The West Coast Downwinder was run and won over the weekend and despite lackluster downwind conditions it turned out to be a great afternoon for all involved. The event lived up to the pre-race hype and paddlers were greeted with calm, hot, flat, grind conditions for the 17-kilometer event. Over 100+ paddlers took to the start line and a blistering pass was set early on.
Top competitors held under 4:20 pace the whole way sharing leads down the course from Swanboune to Sorrento. It was a tight battle up front, with a pack of twenty belting out from the start. This was quickly dwindled down to eight after three kilometers. This included Cory Hill, Jasper Mocke, Dawid Mocke, Michael Booth, Mark Anderson, Daniel Humble, Michael Baker and Reece Baker.
At 5 kilometers, Dawid broke off the group to head closer to shore with the other 5 choosing to stay out wide, approximately 200 meters from the beach. Near Scarborough Michael Baker dropped off the pack after leading the train early on. It was then down to 4.
Cory and Jasper looked the most comfortable out there and really pushed the pace the whole way. Michael Booth fell off the group with about 2.5 kilometers to go after forcing his way back on the train multiple times.
Soon after, Reece Baker also lost the lead group and it was a race in two, with 1.5 kilometers to go. Cory looked to break Jasper 1km out, however, Jasper fought back to take the win by a nail-biting three seconds. Michael Booth and Dawid Mocke snuck around Reece in the dying stages with the heat and conditions really getting to him. Michael Baker finished in a strong 6th place, closely followed by Brendan Sarson and Mark Anderson.
For Jasper it was his first race win of the calendar year and at the presentation he was excited to get the monkey off the back, 'it was great to win this event, especially with in form guys like Cory Hill and Michael Booth racing, it makes it that bit more special'. Cory who has established himself to be the man to beat all year told us that he ‘felt really comfortable out there the whole way and despite not winning "I am feeling good for the doctor next week". "Lets hope there is some wind! Its looking awesome!’ Michael who snuck a third in the dying stages despite Reece and Dawid being hot on his heels told us 'I was happy to hang on for as long as I did. It was super hot and flat out there. I haven't had a great preparation for this event so I’m stoked to steal third from Reece in the dying stages'.
In the hotly contested over 40’s Greg Long took the win, ahead of Michael Dobler and Justin Farrelly. In the Junior Geriatrics Dean Gardiner scraped over the line in first, ahead of Shaun Rice and Robert Jenkinson.
In the super masters (60’s) it was global travel sensation Muz Latham, ahead of Norm Miller and Robert Hodge.
In the woman's race it was a battle in two between New Zealands Rachel Clarke and South Africa's Michelle Burn. Burn and Clark went off together early on but at the 10km mark Rachel broke away and went on to take the win. After the race Rachel told us 'It was great having a win today, Michelle is such a great paddler, so I knew it would be a tough battle. This event is a great lead up to next weekend!’ Natasha Leaversuch was third across the line only three minutes behind the international stars. In the over 40’s Aimee Christie had a win and in the over 50’s Julie Jenkinson took the honors.
The next two events are the Sunset Surfski Series this Thursday and The Epic Doctor on Saturday. Wind is looking great for both events!
For full results of the West Coast Downwinder click below