanooga Open Water Swimmers (COWS) for a swim down the Tennessee River.  The COWS usually meet on Wednesday nights at the Coolidge Park boat launch under the Market Street Bridge.    http://www.cowsswim.com/ 

  • Indoor Rock Climbing at High Point Climbing Gym or travel to Sunset Park with up to 81 climbing routes.

chatta13.jpg

Paddling:  

It’s what we’re all here for.  Chattanooga has a very strong paddling community with plenty of diverse choices.

chatta14.jpg
  • Whitewater:  The Ocoee Whitewater Center, host for the 1996 Olympic Kayaking event, is one of the best in the area to get your WW fix.  The Ocoee has up to class V sections and plenty of possibilities in-between.  Didn’t bring your playboat?  The river is crawling with outfitters for both rafting and kayaks.  About a 40-minute drive from downtown Chattanooga will have you thinking you’ve entered Colorado.  Beautiful mountains, a clear lake, and abundant wildlife feature.  The surrounding area is crawling with bears!  

  • Downtown Waterfront: This is where most paddling takes place in the area.  Nothing really dynamic about the water, just lot’s of users out taking in the sights.  Several local rowing teams use this area to train as well as competitive SUP, Kayak and Ski paddlers.  Also widely used by the recreational set as well. Great way to take in the Bluff at Hunter, the area bridges, and the Aquarium. Flow is usually light unless there has been lots of rain.

  • Lookout Creek--About 3 ¾ of a mile down the Tennessee River from Coolidge Park you’ll find Lookout Creek over to your left at the base of Lookout Mountain.    

  • South Chickamuaga--Launch from the Sterchi Farm put in and travel a few miles down to feed into the Tennessee River or travel up river and explore a few miles.

  • North Chickamuaga--Put in at Greenway farms and paddle down to the river side of Chickamauga Dam.

  • Chickamauga Lake--Several locations to launch from.  Marina at the dam is most convenient or Booker T Washington State Park. Under the right conditions, you may get lucky and find a few bumps.

  • Nick A Jack Lake--Continue past the finish of the Chattajack into Nick A Jack Lake proper.  Of all the areas in Chattanooga to paddle, this is your best bet at finding water that will give you lift and push. The fetch is mostly unobscured and coincides with the most common wind direction to create swell on the lake. If you’re watching the wind you’ll need a Southeasterly.  Check out the bat cave if you have time.  The cave is only accessible by boat.  Get there by dusk and you’ll have thousands upon thousands pour out before your eyes.

  • Paddle Meet Up on Maclellan Island.  Every Wednesday night from 6 pm till dusk, paddlers meet on the south side of the Island beach for a general hangout.  Music, drinks, sometimes food and general good times and other debauchery.   If you’re out on the water near downtown Wednesday before Chattajack, stop by and have a beer.     

  • https://www.meetup.com/Chattanooga-Area-Paddlers/

Every Wednesday Night on the Island--Stop By!

Every Wednesday Night on the Island--Stop By!

.

Selected Area Attractions:

  • Chattanooga Ghost Tours--Get the stories behind Chattanooga’s haunts.

  • Tennessee Aquarium--specializes in southern watersheds.  Get to know the waterways and ecosystem you’ll be paddling on.

  • Hunter Art Museum--More Than just arts. Excellent dining options, coffee, views and beautiful European inspired architecture.  Great place for a leisurely stroll.

  • Revelry Room and Track 29 Music Venues.  Local, regional and national acts in a relatively smaller, intimate concert hall.

  • Regan’s Place--Dancing on the Southside of town.

  • Southside Social--Food, Drinks, and---Bowling?  They have a few bowling lanes available along with Bocce ball, cornhole, shuffleboard, ping pong, skeeball and outdoor fire pits.  Did I mention giant Jenga?

These are all a selection of options and really, it’s just an overview.  There is much more to do and see in the area.  Find what works for you and don’t hesitate to ask a local for suggestions. Take your time and enjoy.












 

 

Lodging---It’s free!  Well, not really, but almost.  You cannot get any closer to the start line than Maclellen Island, and you can spend the night for a small fee (or not--people have been known to poach camp--but you wouldn’t do that; right?).  You can purchase a camping pass for $25 that will cover up to ten people. The Island features primitive camping sites as well as an outhouse and dry sleeping shelter with several built in bunks.  You’ll share the Island with Osprey, a Heron rookery and great views of the city, Walnut Street Bridge and the Bluff View Arts District. It’s not the Holiday Inn, but if you’re on a budget and want keep close to the action, this is your place.  Bonus: a quick paddle across the river and you’ll be at Coolidge Park and can enjoy running water and public bathrooms.

 

Hostels are a thing in Chattown.  If privacy isn’t a priority and you’d like to save a few bucks, A hostel is a great way to go. Check out the Crash Pad and En Root for options. Open kitchen, laundry, WiFi, and a common area are all standard.  The Crash Pad offers a free locally sourced breakfast as well.

Other close albeit more more pricey options include Spring Hill Suites by Marriot on Riverside drive and the Hampton/Double Tree by the Hilton are all within spittin’ distance of the start line.  Aside from the proximity to the staging area, staying near downtown has other advantages as well.  Chattanooga begs to be explored and walking is one of the best ways to take it all in. Prices start around $129 per night.

Although a little further away, The Read House and the Chattanooga Choo Choo offer guests an opportunity to connect with a bit of Chattanooga history.

The historic Read House was originally built in mid-late 1800’s and doubled as a civil war hospital.  The hotel maintains the charm of bygone eras and has hosted a slew of celebrities including: Oprah Winfrey, Gary Cooper, Winston Churchill and Al Capone.  

Bring a Ghostbuster Proton Pack and ask for room 311. The room is apparently haunted by Annalisa Netherly, a Chattanooga prostitute found decapitated in the room who is said to haunt it to this day.

 

The Chattanooga Choo Choo is another good option.  You can stay in the historic hotel or opt for a unique experience by reserving a night in one of the hotel’s fixed train cars. The Choo Choo is on the south side of town, and features many attractions within walking distance of the hotel; options include: The Terminal Brewhouse, Revelry Room, Comedy Catch and newly opened Songbirds Guitar Museum all situated on the hotel compound.

 

Eats:

The South is known for Barbeque and Chattanooga presents a solid collection of candidates to be reckoned with. Shufords BBQ brings a sweet and tangy sauce with just a hint of heat.  Try the BBQ baked potato with a side of their hugely popular Brunswick Stew. The hole-in-the-wall is situated at the foot of Signal Mountain along the way to the Suck Creek Boat Ramp (about mile 10 on the Chattajack course).  Others include: The Purple Daisy Picnic Cafe and Sugar’s Ribs.

The Terminal Brewhouse is another excellent choice if you’re in the area.  The Terminal has an array of possibilities that include: vegetarian, seafood, pizza, burgers and unique appetizers with plenty of healthy options.  They brew their own beer on site with roughly six on-hand at any given time. Wanna try them all? For about the cost of one pint you can order the sampler flight.

Tremont Tavern--In a word--Burger.  Tremont Tavern has been consistently voted time and again as the spot with the best burgers in the area--and they have beer too!

Sluggos---100% vegan menu with well thought out entrees and an eclectic atmosphere.

Sofa King Juicy Burger (get it?) Not quite Tremont Tavern, but pretty good, and bonus for the best shakes in town.

River Street Deli--Don’t let the unassuming name fool you. This is a true New York style delicatessen, run by a true New Yorker.  I know, because when I talked with him, we immediately spoke in secret yankee code. River Street Deli is square in the heart of Coolidge Park and is walking distance from the old Chattajack launch..  This is one of those places that locals know about and now, so do you.  The food is EXCELLENT!  Try the muffaletta and you’ll be talking with your hands like a pro.

Other great options:

Tupelo Honey--Great Breakfast and solid entrees.

Pickle Barrel--A Chattanooga Original. Greasy spoon, but better.

Embargo 62--Cuban food done right.

Urban Stack--Boutique burgers and mixed drinks.  Yes, they do have a Bacon Manhattan.

Bluff View Arts District (Hunter Museum)--Rembrandt’s Coffee House, Tony’s Pasta and Back Inn Cafe.  Great European styled setting and three restaurants on the same property. You’ll feel so Euro.

Flat Iron Deli--lunch only but if you can get out there before they close, try the cornbread salad.

Yellow Deli--Possibly the most unique place in Chattanooga, if not for the decor, for the history.

Have a look for yourself.  Oh, and the food is pretty good too--all fresh and handmade.

 

Provino’s--Strip Mall eating has never been so good. You arrive in suburbia, but once you open the doors you’re transported to a place of garlicky goodness, where the bread and free salad just keep coming. Provino’s has taken on all comer’s and has retained it’s crown as most popular Italian food in Chattanooga.  

 

Beer:

Good craft and local beer options are available for the beleaguered traveler.  The most unique of which is easily Moccasin Bend Brewing Company. Their tagline is “Keep Chattanooga Weird”,  So they clearly embrace beer outside the box. Don’t expect to be treated like royalty when you walk in either.  They are all about the beer here, and can be a little curmudgeonly about it. But honestly, the beer is so good, you’ll easily look past it--Think Soup Nazi.

For more standard fare but very good nonetheless, step over to Chattanooga Brewing Company for a solid Ale.

Splitting the difference between the two is the Terminal Brewhouse. Slight twists on old favorites make for a great pairing with the Terminal’s superb food.

 

Outdoor Activities:

Chattanooga is an overachiever in this area. Variety is the name of the game here.  Epic road cycling, mountain biking, rowing, paddling, rock climbing, caving, hang gliding, fishing, hiking, running and swimming possibilities abound.  

Here are a few notable starting ideas:

  • Explore the downtown area on foot or on your mountain bike by combining urban sections with the Riverwalk Trail, which extends from the Chickamauga Dam all the way to the base of Lookout Mountain.  Then ride over to nearby Stringers Ridge for some heart pumping single track with views of the city.

  • Travel up Lookout Mountain to take advantage of great views at Point Park.  Drive a bit further down Scenic Highway to check out hang gliding at the Lookout Mountain Hang Gliding Park. A few miles further and you can hike at Cloudland Canyon.  Adjacent to the at the 5 points trailhead you’ll find up to 50 miles of sweet singletrack for hiking, biking or horses. If the rain has been heavy, you can also grab your WW kayak and poach some class V rapids that cascade through the park.

  • Link in with the Chattanooga Open Water Swimmers (COWS) for a swim down the Tennessee River.  The COWS usually meet on Wednesday nights at the Coolidge Park boat launch under the Market Street Bridge.

  • Indoor Rock Climbing at High Point Climbing Gym or travel to Sunset Park with up to 81 climbing routes.

 

Paddling:  

It’s what we’re all here for.  Chattanooga has a very strong paddling community with plenty of diverse choices.

  • Whitewater:  The Ocoee Whitewater Center, host for the 1996 Olympic Kayaking event, is one of the best in the area to get your WW fix.  The Ocoee has up to class V sections and plenty of possibilities in-between.  Didn’t bring your play boat?  The river is crawling with outfitters for both rafting and kayaks.  About a 40 minute drive from downtown Chattanooga, once you arrive you’ll think you’ve entered the mountains of Colorado.  Beautiful mountains, a clear lake and abundant wildlife feature.  The surrounding area is crawling with bears!  

  • Downtown Waterfront: This is where most paddling takes place in the area.  Nothing really dynamic about the water, just lot’s of users out taking in the sights.  Several local rowing teams use this area to train as well as competitive SUP, Kayak and Ski paddlers.  Also widely used by the recreational set as well. Great way to take in the Bluff at Hunter, the area bridges and the Aquarium. Flow is usually light unless there has been lot’s of rain.

  • Lookout Creek--About 3 ¾ of a mile down the Tennessee River from Coolidge Park you’ll find Lookout Creek over to your left at the base of Lookout Mountain.    

  • South Chickamuaga--Launch from the Sterchi Farm put in and travel a few miles down to feed into the Tennessee River or travel up river and explore a few miles.

  • North Chickamuaga--Put in at Greenway farms and paddle down to the river side of Chickamauga Dam.

  • Chickamauga Lake--Several locations to launch from.  Marina at the dam is most convenient or Booker T Washington State Park. Under the right conditions you may get lucky and find a few bumps.

  • Nick A Jack Lake--Continue past the finish of the Chattajack into Nick A Jack Lake proper.  Of all the areas in Chattanooga to paddle, this is your best bet at finding water that will give you lift and push. The fetch is mostly unobscured and coincides with the most common wind direction to create swell on the lake. If you’re watching the wind you’ll need a Southwesterly bluster.  Check out the bat cave if you have time.  The cave is only accessible by boat.  Get there by dusk and you’ll have thousands upon thousands pour out before your eyes.

  • Paddle Meet Up on Maclellen Island.  Every Wednesday night from 6pm till dusk, paddlers meet on the south side of the Island beach for a general hangout.  Music, drinks, sometimes food and general good times and other debauchery.   If you’re out on the water near downtown Wednesday before Chattajack, stop by and have a beer.

.

Selected Area Attractions:

  • Chattanooga Ghost Tours--Get the stories behind Chattanooga’s haunts.

  • Tennessee Aquarium--specializes in southern watersheds.  Get to know the waterways and ecosystem you’ll be paddling on.

  • Hunter Art Museum--More Than just arts. Excellent dining options, coffee, views and beautiful european inspired architecture.  Great place for a leisurely stroll.

  • Revelry Room and Track 29 Music Venues.  Local, regional and national acts in a relatively smaller, intimate concert hall.

  • Regan’s Place--Dancing on the Southside of town.

  • Southside Social--Food, Drinks, and---Bowling?  They have a few bowling lanes available along with Bocce ball, cornhole, shuffleboard, ping pong, skeeball and outdoor fire pits.  Did I mention giant Jenga?

 

These are all a selection of options and really, it’s just an overview.  There is much more to do and see in the area.  Find what works for you and don’t hesitate to ask a local for suggestions. Take your time and enjoy.












 

REVO-LUTION! First Foiling Surfski Coming

First to Foil

First to Foil

It’s happening. The past 10 years have seen Surfski design and innovation growing exponentially.  Stable boats, twenty-foot elite skis weighing in at 20 lbs, cockpit innovations, adjustable bailers, and more.  With the recent SUP foiling trend, it was only a matter of time before surfski intelligence solved the equation.

 

South Africa’s relative newcomer REVO Kayak’s have just fired the first shot across the bow. Since their inception, REVO has clearly been on a mission to push the envelope of ski design. Dreadnaught bows, proprietary tool-less rudder removal, and redesigned hulls are only a partial list of features seen on their line up.

 

With their recent patent approval and subsequent announcement, they are now officially the first brand launching a foiling surfski.

 

We spoke with Greg de Beyer at REVO to sort out a few details as we wait to see where this trend will take the sport.

Pushing the envelope

Pushing the envelope

 

SN: Many of us have seen the popular video of the foil sprint boat.  Will your design function in the same way?

Greg de Beyer (REVO):  No, I see this boat as a primarily downwind fun boat - it will obviously be very fast, but we have also designed a slower wing for the person that wants stability and fun with break-neck speed.

SN: Will it work as well for flat-water or is it primarily aimed at downwind?

de Beyer:  It will not be a flat water boat - it is a wave riding boat, however, it will be able to ride the wake of a powerboat in flat water

SN:  What are the characteristics while down winding? How does the boat behave on the wave?

De Beyer:  Very much the same as a foiling SUP, but it will be easier to ride as you are sitting down and when it comes off the foil you do not lose stability.

SN:  Will it increase manoeuvrability on/off the wave?

De Beyer: Off the wave the foil adds resistance ( for people that use tennis balls on the boat to increase resistance in training - it is about the same resistance as 1 tennis ball) on the wave it is like riding a surfboard - you can turn and go anywhere at will.

Sn:  Will a special (longer) rudder be needed and if so, how long?

De Beyer: The rudder is not used at all once the boat is foiling

SN: What, if any complications or difficulties did you encounter while creating the foil?

De Beyer: The biggest challenge was to generate initial lift - on an SUP you create the initial lift by depressing the tail of the board and increasing the attack angle of the front foil - you cannot do this on a ski.

If you put a permanent positive attack angle on the front foil you cannot keep it in the water at speed so it was an unsolvable equation initially , but once we found the answer it was so obvious and simple.

SN: Does it have the potential to completely redefine the surfski experience or do you see this as nearly an additional facet?

de Beyer:  It’s a combination of both, in a downwind race a functioning foiling boat will be unbeatable, as a fun boat - well foiling is just an awesome experience on whatever you foil.

I think this is just the beginning of some really fun stuff happening in the industry and the sport - look at what foiling is doing in surfing , SUP and Kiteboarding let alone yachting

Wolf in Sheep's clothing?

Wolf in Sheep's clothing?

SN: What about pricing compared to standard skis?

de Beyer:  We will be releasing pricing once we have tested our new foil but with the cost of the foil it will carry a higher price tag.

SN:  Is there anything else you can tell us regarding what to expect from your design?

de Beyer:  Other than the fact that we are having awesome fun with this, I think that we are just starting to make people think of the possibilities of what and where surfski paddling can be.

We called our brand Revo for the fact that we would start a REVOlution in design and thinking - we are not arrogant enough to think that we will be the only people changing the way that designers will design Surf ski's in the future, and we may not be the leaders , but we believe that we are the catalyst of change and the change is happening.

It's exciting to be part of it.

Check out more from REVO:   http://revokayaks.com/index.html

 

Epic Releases Spec Ski

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Epic Kayaks announced today the release of the brand's first Surf Lifesaving Ski.  Earlier this year, Epic released a video with Clint Robinson piloting their soon-to-be-released Spec model through the surf with a pending release.

The SLS10 was officially announced today as newest member to the extensive line up.

The website states:

The SLS10 has been designed in collaboration with 16 times Australian Surf Life Saving champion Clint Robinson. Epic’s chief designer, Greg Barton and Clint carefully spent time testing and re-testing every element of the design on multiple prototypes to get it perfect. The result is a ski that has incredible speed, comfort & strength.

  To find more information on the SLS10, go here.

Padding Out A Surfski--Flex Maslan

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One man's take on personalizing fit in his ski--coming from a kayak and looking to keep it tight.

Author: Flex Maslan

Surfskis are high-performance craft that need to be a good fit to achieve optimum performance. Although different, I would group surfskis with low volume Greenland style kayaks in the sense that they should really fit the paddler like a glove. The goal is to feel as one with the boat. This is why there are several makers and many models of surfskis – different boats for different folks!   

 

At 6’2″ and 160 lbs (188 cm x 72 Kg) my dimensions indicate a good fit with the SES model in Stellar’s surfski lineup. Although I am at the top end of the height range, there is plenty of room for even longer legs. I contemplated the SEL model, which would also fit me well, but do not need the extra volume (weight capacity). The Stellar SES surfski is a great fit for my lightweight anatomy and I made it even better with some custom foam padding!

 

I sourced two sheets of self-stick adhesive backed closed cell foam on eBay for $10.50 delivered (no affiliation). It even came in gray to match the colors of the “Grey Ghost“!

 

The foam is 6mm thick which is just a hair less than 1/4″.

https://kayakfari.wordpress.com/fitness/the-fine-art-of-surfski-padding-for-optimal-paddling/#jp-carousel-18739

https://kayakfari.wordpress.com/fitness/the-fine-art-of-surfski-padding-for-optimal-paddling/#jp-carousel-18739

 

Stellar provides a very solid adjustable 3 point attachment system for the footplate on the SES surfski. The foam padding makes my feet feel like they are on a pillow and actually slightly improves rudder response!

 

Stellar does a very good job in chamfering all the exposed edges of the aluminum foot plate parts. However the bottom adjuster lever could prove to be painful to toes when doing remounts. So in a flash of inspiration while paddling, I realized the best cover for this piece was probably already somewhere in my garage! A rubber 90 degree spark plug wire cap is a perfect fit and slips over the aluminum piece. It allows for full functionality, but I doubt I’ll be moving it much since my foot plate is already properly adjusted.

 

Mine happens to be red because that’s what I found in the garage, but black is a more common color if that matters. These are typically for old school engine distributor caps and should still be available in auto parts stores, online or local junk yards.

 

Moving towards the seat is a raised part of the surfski bucket that also contains a molded bottle holder. I put these two pads there not for paddling but for carrying. I find it easiest to carry the lightweight 20 foot boat on top of my head, and this is where the balance point actually is on my SES!

 

The way I carry the ski is usually with the left hand holding next to the seat while my right hand grabs the foot strap in front with the boat balanced on my head. That’s where the foam padding comes in!

 

One of the reasons I like the SES is that the seat bucket fits me well. The foam pad adds comfort and pretty much eliminates any pressure points!

 

The two cutouts really help to “locate” me in the seat and are for the bones in my pelvis called the “Ramus of ischium” (also known as the bony part of the butt).

 

The foam thickness and density are just right and do not impact the stability of the surfski!

 

I’m pretty happy with my foam customization! I never get numb legs and feel no pressure points anymore. I can achieve really good forward leaning form with proper rotation and excellent leg drive.

 

Man and boat, merged into one!

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Read more at:  https://kayakfari.wordpress.com/

Source:    https://kayakfari.wordpress.com/fitness/the-fine-art-of-surfski-padding-for-optimal-paddling/

Catch And Release

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I count myself lucky to live in an area that features an “A” level race such as the Chattajack.  Every year, the excitement starts building around August, reaching a crescendo on the last weekend of October.

 

Social media starts to come alive with GPS photo evidence of longer sessions. Posse’s  start meeting up to do long paddles and reconnoiter the Tennessee River, and as always, the good dinner and beers follow.

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Around here, it becomes more and more common to see people along stretches of the river that are generally isolated.

Some sections feature Banjos...

Some sections feature Banjos...

 

I’ve never considered myself to be a distance guy in anything.  I’m far too deficient in attention at handling the focus needed to do well in the long game. But every year come May, I compulsively register again.

With the way the race has been selling out, I know I no longer have the luxury of waiting to see how I feel about beginning the long training sessions needed in August. The choice is simple: either enter as soon as the registration opens, or run the risk of losing the opportunity completely.

So I register…

August-- No long training.  

September--Nope.

October is the last call to either finish or get out of the way, so, I’m gonna get out of the way and let someone else on the waiting list enjoy the challenge.

It might be different if this race didn’t sell out.  I would likely leave my name registered as a show of support.  But the CJ is different.  People travel a long way to take part and the competition is fierce.

It will be difficult to feel like an outsider while seeing others making their final preparations. Race day will be even worse.  There is an energy that is palpable, and not getting to experience it for the first time in several years will be tough.  But what I really dread is missing out on the after race glow that all participants tend to radiate.  

Afterwards...  

Afterwards...

 

All the war stories, blister comparisons, and back slapping will be reserved for others this time.

Nevertheless, I believe the choice I’ve made is solid and I hope that my exit either opens the door for a true challenge to the top step (Lee Mcgregor--are you reading this?) or allows someone else the opportunity to have a great experience--maybe their first.

October 7th, is the cutoff for pulling out with a partial refund and should give another racer time to get their logistics in order to travel. For any of you out there in the same boat (intended), consider pulling out if you haven’t done the work.  The Chattajack is not a race to be taken lightly.  Anyone can float down the river for 31 miles, but to be truly ready for the challenge you’ve got to put in the work.  Otherwise, it will be a very painful affair, and pain for the sake of pain really doesn’t serve any purpose.

Good luck to all the racers!  Hope you have a memorable experience.

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Cory Hill Wins At Pacifica Downwind

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Fresh off his recent victory at Maraamu, Cory Hill took the overall win at the Pacifica/Fenn Downwind Race this past weekend at Coffs Harbour, Australia. 

Hill had to contend with a strong field that included: Jeremy Cotter(2nd), Sam Norton(3rd), Mackenzie Hynard(4th) and Mark Anderson(5th). 

The winning time on the day was 1:27.43 over the roughly 25 km course.

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Prize money included $1000 and, in true surfski fashion, race sponsor Pacifica Canoe Club made an additional award available for the club with most entries to be awarded six cartons of beer--with the provision that they must be consumed on site.

Rice and Mouden Take Win At Dutch Coast

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Sean Rice took the win today at the 5th running of the Dutch Coast Race.  Good wind on the day drove the winning time for the 20 km course to a very fast 1:08.55.  Jasper Mocke finished second at 51 seconds back. German Sprint Kayaker Gordan Harbrecht finished strongly in third at 2:44 off the pace.

France's own Angie Mouden took top honors among the women, coming in at 1:22.05 with Chloe Bunnett in at second and Sophie Mancel in at third.

Angie MOuden

Angie MOuden

The race enjoyed strong numbers, reaching a full attendance of 125 competitors.

Next stop on the World Surfski calendar will be the Breizh Ocean Race in Brittany France.

 

https://results.cloudtimer.nl/2017-dutch-coast-race.html

Big Wave Surfski

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Only three short months ago Cape Town was battered by a huge storm, the worst in decades. By the following day the hurricane strength winds had abated, the sun had broken through the clouds and the swell direction moved more to the south, wrapping into False Bay. Multiple World Surfski Champion Dawid Mocke called to say the conditions would be perfect for big wave riding at the Kalk Bay Harbour wall. He arrived together with his brother Jasper Mocke, former winner of the World Surfski Series and also Surfskischool Cape Town owner Kyle Friedenstein. At first glance just three guys out enjoying their local break, but in reality three elite paddlers, riding big waves and making it look ridiculously easy! As the sun set behind Cave Peak the light turned golden, a beautiful rainbow formed over Cape Point, and three surfski legends went fully committed on some spectacular waves. The elevated camera platform flattens the perspective and does no justice to the actual size of the waves, nonetheless still a fantastic display of skill and watermanship... Take 4 mins out of your day and enjoy some pure unadulterated surfski porn... Definitely best viewed in HD... FENN Epic Kayaks & Paddles

 

  Source:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFgJN9XmpS4&t=15s

Australian Surf Lifesaving Competitor Dean Mercer Suffers Apparent Heart Attack

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CHAMPION ironman Dean Mercer has died after a car accident on the Gold Coast.

The Mercers are one of the first families of surf lifesaving, and the death of the 47-year-old sent shockwaves through the tight-knit surf community.

The brother of Darren Mercer and uncle of current star Jordan Mercer is believed to have suffered a heart attack while driving his car at Mermaid Waters about 7am Monday.

He crashed into a backyard fence near the Q Super Centre.

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Paramedics performed CPR for about an hour before Mercer was transported to Gold Coast University Hospital, but he could not be saved.

He is survived by his wife Reen, also a former champion ironwoman and his four sons.

In a statement, Mercer’s family praised him as an amazing husband and loving father with a love of life and the surf.

“(He was) a champion bloke and a true champion in every sense of the word — taken from us too soon.”

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate also paid tribute to the fallen star.

“Dean Mercer’s passing is a sudden and tragic loss for our city,” he said.

“A husband, father and former ironman champion, Dean was an idol in the surf life saving world.

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“The city’s thoughts and prayers are with Dean’s wife Reen and their family during this extremely difficult time.”

Lifesaving identity Ian Hanson described Mercer as a little Aussie battler in the ironman world with the heart of Phar Lap.

“No surf was too big, no opponent too tall,” he said.

Close mate and Kurrawa Surf Life Saving Club senior water coach Barry Newman said his phone ran hot after the crash this morning and said he was shocked to hear the news.

“I was with him last night,” he said.

“I picked him up with the family at Coolangatta airport.

“He’d been down (in Sydney) for his grandmother’s funeral.

“It’s all very fast.

“I’d hate to think (how Reen is) … it’s just not a good day.”

Mercer’s car crashed through the corrugated iron fence of a property on Barrier Reef Drive that backs on to Markeri Street at Mermaid Waters.

The owner of the property, who asked not to be named, said moments after the crash witnesses came forward saying they followed the driver out of the Q Super Centre carpark and across at least four lanes of traffic before watching him plough straight through the fence.

Mercer’s wife Reen is understood to have visited the scene of the crash before heading to Gold Coast University Hospital to be with her husband this morning.

 

One of the sport’s most decorated stars, Mercer was famously dogged in his determination to win an elusive Coolangatta Gold, continuing to compete in the endurance epic in to his 40s.

Growing up in the small NSW town of Thirroul, near Wollongong, Mercer had a 40-year involvement with surf lifesaving.

Mercer won two Australian crowns, an equal record five NSW state championships, two Test of the Toughest titles and the world Oceanman Series.

He also won an OAM for services to lifesaving and was inducted into the sport’s NSW Hall of Fame.

He later moved to the Sunshine Coast, enjoying considerable success with Mooloolaba.

Most recently, he had been coaching Nippers at Kurrawa on the Gold Coast, where he was a member of the club’s hall of legends.

Source: Daily Telegraph      http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/national/highprofile-gold-coast-athlete-in-car-crash/news-story/53101c5e5991ea80f8f49fb58ef95abd

 

ACA Level 3 Fundamentals of Surfski Instructor Certification Workshop - San Francisco Bay Area

WHO: This workshop is for anyone interested in teaching Surfski.

WHAT: During this comprehensive three day course you will learn the latest and most effective teaching methods, be assessed according to the ACA's L3 Surfski Instructor Criteria. By the end of the course participants should have the paddling skills, technical knowledge, rescue ability, teaching ability, group management, and interpersonal skills necessary for certification. Note that certification cannot be completed unless during some period two conditions necessary for assessment are present during some portion the certification
course. The four criteria are: 10-15 knot winds, 1-3 foot seas, 1-2 foot breaking waves, 1-2 knots of current.

WHY: The American Canoe Association is the nation's leading organisation for paddler education in SUP. As an ACA certified instructor you will be certified to teach and able to obtain insurance to cover your classes.

WHERE: This class will be taught out of 101 Surf Sports in San Rafael, CA and other locations in the Bay Area.

WHEN: The 3 Day course begins at 9.00 am on Saturday, August 19th, 2017.

COST: $399.00 (Note: Fee does NOT include ACA Instructor's Manual or SEIC dues).

Bookings for this course will close August 1st, 2017

Cost does not include surfski and paddle rental. It is recommended you use your own board because you will be familiar with its handling characteristics but if you are flying in, boards & paddles can be rented from our 101 Surf Sports.

Book Your Spot: https://fareharbor.com/embeds/book/riverandocean/items/51299/availability/64693385/book/?full-items=yes

Instructor Trainer:
Ben Lawry
benclawry@earthlink.net

DABS High Altitude Surfski Champs

READY, STEADY, GO: The start bunch and all celebrities with the wave maker.

READY, STEADY, GO: The start bunch and all celebrities with the wave maker.

SURFSKI races along the coastline have been growing in popularity, and paddlers in Gauteng are feeling left out, especially as rivers are becoming more polluted. Not that there are many river choices in Gauteng, anyway.

The decision to host a Gauteng High Altitude Surfski championship race annually has taken the paddling community of surfskiers, SUPs and sit-on-tops, the various kayaks or canoes, by storm. The championship race takes place in early March and is growing from strength to strength, with superb sponsorship from Euro Steel, Adreach, Fenn, Set and a number of private individuals. The top celebrity paddlers come from far and wide to challenge the Gauteng champions.

Multiple Dusi winner Andrew Birkett, the world surfski and marathon champion as well as multiple Dusi race winner Hank McGregor, the Olympian bronze medallist Bridgitte Hartley and two-time world surfski champion Jasper Mocke were just a few of the celebrity South African paddlers.

TAKING ON THE BEST: Members from the Johannesburg Canoe Club, based at Wemmer Pan, thoroughly enjoyed the only high-altitude surfski race in the world, especially with numerous world-famous paddlers in the bunch. Ryan Ziervogel and Warren Ziervogel – boat 102 – orange vest /blue sleeves and green cap.

TAKING ON THE BEST: Members from the Johannesburg Canoe Club, based at Wemmer Pan, thoroughly enjoyed the only high-altitude surfski race in the world, especially with numerous world-famous paddlers in the bunch. Ryan Ziervogel and Warren Ziervogel – boat 102 – orange vest /blue sleeves and green cap.

The race was hosted on Saturday, March 4, at Emmarentia Dam at 15:30. The race consisted of 10 laps of the dam, making up a 10km hard, fast time trial.

To add to the celebrity status on the dam water were Siseko Ntondini and Piers Cruickshanks. These two paddlers come from diverse backgrounds. One is from Moatsoledi informal township in Orlando Park, Soweto, and one is an English teacher from Rosebank. There challenge to partner up inspired a movie, Beyond the River, which will be released in South Africa in April.

To simulate surf conditions, a number of motorboats and other watercraft revved motors up and down the centre of the dam as the paddlers made circuits on the outside.

Enormous fun was had by all, especially the spectators, passers-by and drivers.

Martin van den Bergh, chairman of the Johannesburg Canoe club, and Morgan Ziervogel, the top Gauteng woman paddler, were among the 150 paddlers in Gauteng who completed the 10km race, finishing in 50 minutes as the third mixed-double surfski finishers (male/female combination). Son and father combination Ryan and Warren Ziervogel also enjoyed the event, finishing in 56 minutes.

ENJOYING THE CHALLENGE: JCC members at Wemmer Pan thoroughly enjoyed the only high-altitude surfski race in the world, especially with numerous world-famous paddlers in the bunch. Martin van den Bergh (red top) and Morgan Ziervogel (white top) paddle away.

ENJOYING THE CHALLENGE: JCC members at Wemmer Pan thoroughly enjoyed the only high-altitude surfski race in the world, especially with numerous world-famous paddlers in the bunch.
Martin van den Bergh (red top) and Morgan Ziervogel (white top) paddle away.

Article reprinted from:  http://comarochronicle.co.za/134511/new-surfski-craze/  Photo credits to:  Gauteng Canoe Union.

 

USACK/ACA Merger updates

USA Canoe and Kayak are moving ahead with plans to merge with ACA.  Yesterday, Adam Van Grack, chairperson for USACK released a statement updating the public on the current status of the transition.

Whether this will be a positive change remains to be seen, but for many the change appears to be welcomed, based on the solid reputation and history of the ACA.

Dear USA Canoe/Kayak Members:

The USA Canoe/Kayak Board wanted to let all of our Members know that recently the American Canoe Association (ACA) applied to the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) to become the National Governing Body for canoe and kayak sports.  ACA's application has the support of the USA Canoe/Kayak Board.  As a result, the ACA and USA Canoe/Kayak just received communication from the USOC that the USOC is "positive about the ACA’s application and want to conclude the application review process as soon as possible."  

 

We (along with ACA) will be working with the USOC in the coming days/weeks to work on all potential transition issues and ensure that the application process proceeds as smoothly as possible.  Assuming ACA's application moves forward, there will be a series of public meetings in which members of USA Canoe/Kayak will be able to comment on the potential new National Governing Body.  As soon as those meetings are scheduled (and new governing body documents are available), we will provide all our members with that information.  In the meanwhile, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or any of the USA Canoe/Kayak Board Members.

Best,

Adam Van Grack
Chair, USA Canoe/Kayak