Italian bureaucracy is a huge pain and Guido Cali the organiser has being fighting for permission to allow the race to cross the bay from Cagliari to Villasimius or vice versa depending on wind direction and he seems to have got it together after much browbeating by myself and others that downwind is the way to go.
Downwind course from Cagliari if Mistral wind blows.
If there is no wind the course will revert to the triangular course format.
Back to 2011
The 2011 Ohana Mana Cup in Sardinia was certainly interesting for me. I still could not paddle due to very long shoulder injury convalescence but there sure was some good entertainment in the dramas and interactions between characters which arrived for the paddling and the presentation of new surfskis.
One of the highlights for me though was the way in which Fishhoek lad Jasper Mocke took the race by the scruff of the neck and gave the rest of the competitors a lesson in power paddling.
I had driven over 1000 kms to fetch a Fenn Elite SL for him to use in the race and it sure was worth it.
Other highlights were the jovial Spaniards and their passion for the sport and the happy go lucky attitude of the Swedes…all great paddlers as well.
The behind the race drama and scenes were really something
There were a few BIG men around….and some sword rattling as a result.
Mario, Eastern European accent with Australian undertones presenting well made familiar looking Vajda skis.….and one of his skis was called OSCAR!
He seemed completely oblivious to what he had stirred up.
The one and only Oscar, the legend, the big O, kept on shaking his head in disbelief at the affront of it all. He was certainly less vocal than usual but as usual, but this time armed with laptop and piles of data he gave me the run down about the superiority of computers in surfski design.
The third big guy, Daniele, the Italian, on home ground , as vocal as always reminding us of his kayaking prowess and insisting on the future of doubles in surfski racing….under no circumstance would he rise rise to my taunts that he should paddle the race in a single so as to show what he was really made of.
..and Rambo filming them!
Daniele Scarpa and Paulo Sfameni on their double alongside Daniel Sanchez Villoria
In the cocktail throw in the group of happily grinning Swedes, 3 South Africans, a pile of Germans, loads of Italians, some Portuguese, Swiss, Hungarians, Reza the Iranian, many Eastern Europeans and an armada of Spaniards.
Quite an event!
Plus the drama of the race organiser Guido Cali having to rush off just before the race was to start since his partner was about to give birth.
The triangular course was supposed to have taken advantage of the wind so that most of the course could be a down wind but the expected change of wind direction did not come about and the race ended up as an upwind grind.
Jasper Mocke certainly showed the rest of the paddlers how to do it in conditions which did not favour him.
He took off like a rocket chasing the zig zagging direction boat to the first buoy ( a red towel flapping in the wind) and held the lead right through the race taken an inner line to stay out of the wind.
The chasing pack had their own race with Tommy Karls showing what a powerful paddler he is, coming in 3rd place behind Spaniard marathon man Vega Kiko
Tommy’s grin at the end of the race told it all – he had won his wager with Oscar.
He will remain on his ski of choice!
For more info
2011 race results and information about the 2012 race are at: