Featured Race---Cape Point Challenge

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paddle along this beautiful section of coastline starting from Scarborough and into the waters of the Cape Point Nature Reserve, past Olifantsbos,  Platboom, The Cape of Good Hope and the dreaded Southwestern Reefs around Cape Point - the South Western most point of the African Continent . Here rugged rocks and sheer cliffs tower more than 200 meters above the sea, cutting deep into the ocean, providing a spectacular backdrop. Once around the point, you enter the quieter waters of False Bay, (past the old stop Buffels Bay) on to Millers Point.  With any luck, you'll surf the runs home to Fish Hoek on the famous Millers Runs course.


McGregor Leaves No Doubts

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


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


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

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

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

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

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


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

Kieffer and Mocke going Toe to Toe at the West Downwinder

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

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

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

Not an easy lot to beat

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

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

Course Runs Tight Along the Coast

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

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

Hammer Down!

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

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

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

ACA Names Joe Glickman for Legend of Paddling Award

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

From the ACA:

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


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


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

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