Nelo Summer Challenge

Sunday, 29 August 2010 09:21 | Written by 
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Nelo Summer Challenge

The 2010 Nelo Summer Challenge set a new benchmark in terms of live coverage – in spite of battling with technology that collapsed under the weight of the sheer number of viewers…

Day 1 – 10km downwind sprint

Tim Jacobs walked away with the Euro3,500, beating a truly astonishing array of paddling talent – Olympian sprinters were two a penny and much of the current European marathon talent was there too.

The course comprised a 3km leg out from the beach into the wind, followed by 6km downwind and a final 1km sprint into the finish.  The mixture of a shore break and flat water paddlers made a highly entertaining spectacle for the crowd…

The top six results were:

  1. Tim Jacobs (Aus) 41:26
  2. Ken Wallace (Aus) 42:11
  3. David Smith (Aus) 42:21
  4. Jacob Clear (Aus) 42:26
  5. Jasper Mocke (SA) 42:59
  6. Barry Lewin (SA) 43:32

In the women’s race, Michele Eray (SA) took the win.

(The other results are on the website.  It’s still down as I write this but will no doubt be up again before too long.)


Day 2 – surf lifesaving style knock-out

The course for the knockout was a 400m paddle out from the beach, around two cans and then back in again.  Nelo provided identical spec skis for all competitors.

A total of 19 heats decided who would be in the 20-place men’s and women’s finals…

The women’s event was taken by Bridgitte Hartley (SA) with Lani Belcher (UK) and Michele Eray (SA) second and third.

After a disappointing 10km race, Jasper Mocke was stoked to win the round the cans event – the South African has been selected to captain his team in the World Surf Lifesaving Championships later this year in Egypt.  David Smith (Aus) and Jacob Clear (Aus) came second and third.



Live Coverage

Nelo provided live coverage of both events – on the first day showing commentary, a GPS track of the leaders and live streaming video.  They were clearly bedevilled by the technology and the streaming video shut down after a few minutes, while the commentator seemed overwhelmed by the speed of the race!  (Having been in a similar situation – crashed just after the finish of the 2007 Dubai Shmaal – I really felt for them.)

But in my opinion they showed the way forward – we need exactly this kind of coverage to take surfski racing to the next level.

I watched the live video/commentary of the round the cans final and it was a truly compelling experience – the race was shown from start to finish, the prize-giving was then held on camera within a few minutes of the end of the race.  Awesome!

More Video

For more video highlights, see:

NELO - Summer Challenge 2010 Race 001 Highlights

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