The Doctor: Hill and Clarke Make Statement With Wins

From Left--Purchase, Clarke and Nixon

From Left--Purchase, Clarke and Nixon

With another top-level surfski race featuring solid conditions, Rachel Clarke and Cory Hill have made loud and clear statements following strong wins at the Perth Doctor this weekend.  

Clarke, who many expected to challenge for overall at the ICF World Championship race in Hong Kong last week, had to instead settle for a somewhat disappointing fourth-place finish. She can now enjoy a level of vindication though, as the Kiwi has reasserted herself as a force in the women's division with a big day in Perth.

Aside from Hong Kong, Clarke has enjoyed a fantastic year with wins at Molokai, King of the Harbour, Gorge Downwind Championships and now the venerated Doctor. 

The win has Clarke poised to secure the 2017 World Surfski Series overall title with one race remaining on the calendar. 

Clarke was followed by nineteen-year-old South African wunderkind Kyeta Purchase who showed composure far beyond her years as she held off World Champion Hayley Nixon who came in at third. 

Mcgregor, Hill and Kieffer

Mcgregor, Hill and Kieffer

Cory Hill has been busy making a statement of his own with a consecutive win after trouncing the field last week at World's.  Hill is fast becoming the man to beat when conditions get jumpy and has enjoyed his own stellar season after taking the early win at the Auckland King of the Harbour.

Hank Mcgregor brought the fight again, trading punches with Hill and making him dig deep to earn the victory, but ultimately had to settle for second. American Austin Kieffer enjoyed his highest finish ever in a title event, coming in at a highly respectable third.  Kieffer continues to show a great deal of promise with solid finishes in top events.

415 paddlers signed up to see the Doctor, confirming the growing status of the event and continued upward trajectory of Surfski racing as whole. 

The next race in the series will head over to New South Wales on December 9th at the Palm 2 Pines Ocean Race outside of Sydney Australia.

Live updates were curated by Robin Mousley of Surfski Info in what's becoming a welcome addition to international surfski racing.


ICF Worlds: Hill Delivers--Repeats For The Title

Cory Hill

Cory Hill

Cory Hill put on a master class at the ICF World Championships in Hong Kong.  Hill took a flyer from leader Hank Mcgregor and the rest of the main pack about 2 Kilometers after the start. He took the hotspot and maintained the lead throughout the entire race.  Big conditions created a dynamic setting as competitors plowed forward through the headwinds to the turnaround at the nine pins sea stacks.

Once around Nine Pins the racers turned up the pace going blow for blow on the ripping downwind.

It was during the downwind that Hank Mcgregor heroically bridged back up and threatened Hill for the top spot--creating a nail-biting finish.  Hill maintained composure and kept up the relentless pressure, successfully staving off Mcgregor's threat.  Jasper Mocke was able to slot in at third, cooling off a surging Kenny Rice and displacing him on the podium in the final section.  Consolation for Kenny Rice as he finished the day in a respectable fourth place and newly crowned Under-23 World Champion.

Sean Rice in at fifth.

Jeremy Cotter sixth,

Matt Bouman Seventh,

Mackenzie Hynard eighth. 

Austin Kiefer finished as first American in tenth place. 



Stellar Teases Redesigned S18S


Stellar Kayaks released a teaser for their Generation two redesign of the brand's much-loved S18s.

The redesign features a departure from their longstanding Venturi bailers in favor of the closeable Debrito as well as narrowed bow, cutaways and optimized trim for increased speed and enhanced surfing.

 Check out more from Stellar: 



Ukraine's Trunov suspended for doping violation

Trunov, front--on four-year suspension

Trunov, front--on four-year suspension

The International Canoe Federation has announced the four-year suspension of Ukranian sprint paddler Igor Trunov following a positive drug test earlier this year.

Trunov returned the positive test during an in-competition test at the opening ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup event in Montemor-o-Velho, Portugal, in May.

As a result, Trunov and his teammates will be disqualified and will be required to return the gold medals they won in the K4 500 and K2 500 in Montemor, along with the K2 500 bronze medal they won in the second ICF World Cup in Szeged.

He will also be disqualified from the K1 200 metres and ordered to return the silver medal he won in Montemor.

Trunov returned an elevated testosterone reading, and after careful consideration by the ICF Doping Control Panel, a decision was taken to apply the full force of the law against the Ukranian.

“The International Canoe Federation is determined to wipe out cheating in our sport,” ICF President Jose Perurena said.

“There is no place for doping in any sport, and we will continue to take a strong stand until the message gets through to athletes; cheat and you will be caught, and you will suffer the consequences.

“We have so many tremendous athletes in canoeing, all clean and working hard to be the best they possibly can. We owe it to them, the fans and the sport to maintain our zero-tolerance of doping, and we make no apologies for cracking down hard on athletes who break the rules.”


World Paddle Awards Announces 2017 Nominees


The World Paddle Awards released their nominees for 2017 with a list that included a few familiar Surfski paddlers.

Rachel Clarke

Rachel Clarke

RACHEL CLARKE (New Zealand) - Nominee for the 2017 Sportswoman of the Year Award

  • Born: 1990, Sports: Ocean Ski and Surf Ski, Represents: New Zealand
  • 2017: 1st Molokai Championship, 1st NZ Surf Ski Queen of the Harbour, 1st Gorge Downwind Champs, 2nd Canadian Surf Ski Champs
  • 2016: 1st NZ Surf Ski Queen of the Harbour 26km, 2nd Molokai Championship, 2nd Canadian Surf Ski Champs, 2nd North American Surf Ski Champs, 3rd Hong Kong Dragon
  • 2015: 1st NZ Surf Ski Queen of the Harbour, 1st West Coast Downwinder, 3rd North American Surf Ski Champs, 3rd US Surf Ski Champs, 3rd ICF World Surf Ski Champs, 3rd Perth Doctor 

Rachel Clarke is quickly becoming one of the most accomplished females in the history of ocean racing. After adding another Molokai Ocean Ski, Queen of the Harbour and World Series title wins to her belt in 2017, Rachel has asserted her dominance amongst some of the toughest fields the sport has seen.

These successes now make Rachel a two times Molokai winner and five time Queen of the Harbour winner, which is no mean feat. Against the likes of Teneale Hatton, who is a world-class paddler in her own right, Rachel is deserving of many accolades.

Whilst many top athletes like Rachel are able to train and race as a full time job, Rachel is able to achieve these amazing results whilst still working as a full time Police Officer in New Zealand. On top of this she is also fully immersed in the sport as a coach and volunteer for many local surf life saving paddlers.

As recognition for her achievements, Rachel has received the New Zealand Police Association Sportsperson of the Year award twice, becoming the first back-to-back winner of the honour. Her hard work and personal sacrifice earning her mountains of respect from her colleagues, fellow athletes and the wider community.

After years of significant victories with minimal acknowledgement, Rachel is completely deserving of a nomination for the Sportswoman of the year award.

Other activities and achievements off the water

  • Front line Police officer based at Auckland’s North Shore for the past 6 years.
  • Volunteer lifeguard at Mairangi Bay Surf Life Saving club
  • In her spare time she loves going to the beach and spending time with friends and family.


Oscar Chalupsky

Oscar Chalupsky

OSCAR CHALUPSKY (South Africa) - Nominee for the Lifetime Achievement Award

Twitter: @Oscar Chalupsky

  • Born: 1963, Sports: ocean ski paddling, kayaking (sprint and marathon), surf life saving
  • Represents: South Africa
  • Results: 12 x Molokai winner, multiple winner of the Sella Descent, Lucky Strike Challenge and Umkomaas River Marathon
  • Co-founder of Epic Kayaks
  • CEO of Nelo Surfski

Oscar Chalupsky is one of the most decorated and recognisable watermen in the world. His resume spans over an incredible 36 years, with few paddlers holding a record comparable to this. His effortless technique and knowledge of the ocean has seen him achieve results some athletes can only dream of including 12-time Molokai Ocean Ski Champion, multiple winner of the Umkomaas River Marathon and Olympic representative.

What’s outstanding about Oscar is his longevity and tenacity which has seen him take on and beat athletes over 30 years his junior. In 2012, at 49 years of age, Oscar took home his 12th Molokai title, 29 years after his maiden win. A truly inspiring result.

On top of his ocean ski successes Oscar competed at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games where he was the team captain for South Africa. He is also a multiple winner of the prestigious Umkomaas River Marathon.

Oscar won the world-famous Sella Decent in Spain in 1986 with his brother Herman. The biggest marathon race that everybody wants to win! His father won the same race in 1968 and both their names are carved into the bridge over the Sella. Oscar came second in 1981 with Matt Carlisle. With his brother Herman he had five top 3 finishes.

The above already would take a 'normal' elite athlete several lifetimes, but Oscar also won the Lucky Strike Challenge 10 times. This endurance feat started as a friendly challenge on January 7, 1972, between ultra-distance runner John Ball and Surf Lifesaving legend John Woods, who would paddle the race, where the outcome would indicate who was faster - the runner or the paddler? The Challenge is the ultimate contest between man and the elements of nature, a reputation that has enticed competitors back every time it has been staged.

Away from the competition arena Oscar has played a vital role in the development and success of Ocean Ski Paddling. In 2000 Oscar co-founded Epic Kayaks, which today is one of the leading brands in Ocean Ski Paddling. In May of 2015 Oscar stepped down from his position with Epic and took over as the CEO for Nelo Surfski, which is currently the worlds largest kayak manufacturer.

Oscar’s many successes have inspired the paddlesports world and left people wondering how he does it. In a bid to answer these questions Oscar conducts surf ski clinics around the world which teach paddlers how to train, race and win using his methods and technique. With thousands of people already beneficiaries of Oscars expertise, he has left an everlasting impression on this community.

Oscar Chalupsky is larger than life, a legend, and known for his particular sense of humour; the way he is able to light up a room with his energy and passion. Oscars service to the paddlesports community has already spanned over 36 years and lucky for us, there is no signs of him slowing down. As a previous nominee in this category, the World Paddle Awards acknowledges the fact that these achievements and contributions to the sport do not diminsih and in Oscar's case are ongoing. Consequently, the nominees who finish second in this category each year will be renominated moving forward. The whole paddlesports community will be forever greatful for Oscar's passion and committment to the sport and as a result he is a deserving nominee for the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Other achievements:

  • 1978: Junior and Senior Surfski champion, Junior and Senior Iron Man champion. Both in South Africa.
  • First person in the world to win junior and senior Iron Man about one month before Grant Kenny.
  • 8 South Africa Iron man titles and 11 Senior surf ski titles.
Hank Mcgregor

Hank Mcgregor

HANK MCGREGOR (South Africa) – Nominee for 2017 Sportsman of the Year Award. Photo credit: Balint Vekassy


  • Born: 1979, sports: canoe marathon (K1 or K2), downriver, ocean-racing and surfski, represents: South Africa
  • 2017: Gold K1 & K2 World Marathon Championships; Gold World Cup Surf Ski; Silver Molokai Surf Ski Race
  • 2016: Gold K1 & K2 World Marathon Championships; Gold Berg River Marathon; Gold Maui Jim Molokai Challenge
  • 2015: Gold K1 & Silver K2 World Marathon Championships; Gold Berg River Marathon
  • 2014: Gold K1 & K2 World Marathon Championships; Gold K1 Hansa Fish River Marathon; Gold Non-Stop Dusi Canoe Marathon; Gold K1 Maui Jim Molokai Challenge

Hank McGregor has officially reached legend status after winning (another!) double gold in the K1 and K2 at the ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships in September, replicating his historic wins in 2014 and 2016. The two gold medals now gives the South African paddling icon a total of ten world championship titles, seven of which have been in the K1 event (K1: 2003, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017; K2: 2014, 2016, 2017).

In front of a home crowd in South Africa, Hanks experience and world class tactics proved to be too good. With 500m to go after the gruelling 30km paddle, he was in pole position and outsprinted his competitors to take him his ninth World Title. In the K2 event tactics again came into play, with he and his K2 partner Jasper Mocke played their cards close to their chest before unleashing in the final straight to take the win ahead of Hungary and the other South African crew. 

These two historic wins cements Hanks name in the history books as one of the most dominating canoe marathon paddlers of his generation and possibly of all time. He is also one of the most multi-talented and diverse athletes across all competitive paddlesports. In addition to his successes as a marathon paddler he is a multiple South African river marathon champion, multiple South African surfski champion and winner of numerous international ocean races. In 2017 he won the ICF World Cup surf ski race in Mauritius and claimed a close silver medal at the famous Molokai Ski Race in Hawaii.

He has paddled competitvely, and been winning, for over 20 years, and his results only seem to be getting better. In addition to his amazing achievements on the water, Hank is a devoted family man, runs a small construction company and is devoted to improving Surf Ski paddling in South Africa. As the winner of the 2014 WPA Sportsman of the Year Award, this year marks Hanks fourth consecutive nomination. 

Activities and achievements off water:

  • Hank and his wife Pippa have organised the inaugural Euro Steel McGregor Series, aimed at getting paddlers into their boats and paddling in the early season, to have some fun events to participate in and to encourage new and young participants into the sport and into the wonderful world of marathon racing.
  • WPA Sportsman of the Year 2014.
  • Hanks father Lee was a top swimmer for South Africa who was not allowed to compete at the Olympics or World Championships because of apartheid in the country at the time. Lee became a leading ocean, surfski and river paddler, plus an ironman instead.
  • Hank and his wife Pippa have one child.


THE MOLOKAI CHALLENGE (United States of America) - Nominee for the 2017 Industry Professional Award

Website:, Facebook:

The Molokai Challenge, originally named Kanaka Ikaika, is a true test of paddling skill, endurance and knowledge of ocean surfing. It tests a paddler’s ability to maneuver against unpredictable weather conditions in the Kaiwi Channel.  Considered as one of the roughest ocean channels in the world, paddlers from all around the world converge on Molokai every year to test themselves against their competitors and the unpredictable conditions.

1976 was the first crossing by Dale “Doc” Adams, which took him 7 hours and 30 minutes. Doc Adams called his crossing “the challenge of the day,” but it has since developed into the premier long-distance, open ocean, solo crossing in the world.

In 1977 Adams consulted Hawaiian linguist Pilahi Paki who described the effort as “Kanaka Ikaika,” which literally translated means “Mankind’s respectful challenge of the great, mighty ocean.” This translation couldn’t be more accurate. Following his crossing, the first official race was held in 1977, organized by newly formed Kanaka Ikaika Racing Association with Doc Adams at the helm.

The start is off the west end of Molokai near Kaluakoi, and traditionally finishes 32 miles away in the Marina off Hawaii Kai. With such a rich history featuring the best paddlers the world has ever seen, the race has grown into what is now considered the World Championships of Open Ocean Surfski racing.

After decades of staging these championships, the Molokai Challenge is a deserving nominee for the 2017 Industry Professional Award.

Dean Gardiner

Dean Gardiner

DEAN GARDINER (Australia) - Nominee for the Lifetime Achievement Award

Website:, Facebook Page:

  • Born: 1965, Sport(s): ocean racing/surf ski, outrigger, Ironman, represents: Australia
  • Results: 9x Molokai winner, surf ski World Cup gold
  • Founder and organiser of Australian Ocean Paddler series

Dean Gardiner has been at the pinnacle of Australian ocean racing for more than twenty years. Dean’s career started with a mix of lifesaving, surf ski and Ironman events, before he decided to focus on the longer distance surf ski races.

Since he made the move to ocean racing, Dean has won races all over the word, from the US to Tahiti. Dean won the inaugural surf ski World Cup in 2004 (Cape Town). He entered his first Molokai in 1989 and has competed every year since 1999. The arduous 32-mile race takes place on one of the roughest ocean channels in the world, making those who finish some of the toughest paddlers in the world.

Dean has won the revered Molokai title nine times. His experience and extreme fitness meant Dean could set the race record in 1994, only to reset it again with the current record of 3:21:26 in 1997. Dean is the only man to have won both the Surf Ski and Outrigger Molokai titles in the same year.

Dean is largely responsible for the growth of the sport in Australia, with considerable financial investment as the owner and founder of Ocean Paddler and the Ocean Racing Series, which will comprise of 13 events for the 2017/18 season.

Dean’s passion for the sport has gone far beyond competing; he is also an excellent coach, event organiser, sponsor and mentor. On top of all this, he works for Fire and Rescue NSW.

Dean has achieved a lifetime of excellent results in the sport, setting the bar high at international events and driving the industry in Australia. As a previous nominee in this category, the World Paddle Awards acknowledges the fact that these achievements and contributions to the sport do not diminsih and in Dean's case are ongoing. Consequently, the nominees who finish second in this category each year will be renominated moving forward. The whole paddlesports community will be forever greatful for Dean's passion and committment to the sport and as a result he is a deserving nominee for the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award. 

You can learn how to place your vote here:


Gorge Registration Opens Today--It will Sell Out!

This could be you.

This could be you.

The Gorge Downwind Championships AKA "Gorge A Palooza" registration opens today and will likely sell out quickly.  The Gorge Race has been steadily gaining momentum as the premier American event and the buzz is spreading.

Carter Johnson

Carter Johnson

Race Director Carter Johnson has crafted the week-long event to create a complete experience and has left no stone unturned in order to deliver the goods. If you're considering making the pilgrimage this year, don't wait to register, you may miss your opportunity.


Breizh Ocean Racing ICF World Cup -- Kenny Rice Stocks Rising With Win

breizh world cup.jpg

Kenny Rice continues to show that he is to be viewed as a legitimate contender after taking the win on Sunday in France at the Breizh Ocean Racing ICF World Cup Race.  The event served as the final qualifier for the ICF World Championships to be held in Hong Kong in November.   Rice (RSA) was followed by brother and former ICF World Champion Sean Rice (RSA) in second, and France's Noe Pelizza (FRA) at third.  The field included: Oscar Chalupsky (7th), Ian Black (9th),  Valentin(4) and Hector(5) Henot and Kyle Fredenstein(6th).


On the women's side, Angie Le Roux (Mouden) (RSA) continues to show top form with another win on her way to the worlds.


The World Championships will be held in Hong Kong on November 18/19, 2017.


Cummins, Borgnes and Mims

Cummins, Borgnes and Mims

This one is in the books.  The 2017 running of the Chattajack will go down as one of the better editions to date, and not for idyllic conditions. As could be expected, weather played a major factor on the outcome.  Sunny, balmy 70-degree pre-race temperatures gave way to bone-chilling rain, wind and even some sleet.  The flow of the river was high, but when factoring the conditions tended to weed out many competitors. In total, thirty-one double-bladed competitors withdrew from the race.  For some, especially the more experienced, the flow despite the conditions likely enhanced their outcome, for others it proved to be more difficult to surmount. All told, several notable stories unfolded.

Poacher and Humberston Fresh As Daisies After Speeding To The Record

Poacher and Humberston Fresh As Daisies After Speeding To The Record

Elusive four-hour barrier falls--twice.

The first to blast through the threshold on the day was the tandem pair of Nate Humberston and Bruce Poacher.  Incredibly, rather than use a faster, skinnier double surfski, the duo opted to paddle the new Epic tandem sea kayak; absolutely lighting the course up on the wider boat.

Finishing time: 3:53:54


Iceman Only Smiles When It Dips Below Freezing

Iceman Only Smiles When It Dips Below Freezing

In the solo category, Borgnes proved that the third time is the charm after coming in at a very close 3:59:03.  As if cutting the time close didn’t create enough drama, he conceded a few gut-wrenching moments at the final sprint when the final buoy blew to his left just as he passed by.  Borgnes had to come to a complete stop, back up and redirect himself around the buoy with the clock ticking.  It was at this moment that I lost my voice. One more note: Borgnes completed the day on almost no water, no food and in shorts and a light top.  He stated that he “felt comfortable” throughout. This man clearly has ice running through his veins.  He is “the Iceman”. Eric Mims followed in second at 4:07:20 with Scott Cummins coming in with an impressive performance at 4:09:45.  Side note: first and third position both paddled the relatively new Mcgregor Classic boats.

Gismondi, Dismukes and Boteler

Gismondi, Dismukes and Boteler

Female Surfski Battle Royale

What happens when you place two elite athletes with Navy-Seal-Like-Never-Say-Die attitudes against each other?  You get a clash of the titans. Kata Dismukes and Pam Boteler fought through the elements for 32 miles, using all their focus, grit, tactics and resolve to come into the final sprint nose to nose.  Kata gained an edge approaching the buoy and hit the gas down the stretch.  This was the deepest threat to Kata’s longstanding reign here in the Tennessee Valley and it created an exciting climax on the day.  Pure girl power is a thing of beauty to behold and these two did not disappoint. Racing at it’s finest and congratulations to both. Julieta Gismondi followed in third.

Stroope, Schulte, Marsa

Stroope, Schulte, Marsa

Female Kayak Record Falls--And Then It Doesn’t.   

When first-time Chattajacker Salli O’Donnell approached the final sprint she was informed that she had 6 minutes on the fastest female kayak time.  Her time and placing were revoked, however, when another competitor complained that she had drafted out of category, resulting in a disqualification from the race.  The disqualification marks the first time any ski or kayak paddler has been disqualified from the Chattajack.  The record remains for now and Kimberly Schulte was moved to the top step of the podium in her place, with Myrlene Marsa and Susan Stroope in second and third respectively.

Self, Droppelman and Carter

Self, Droppelman and Carter


Male Kayak Record Set

With the new SS20 models entering the race en masse as well as the high flow of the river, it comes as no surprise that the Kayak record would be in jeopardy. Relative newcomer Lee Droppelman put the hammer down on the division from “go”.  Richard Carter fought tooth and nail with Droppelman to the finish, but in the end conceded 50 seconds to the new record-holder.  Finishing time--4:35:39. Russell Self in at third.


Ross Sets Record On C-1

Top American Canoe Paddler Ian Ross set the record for C-1 with a time of 4:41:34. Ross's entry marks the first time an elite sprint boat was used on the Chattajack course. Although the time set is impressive, the turbulent water, wind and conditions he struggled against on the incredibly challenging C-1 emphasized the effort.  The difficulty of completing 32 miles in a high kneel cannot be overstated.

Tough day on the water for all the competitors.  Congratulations to all who weathered the storm.


Full results:     





Canadian Surfski Championships Diversifying


The Canadian Surfski Championships have opened the doors to Outrigger Canoe and Stand Up Paddleboards for the upcoming 2018 event.

To reflect the change, the race will be renamed "The Canadian Downwind Championships".  In addition, the "Board The Fjord" SUP race will now be open to surfski and OC as well.  


From the Deep Cove Kayak Centre:

"As promised - we're making some changes for 2018...

To kick off the season: Board the Fjord - Saturday, May 12th - AND it will now be open to surfskis, kayaks and OCs!!
Canadian Downwind Champs - Saturday, July 14th - formerly the Canadian Surfski Championships, the race in Howe Sound will now also be open to SUPs and OCs!!
To end the season in warmer weather: Indian Arm Challenge - Saturday, September 8th - still open to ANY watercraft! 
Last TNR and Year End Party - Tuesday, September 11th. 

Get those dates in your diary NOW and keep paddling through winter!"

The Canadian race, along with the Gorge Downwind Championships have seen their stocks rising in the past few years and are quickly gaining recognition as the top North American races on the calendar.

Race Director Bob Putnam Making Things Happen Up North

Race Director Bob Putnam Making Things Happen Up North

Sea Dog: Back to the Top for Rice & Flanagan in Grueling Conditions



The second installment of the 2017/18 Fidelity ADT SeaDog Paddle Series & MountainLion Run Series was a grueling affair as the traditional South East gales gave way to a calm North West breeze that flattened out Fish Hoek bay into a blue blanket - giving paddlers minimal assistance over the 5-lap reverse course.

In the end it was victory for both defending series champions from last season, with Kirsten Flanagan (FENN/Orka Paddles) and Kenny Rice (Euro Steel Sport/Varsity College/Think Kayaks/Orka Paddles) taking the top podium position in the open female and male categories respectively. With the last turn buoy sitting in Sunny Cove corner, the final few hundred meters asked a question of the paddlers - turn in early and face a long run to the line, or paddle along the backline and come in at a more perpendicular angle?

Kirsten Flanagan powers across the line at race 3 of the Fidelity ADT SeaDog Paddle Series. (Photo: Cape Town Sport Photography)

Kirsten Flanagan powers across the line at race 3 of the Fidelity ADT SeaDog Paddle Series. (Photo: Cape Town Sport Photography)

Flanagan did battle with regular podium finishers Angie Austin and Alex Adie. In the end, Flanagan’s flatware power showed through and she marched across the line to claim R500 cash and valuable SeaDog bragging rights. “It was one of the toughest SeaDogs both mentally and physically. It was flat and unforgiving.”, remarked Flanagan. “At the start, all of us ladies got over the first set wave and it was a hard sprint to the first turning buoy. From there it was a fast race against Alex. I managed to pull away, slightly, on the last lap as we were turning in to the finish. I felt a bump underneath me and chose to follow it and run up the beach instead of paddling along the shore.” This turned out to be the correct decision, as the small wave opened up a 5 meter gap from which Adie never recovered. Adie crossed the line in second, with a very respectable time deficit of only 9 seconds. Austin rounded off the podium, less than a minute behind.

For the fastest boats across the water it was a tense battle as Rice opened up an early lead over the chasing pack of Dawid Mocke (Mocke Paddling/FENN) and Cyrille Carré (France). The crowd that gathered at the Fish Hoek Surf Lifesaving Club bar watched in ernest to see whether Rice could hold off his poursuivants for the full duration of the race. In the end, the defending series champion never faltered and seemed to only increase in power as he steamed over the line in 1st place.

Rice splits the field as he takes on the 3-lap board paddlers for line honors. (Photo: Cape Town Sport Photography

Rice splits the field as he takes on the 3-lap board paddlers for line honors. (Photo: Cape Town Sport Photography

“It’s always tough when the sea is flat!” said Rice. “I decided to start hard and managed to hold off Mark Keeling and Shanti Stewart to claim the Mugg & Bean Longbeach Mall Yellow Jersey Hot-Spot. From there, I opened up a gap of a few meters and just aimed to hold it the whole way. I actually extend the lead to about 30 seconds, which was great.”

Carré, an elite flatwater sprint and marathon paddler from France, reveled in the calm conditions and improved on last week’s 17th placing to finish in 2nd overall. SeaDog legend Dawid Mocke was there to claim the final prize money position.

Cyrille Carré, from France, tussles with local Dawid Mocke for second place. (Photo: Cape Town Sport Photography)

Cyrille Carré, from France, tussles with local Dawid Mocke for second place. (Photo: Cape Town Sport Photography)

In the weekly MountainLion Run Series, a reverse course was announced by race organizers in response to the reverse SeaDog course. Local Jade Bucklow was on-hand to claim line honors not only in the ladies race, but overall. The Bucklow family are renown local runners from Fish Hoek Athletics Club, and you can expect to see more of them in the coming weeks. In the men’s MountainLion Run young Joseph Brading, a member of Fish Hoek Surf Lifesaving Club, took out the top spot and R200 in cash.

All runners enjoyed the scenic views along the False Bay coastline. (Photo: Cape Town Sport Photography).

All runners enjoyed the scenic views along the False Bay coastline. (Photo: Cape Town Sport Photography).

The famous SeaDog prizegiving ceremony was a hit, and the series would like to thank loyal sponsors Fidelity ADT, Chalford Wealth, Orka Paddles, Bamboo Warehouse, Mocke Paddling, Dunlop Tyres SA, Varsity College, Great White Sport & Surf, IamSuperbar, Mugg & Bean Longbeach Mall, Long Beach Brewery and others. For more information on these brands, click on their page links or contact the SeaDog Paddle Series on Facebook!

The Cape paddling community now looks to the 3rd race of the 2017/18 Fidelity ADT SeaDog Paddle Series & MountainLion Run Series, as the series leaderboards in both A and B classes start to take shape.

The SeaDog Paddle Series is a fun 7km surfski race in Fish Hoek bay and operates out of the Fish Hoek Surf Lifesaving Club every Friday at 18:00. The MountainLion Run series starts and finishes at the same time and venue as SeaDog, and sends runners along an easy and scenic 5k route along the False Bay coastline. They are both never cancelled. Race entry is R20 for one race or R150 for ten races. Registration opens at 17:00 on the day. There is food on sale and a cash bar, and families are welcome. For more information, please contact SeaDog Paddle Series on Facebook or call/sms/whatsapp 082 536 2160.

(All photographs courtesy of John Hishin and Cape Town Sport Photography. To order any of these fine photographs, please contact John on +27 (82) 504 5702).


Birkett and Bedek top the podium in China

Birkett For The Win

Birkett For The Win


South Africa's Andrew Birkett and Serbia's Kristina Bedek have tasted early success at the ICF Marathon World Cup in Shaoxing, China, on the weekend. 

Birkett and Bedek triumphed in the short course events, with races over three laps and two portages over a total distance of 3.6km. Speed and accuracy of execution of the race plan are critical in this form of the sport and open racing featured across all the classes.

In the senior men’s K1, Birkett, the recent silver medallist at the World Championships last month, just managed to achieve the win in a time of 13 minutes 58.1s, followed closely by Quentin Urban of France in 13m59.1s and Adrian Boros of Hungary in 14m00.1s. With the top 10 paddlers all finishing within 1 minute of the winner expectations are high for close racing over the long course race on Monday.

The senior ladies K1 proved more unpredictable with Kristina Bedek of Serbia achieving the win in 15m24.6s, followed by Anna Koziskova of Czech Republic in 15:27.1s and Lize Broekx of Belgium in 15:27.5s. World bronze medallist Jennifer Egan finished fifth over 40 seconds behind Bedek whilst Great Britain’s Lizzie Broughton had a strong start to be in second position approaching the final portage but then suffered a damaged rudder causing steering problems and a 12th place finish.

The late withdrawal of Nuno Barros in the senior men’s C1 class left the field wide open and it was Mateusz Zuchora from Poland who took the win in 15m43.5s, with Jakub Brezina from Czech Republic second in 15m57.0s and Balazs Dori from Hungary third in 16m03.3s.

The Chinese Canoe Federation deployed a number of innovative solutions as well as a large number of willing volunteers to deliver an enjoyable first day of racing and promises much for the 2019 World Championships.

Athletes also welcomed the provision of prize money for only the second time in ICF Marathon races with a range of prizes from 3,000 RMB for the winner of each race down to 1,000RMB each for paddlers placed in 4th to 8th.

Expectations are high for open competitive races over the long course on Monday as well as the long and short course races in Shanghai later next week. 


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

Jasper Mocke Opens His SeaDog Account

Jasper Mocke Opens His SeaDog Account

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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


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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:


Epic Releases Spec Ski


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.