Rob Mousley

40kt Durban Downwind

Monday, 22 January 2018 14:01 |

Sharon Armstrong again, doing what she loves on the warm Durban ocean.  

This kind of paddling has a different flavour to the downwinds that we do over here in Cape Town.  The runs tend to be bigger and longer and fast and the water's much warmer than ours.

We tend to be nervous of the surf when we go to Durban; when they come here they always exclaim how cold the water is!

40kt and big waves is combination only very experienced paddlers should attempt - Sharon has our full respect!

#mockemillersrunoftheseason - Pete Holloway's 89th!

Monday, 22 January 2018 13:43 |

Peter Holloway got into surfskis in the late 90s, using a series of hand-me-down boats for playing in the waves...  but around that time Fish Hoek saw a series of encounters between Great White Sharks and surfskis (click here for the details).  "For some reason," says Peter, "I lost interest in paddling for a while and took up cycling instead!"

And it was only 2014 that his yearning to be back on the sea overcame his aversion of big toothy fish.  He bought a Custom Kayaks Horizon from the surfski school and went on to a Think Evo II in which he did his first Miller's Run in 2015.  He now paddles a Fenn Swordfish S and this video was taken as he did his 89th Miller's Run.

#mockemillersrunoftheseason

The Mocke Millers Run Of The Season competition started in November and continues until the end of February; prizes for fastest run, the most runs, the fastest mixed doubles runs and... the best video are all on offer.

Pete's also after the 20-run special edition shirt and is only 4 away from that particular goal.

The day of this video, the SE swell was just begining to swing into False Bay, and Pete took one on the nose as he headed out to Bakoven Rock (which marks the start of the run itself).  It was big and bouncy and enormous fun.

"For me, the Miller's Run is the epitome of surfski paddling," said Peter. "It is a perfect combination of facing your fears and harnessing the power of the wind and waves. The rush of flying down the face of a huge ocean swell at 25 km/h is one that not many sports can compare with... it's also a great way to keep fit!"

Anything under 50min is considered a respectable time and Peter has broken his own record no fewer than 4 times so far during the competition, his current personal best being 47:32, which he achieved on 28 Dec 2017.

Go Pete!

 

Oskar Speck's 30,000 Mile Paddle

Thursday, 18 January 2018 09:58 |

Until recently I thought Freya Hoffmeister, with her 27,000km multi-year voyage around South America held the record for the longest trip ever.  Not so! 

Vanity Fair just published a remarkable story about Oskar Speck, who in 1932, paddled away from the bleak prospects of a Great Depression wracked Germany down the Danube River.  Seven years and 30,000 miles later, he arrived in Australia, just in time to be interned as a enemy alien at the outbreak of the Second World War.

Surfing the Bundeena Bar - Sea Kayaks!

Thursday, 18 January 2018 08:13 |

I don't usually list non-surfski videos, but this one is exceptional.  The location is Bundeena: a village on the outskirts of southern Sydney (29 km south of the Sydney central business district), in the state of New South Wales, Australia. 

The poster, Mark Sundin, is a well known explorer, kayak instructor and paddler in Aus.  He's part of Expedition Kayaks, based in Sydney.

The comment on the Expedition Kayaks Facebook page says it all: "Nick, Rob & Andrew having a great time out on the residual groundswell from Sydney's 'Big Tuesday'. It's a reminder of the virtue of shorter, manoeuvrable playboats with volume for absolutely rocking it in the surf, rather than just hanging on & surviving it."

For me, as a surfski paddler, some of the interesting points are:

  • It looks as though they have the rudders up most of the time.  Is this a Sea Kayak "thing" for playing in surf?
  • Watch how they're not just using their paddles to brace but actually to steer on the waves.  I'm not sure this would be possible on surfskis!
  • One of the guys capsizes - but of course, being an expert sea kayaker, he simply rolls upright again.
  • Not all sea kayakers are "sunday drivers"!  Respect!

But this looks like an absolutely awesome location to take a surfski - in the right conditions!

Ze Race - 50km Downwind in Guadaloupe

Tuesday, 16 January 2018 15:59 |

"Why go all the way to Guadeloupe?" I asked Nelo Surfski CEO Oscar Chalupsky.  "We sold a lot of skis there," he replied, "and it's a lot warmer than Porto!"  Oscar Chalupsky leaves his home Portugal on Saturday to fly, via Paris, to the Caribbean to take part in one of the longest downwind races in the world, Ze Race in Guadeloupe. 

And I suspect it's the "downwind" part that's the deciding factor that's attracting him there!

"The BEST Downwind" DAZ in Perth

Tuesday, 16 January 2018 08:28 |

Darryl Khng (DAZ) lives in Perth, Western Australia and is a prolific downwinder as his YouTube account testifies.

This video was shot in Perth on a run from Point Peron to South Beach, south of Fremantle, WA.  The runs are crazy clean - the water is crystal clear and warm.  What's not to like?!   

Click here to see more of DAZ's downwind vids.

Gale-force Durban Downwind

Thursday, 04 January 2018 09:12 |

Durban resident Sharon Armstrong  paddles a Carbonology Sport Zest surfski (and owns two of them, a full-carbon and a hybrid version).  "Due to the fact that my passion lies in downwinding in winds that exceed 30 knots and I do very little to no flat paddling, I chose an intermediate boat as I feel in 30-40 knot winds it is better suited," she said. "It is also a bit shorter so I can manoeuvre on the wave easily to maximise the runs. It catches and handles runs amazingly and is very reactive."

The route she was following on the day of this video was from Marine Surf Club (Addington Beach) in Durban and to Umhlanga (Durban View Beach). The route is +- 16km beach to beach.

When not on the ski, she does pilates, gym and swimming...

Go Sharon!  More of these videos, please!

Doubles Downwind

Monday, 01 January 2018 09:39 |

The Miller's Run may be the best known of the downwind runs in Cape Town, South Africa, but there are plenty of others...  This video was shot just to the north of Cape Town's city centre, on another popular route that runs from Milnerton to Big Bay, Blouberg.  The sea on this part of the coast offers very different conditions to the Miller's Run, which often has confused seas with several sets of waves running at different angles.  The Milnerton to Big Bay run, in contrast, usually has "clean" runs, lining up perfectly along the coast.

On the day this video was shot, the wind was gusting 47kt and there was very little ground swell.  Richard Kohler was in the front of the Carbonology Zest Double; Timothy Venn Fey was in the back with the camera.

Oscar Chalupsky - Miller's Run on the Nelo 520

Wednesday, 27 December 2017 18:32 |

So...  the big O is in town.  I haven't seen him yet, on the day we were supposed to paddle, he was delayed, playing golf!  But I left his Nelo 520 at the club and he did a Miller's Run by himself...

Fenn Cape Point Challenge - Race Report

Sunday, 24 December 2017 07:31 |

As he followed Jasper Mocke inside the rocks at Cape Point, 22-year-old Kenny Rice glanced back, looking for race favourite and defending champion Hank McGregor.  He was nowhere to be seen.  “Game on!” Rice thought to himself.  “Hurt the guys NOW!”

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