Schilperoort Beats Mocke in Sprint Finish at Langebaan

Sunday, 24 October 2010 20:24 | Written by 
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Tom Schilperoort wins Tom Schilperoort wins Credits: John Hishin, Sally Mellish

Cape Town’s Tom Schilperoort finally dumped the monkey off his back and won his first victory against world champion Dawid Mocke.

Calm conditions

The second of the Cape Discovery Sunglass Hut series races took place yesterday in Langebaan Lagoon, 120km north of Cape Town.  As expected, the lagoon was flat, with only a light westerly breeze ruffling the water’s surface.

Discovery Sunglass Hut Surfski Series

Warming up - the course went around the drilling ship in the background

Course and Conditions

The race organisers made the most of the conditions – setting a 15km triangular course that took the paddlers from the beach out around a ship moored in the lagoon entrance, downwind to the shore with the swell and breeze and finally back to the start.

The Race

As usual the short course paddlers and SUPs were sent off first, the doubles started ten minutes later and the singles batches, Elite and A-grade first, started at five minute intervals after that.

The conditions dictated tactics – a quick start was imperative to enable one to find a good spot in the packs that immediately formed and it was a case of slipstreaming the ski next to you all the way out to the ship.

Discovery Sunglass Hut Surfski Series

The elite singles head out

In our doubles group, we had a fast but steady ride in a group of four skis.  As we rounded the massive anchor chain, the group immediately split – the ski closest to the ship’s side catching a wave and surging ahead.  The runs were hard to catch, but rewarding, and if you kept up the cadence it was possible to string several together in exhilarating surges of speed.

Starting five minutes behind us, Schilperoort, Dawid Mocke and Graeme Solomon had dropped the rest of the Elite and A-grade paddlers.

On rounding the ship, they too made use of the swells – but stayed together in a group, slipstreaming still paying off.  Schilperoort latched onto Mocke’s tail and stayed there in spite of Mocke’s best efforts to shake him.

Reaching the beach, the three men rounded the buoy together and set off parallel to the wind and waves back to the finish.  A kilometre later, Graeme Solomon dropped back and Schilperoort moved into the lead.  Mocke found himself on Schilperoort’s right shoulder.

Approaching the finish in our double, we had a grandstand view as the two men rocketed past, turned hard left and crossed the line.  Mocke, on the outside of the turn inevitably dropped back and Schilperoort shot across to a well deserved win.

I asked Mocke later what had happened.  “I guess I just ran out of gas!” he said.  “But it was a great paddle and a great win for Tom.”

I asked him how he’d let himself get on the wrong side of Schilperoort – knowing that they would have to turn left towards the finish.  His coach (and wife) Nikki overheard and said, “we’re going to be having a debrief about that later!”

Schilperoort was elated, having had a string of disappointing results over the last two seasons in spite of performing well in training.  “I had the opportunity to paddle a lighter, carbon, ski,” he said.  “Last week I was on a heavier glass boat and felt that I was at a slight disadvantage.

“The conditions suited me – I thought that if I could hang on to the front bunch then I’d be able to have a go at a sprint finish.  And that’s what happened.  I’m so stoked.”

Pics by Sally Mellish


Women’s Race

Nikki Mocke was again in a class of her own, finishing 17th overall and 3:29 in front of the second woman, Jackie Barnes.

Discovery Sunglass Hut Surfski Series

Winning women's double - Cathryn Treasure and Megan Kelly

Discovery Sunglass Hut Surfski Series

Billy and Tracy Harker won the mixed doubles

Discovery Sunglass Hut Surfski Series

Heinrich Schloms & Ernest van Riet power in to win the overall doubles title

And how did we do?  We finished some seven minutes behind the winners, Stellenbosch university paddlers Heinrich Schloms and Ernst van Riet who had a tight dice with veterans Bruce Neil and Theo van Dyk before winning in 1:02:23.



Full results are up on


  1. Tom Schilperoort 1:03:47
  2. Dawid Mocke 1:03:48
  3. Graeme Solomon 1:04:41
  4. Gary Cromie 1:06:33
  5. Simon van Gyssen 1:07:06
  6. Peter Cole 1:08:30
  7. Ian Trautman 1:08:33
  8. Justin Maddock 1:10:16
  9. Dominique Notten 1:10:17
  10. Ashley Carstens 1:10:27

Elite Ladies

  1. Nikki Mocke 1:11:36
  2. Jackie Barnes 1:15:05
  3. Kim Brugman 1:20:21

Mens Doubleski

  1. Heinrich Schloms & Ernest van Riet 1:02:23
  2. Bruce Neil & Theo van Wyk 1:02:30
  3. Craig Maltby & Dimitri Panagiotides 1:07:24

Ladies Doubleski

  1. Cathryn Treasure & Megan Kelly 1:34:11

Mixed Doubles

  1. Billy & Tracey Harker 1:12:35
  2. Simon Osstenhuizen & Tamika Haw 1:14:36


  1. Dominique Notten 1:10:17
  2. Kenny Rice 1:14:00
  3. Kirstin Flanagan (F) 1:39:35



Discovery Sunglass Hut Surfski Series




  • Race 3 - 31 Oct - New Balance Fish Hoek Surf Challenge
  • Race 4 - 7 Nov - Discovery Downwind
  • Race 5 - 13 & 14 Nov - KIA SA Ski Champs in East London
  • Race 6 - 21 Nov - Powerade Oceana Race & CPC Qualifier
  • Race 7 & 8 -  27 & 28 Nov - Peninsula Marathon
  • Race 9 - 4 Dec - Peter Creese Lighthouse Race
  • Race 10 - 18 Dec - FENN Cape Point Challenge

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