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Sean Rice Takes NY Mayor’s Cup Again...

Saturday, 14 August 2010 23:36 | Written by 
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Sean Rice Sean Rice Credits: photolamorte.com, photographer: Stephen Briggs

Sean Rice came to New York to defend his title knowing that he was not the favourite to win the race – he’d never beaten Dawid Mocke in a big race, nor was he expected to beat the strong Australian pair of Caine Eckstein and Jeremy Cotter.

Exit One Contender

Jeremy Cotter bowed out of the race even before it started, debilitated by a 24 hour stomach bug.  Gutted (so to speak) but somewhat recovered he agreed to act as spotter on the lead escort boat and to provide live commentary.

And then there were three (who could realistically be expected to have a chance of winning).

Going Out

The conditions could not have been more different than the last two years – a warm sunny day greeted the paddlers and the breeze hardly put a ripple on the water.

As expected Dawid Mocke, Caine Eckstein, Sean Rice, Greg Barton and Philippe Boccara broke away immediately, paddling steadily up river.  They weren’t sprinting, as you’d expect at the beginning of a 45km marathon, but, assisted by the current, they were doing 12.6mph/20kph over the ground!

Soon Greg Barton dropped back but only by about 50m.  He moved further out into the river and, possibly assisted by some extra current, maintained his position.

As they approached the turn into the Harlem River, however, Barton dropped back and was soon joined by Boccara.

NY Mayors Cup 2010

Into the Harlem River

Mocke, Rice and Eckstein were now in the Harlem River, tucked right into the bank.  Boccara and Barton, some 200m behind, chose a line in the centre of the river, and before the leading trio could say “who’s that out in the middle?” they’d caught right up.

And then there were five again.

And that’s the way it stayed for the next 15km.

Curiously it was the older paddlers who seemed to be doing most of the work.  The youngsters seldom took up the pull, apparently leaving it to Barton and Boccara to lead the group.  It looked very much as though mind games were being played.

Down the Harlem River towards the notorious Hell Gate, nothing very much happened.  Occasionally the group would break up as boat traffic sent some waves through the pack, but minutes later they’d all be together again.  Boccara seemed to be most affected by the breaks and reforming though, and had repeatedly to put in an interval to get back to the mob.  It was perhaps this that finally broke him.

As the group entered Hell Gate, Bocarra fell back some 10m behind the bunch.  He seemed to put in yet another interval, gained some ground, and then his race was over as he steadily fell back.

Eckstein makes his move

As the group approached the 59th Street Bridge, the group dynamics seemed subtly to alter.  Eckstein slid over to the left a little way while Mocke and Rice were pressed against the right bank.  Suddenly Eckstein was further to the left and about 40m ahead.  Race on!

As soon as Rice realised what was happening he put the hammer down – would he and Mocke work together to chase Eckstein down?

“Yeah it’s game on,” said Jeremy Cotter, “Caine looks like a different paddler – he’s energised, going far harder.”

As Rice answered the challenge, it became obvious that Mocke wasn’t staying with him.

The group had exploded – Eckstein was on the left with Barton behind him; Rice was on the right with Mocke behind him.

For a while it looked as though Eckstein was building up a solid lead – 50m, then 100m ahead.  But Rice, having raced the course before, and having scouted the route thoroughly over the last few days, stuck to his line, knowing that the river was going to turn to the right.  And by the time they reached the Williamsburg Bridge, he was in the lead.

Powering to the Finish

And after that it was one way traffic as the stocky 21 year old kept making ground on Eckstein.  By the time they had rounded the Battery and were heading back up the Hudson River, Rice was 200m ahead of Eckstein with Mocke another km further back.

Conditions on the Hudson were perfect – flat, almost no current and very little wind.

Rice let his foot off the throttle just a little – but speeded up again as the media boat came alongside for Rambo to take close up shots!  Rice was doing 13.5kph over the ground – into whatever current there was.

And that was NYMC 2010 in the bag.

An astounding achievement for the young South African whose time of 3:17:08, was just three minutes outside the course record of 3:14 held by Herman Chalupsky.

US Surfski Champs

Next weekend Rice, Mocke, Cotter and Eckstein move on to San Francisco where they’ll be joined by another squad of Aussies including Shannon Eckstein, Caine’s older brother.  Racing in San Francisco will be very different – the last 2/3 of the course being downwind.  And the wind has being blowing regularly every afternoon at 20-25kt under the Golden Gate.  I can’t wait!  Stay tuned!

Official Results, Photos and Video

... will follow as and when we get them!

Unofficial Results

1 67 5 SEAN RICE ELITE OPEN - SURFSKI 3:17:08
2 55 5 CAINE ECKSTEIN ELITE OPEN - SURFSKI 3:19:36
3 64 5 DAWID MOCKE ELITE OPEN - SURFSKI 3:27:46
4 45 5 GREG BARTON ELITE OPEN - SURFSKI 3:34:00
5 56 5 FRANCK FIFILS ELITE OPEN - SURFSKI 3:39:14
6 74 5 DORIAN WOLTER ELITE OPEN - SURFSKI 3:41:36
7 59 5 BORYS MARKIN ELITE OPEN - SURFSKI 3:42:49
8 48 5 PHILIPPE BOCCARA ELITE OPEN - SURFSKI 3:43:18
9 70 5 BAREND SPIES ELITE OPEN - SURFSKI 3:46:07
10 81 6 BLAKE MANU'IWA MASTER OC6 3:48:54
11 12 4 DERICK/BRENT BEZUIDEN ELITE OPEN DOUBLE SURFSKI 3:50:10
12 53 5 JOEL DUOX ELITE OPEN - SURFSKI 3:51:56
13 72 5 DIDIER VAVASSEUR ELITE OPEN - SURFSKI 3:51:58
14 57 5 JOE GLICKMAN ELITE OPEN - SURFSKI 3:52:01
15 30 4 LEX/JEAN RAAS/RAAS ELITE OPEN - OC2 3:52:28
16 198 6 MARK MANZANO OC6 3:52:35
17 13 4 JIM/STEVE HOFFMAN/DEL ELITE OPEN DOUBLE SURFSKI 3:53:19
18 61 5 MICHAL STARCZEWSKI ELITE OPEN - SURFSKI 3:53:52
19 63 5 ROBERT MIRLENBRINK ELITE OPEN - SURFSKI 3:55:56
20 60 5 ERIC MCNETT ELITE OPEN - SURFSKI 3:58:39
21 62 5 ERIC MIMS ELITE OPEN - SURFSKI 4:00:43
22 26 3 LUKE EVSLIN ELITE OPEN - OC1 4:03:52
23 69 5 ROWAN SAMPSON ELITE OPEN - SURFSKI 4:04:09
24 11 4 MARK/SEAN CECONI/MILA ELITE OPEN DOUBLE SURFSKI 4:06:26
25 31 4 JOHN/JANE ZEIGLE/ZEIG ELITE OPEN - OC2 4:09:28
26 41 5 ALEX MCLAIN ELITE OPEN - SURFSKI 4:12:50
27 65 5 DAVID PRINGLE ELITE OPEN - SURFSKI 4:13:40
28 25 3 JEREMY GROSVENOR ELITE OPEN - OC1 4:14:14
29 27 3 ALAN GOTO ELITE OPEN - OC1 4:15:36
30 32 4 KELLY/CAROLINE RHODES ELITE OPEN - OC2 4:16:02
31 23 3 ANDREY DRACHENKO ELITE OPEN - OC1 4:16:06
32 58 5 TOM KERR ELITE OPEN - SURFSKI 4:16:56
33 98 3 DAVID FURNISS SEA KAYAK FAST TOURING 4:19:24
34 24 3 ROD MCLAIN ELITE OPEN - OC1 4:20:14
35 29 3 DANNY HAMMER ELITE OPEN - OC1 4:31:30
36 28 3 BRENT BECK ELITE OPEN - OC1 4:33:51
37 3 2 PHIL/MICHAEL WARNER/B TOURING TANDEM - ACHILLES 4:36:16
38 119 1 MARCUS DEMUTH SEA KAYAK TOURING 4:41:04
39 143 2 IAN/STEVE FRENKEL/FAG SEA KAYAK TOURING TANDEM 4:46:03
40 118 1 BOB DEAN SEA KAYAK TOURING 4:48:03
41 123 1 JOE ERVIN SEA KAYAK TOURING 4:49:56
42 128 1 JOHN LAGRASSA SEA KAYAK TOURING 4:50:25
43 100 1 JESSE WILENSKY SEA KAYAK TOURING 4:54:25
44 113 1 PAULA JEAN LUNT SEA KAYAK TOURING 5:02:01
45 125 1 RUNAR HOLEN SEA KAYAK TOURING 5:07:06

Race Commentary

Event information

New York, USA

14-August-2010

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Ray Fusco

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