Best 4 Surfski Series 2012

I am in a huge hurry to get loads of surfski training in before Totalsports Challenge 2013 in January. Because of the inherent danger of being on the ocean, I am ready to jump at any opportunity to get some paddling done.
Twitter: @PaddlingCentre & @surfskicoza

Race #1: Stellar Kayaks V&A Grading Race

Race #2: Hansa 3 Beaches, 28 October 2012

False Bay looked pretty calm when I arrived at Fish Hoek Beach, but a mild south-easter soon built up to a decent strength, putting paid to any ideas I had of doing the long paddle. Both the short course and the long course were altered due to the wind: the short course became 3 laps around buoys in the (relative) shelter of Fish Hoek Bay, and the long course headed out and around Roman Rock Lighthouse.

The water was not quite as choppy as on Friday’s Sea Dog, but there was still a bit of swell running into the bay. Luckily the course was a bit easier as it headed further out to the point before heading back in almost directly to the beach, and so down the run.

The NSRI was on duty, as well as the Fish Hoek Surf Lifesaving Club team, so everyone was well cared for — and quite a few needed help, especially those who braved the long course!

I was the 4th boat in the short course, finishing as the 3rd single home in a time of 00:24:20. I felt a lot more comfortable in the boat, with only one swim (again trying to catch runs), and my average speed is just a fraction faster already.

There was plenty of cold Hansa, Red Bull and TUC give-aways on the beach to go with a great competitive but fun spirit. Dawid Mocke, who took the honours on the long course race in a closely contested sprint to the finish, did the honours at a fun prize-giving where plenty more cold Hansa was enjoyed.

Race #3: Brians Kayaks Blouberg Classic, 04 November 2012

Race #4: CIVVIO Hout Bay Clash, 18 November 2012

Beautiful sunny weather at Hout Bay Beach greeted a big turn-out for the 4th race of the series.

I really needed a longer paddle, so I opted for the long course, which was two loops totalling 12km. I have read descriptions of how confused the water can be in Hout Bay, and although I am sure today’s conditions were very mild, I did battle quite a bit with some swell bouncing off Chapman’s Peak. There was a fair swell in the bay, and I guess all that water has to go somewhere. It really is all about boat-speed, I guess, and I have a long way to go!

The course took us close-in beneath Chapman’s Peak Drive, and I must say it was very special to paddle beneath this with the world-famous landmark. From there we headed across until we were alongside the harbour wall before heading across the shoreline for the next loop.

Civvio Hout Bay Classic 2012

As usual the NSRI were on hand to look after our safety.

Prize-giving was at Dunes Restaurant. Richard Kohler popped by on his rest day, and it was great chatting to him first-hand about his epic Paddling for Smiles paddle around the coast of South Africa.

Race #5: Island Tribe Strand Ocean Test, 25 November 2012

Race #6: New Balance Surfers Challenge, 02 December 2012

The race was at Long Beach, Kommetjie. There was a strong onshore wind and a decent swell running. The long course was two laps straight out round a buoy and back onto the beach.

I must say I found the conditions really tough, with paddling out into the wind, swell and chop a big strain, and paddling back in not much easier with the chop making it difficult to catch the runs! I wiped out on a big run coming back in to the finish, and then got tangled in my new leg leash and paddle leash. My first attempt at remounting failed, and I then had to release the leash to untangle myself. The NSRI Rescue 26 Crew from Kommetjie who were on duty were luckily close at hand, and the crew member jumped overboard and swam over to hold my ski stable whilst I got back on. This is something I will have to practice — I think I would really have battled without their help. Thanks so much!

Race #7: Paddling Centre Millers Point Match Up, 13 January 2013

The venue is Black Marlin Beach (Millers Point) using the Black Marlin Restaurant as a home base.

Race #8: Butlers Pizza Milnerton Lagoon Beach Rush, 20 January 2013

Pre-race entries and registration will be in the parking lot at Lagoon Beach. Registration is from 07h00 – 08h30, with the short course starting at 09h00 and the long course at 09h10.

Prize giving will be on The Lagoon Beach Hotel’s pool deck. There will be pizza on the beach from our sponsors for the day, Cape Towns Number 1 pizza….Butlers!

Race report…

Race #9: Seaforth Ocean Contest, 27 January 2013

The venue is Seaforth beach just before Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town. The Seaforth Restaurant will be the home-base for registration and prize-giving, and will be providing the prizes for the 9th race in the series.

Race #10: Epic Kayaks Glen McGregor Finale, 03 February 2013

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Outdoor adventure enthusiast living on the Garden Route.

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