On 23 August, 2014, the inaugural Canadian Surfski Champs was held in coastal British Columbia, one week after the US Surfski Champs in San Francisco, attracting the top 8 finishers as well as Hank McGregor, who flew out from South Africa for the event.
Rising star Michael Booth of the Gold Coast almost pulled off a complete sweep at the 2014 Gatorade Clash of the Paddles on Hamilton Island at the weekend. With ski events held over 3km, 7km, a 25km downwind course and an Eliminator sprint race, a quality field and serious cash on offer; it was expected that the spoils would be shared. But the hungry Booth proved almost untouchable over the course of the weekend, taking the overall honours in all events bar the lucrative Eliminator sprint race – where he still finished second!
Thirty minutes into the Maui Jim Molokai Challenge, first-time participant Jasper Mocke led a five-man conga line of Clint Robinson, Hank McGregor, Cory Hill and Jeremy Cotter. When Mocke sprinted for a wave that shot him across Robinson's path, the five-time Olympian admonished him like a state trooper confronting an unlicensed driver. Mocke thought nothing of his move. "That's how we race in South Africa," he said. "It was just aggressive."
After two weeks of howling trade winds and mountainous seas in the Kaiwi Channel, the 2014 Molokai Challenge is faced with baking temperatures, glassy seas and “winds light and variable”. And that means 52km of an intense challenge of a different kind…
As we all know, Molokai is the Big Kahuna of surfski races; the 32mile/51km crossing of the Kaiwi Channel between Molokai and Oahu Islands in Hawaii is a daunting challenge (whatever the weather!). The race is back for 2014, but it's now back under the management of the Kanaka Ikaika Racing Association (KIRA). Here's the preliminary announcement from KIRA's Jim Foti.
This year the Maraamu Surfski Race will take place on September 14. For the fifth edition, the organizing committee has the honor to welcome among the registrants, Dean Gardiner, Clint Robinson (Molokai 2013 Champion), Jeremy Cotter and Michael Booth! We also have confirmation from some New Zealanders and several other Australians!
Jeremy Cotter and Clint Robinson went head-to-head at this weekend's Gatorade Battle of the Paddles, with Jeremy taking out the 25km surfski race on Saturday, and Clint claiming Friday's 16km thriller.
Australia’s largest outrigger event, Gatorade Battle of the Paddles, will take place on Hamilton Island from 14 – 18 June 2012, with an impressive prize pool worth $90,000... and surfski is included as a discipline for the first time.
This video just popped up on Youtube - it's a team Epic Kayaks clip put together to celebrate their achievements (first double; first, second and fifth singles)... Some nice footage, showing what the conditions were like on the day.