Huge International Field for Mauritius

Tuesday, 31 May 2011 08:11 | Written by 
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Heading out at the start of the Sporty's Downwind Challenge warm up race Heading out at the start of the Sporty's Downwind Challenge warm up race

22 Aussie paddlers; 26 Saffas; 4 from the UAE; 5 from Hong Kong; 4 from Reunion; 2 from Namibia and 1 from Germany are registered so far for this year’s Island Shamaal Mauritius Ocean Classic…

The Molokai of the Indian Ocean

With its crystal clear warm water; true open ocean paddling conditions and the adrenalin spiking passage through the channel at Le Morne, the Island Shamaal Mauritius Ocean Classic, now in its third year, is assuming a stature not far short of Molokai as a classic surfski race venue.

Tropical Paradise!

Heading up the beach after the day's paddling - dang, this is a hard life!

Durban, Mauritius…

Two of the best downwind races on the planet on consecutive weekends?  That’s what’s happening – the Dunlop Surfski World Cup in Durban on 26 June, followed by the Island Shamaal in Mauritius on 2 July.  Simply awesome.

So who’s going to be there?

I haven’t seen the entry list for Durban, but I can tell you that it’s going to be bloody hard to make top ten in Mauritius, with the likes of:

  • Hank McGregor (SA) (who’s the only winner in Mauritius so far)
  • Jeremy Cotter (Aus) (who’s taken a long break from paddling and is looking to come back hard… came second last year)
  • Dawid Mocke (SA) (2011 World Champ, hungry to make up for the disappointments of the last two Island Shamaals)
  • Matt Bouman (SA) (who’s been dicing one on one with Hank McGregor in Durban – 2 victories each in the current Durban series)
  • Clint Pretorius (SA) (a demon downwinder as many elite paddlers know to their cost)
  • Jasper Mocke (SA) (who’s been training properly for the first time in years – watch out Dawid!)
  • Tom Schilperoort  (SA) (Tom’s been improving out of mind – as his second place in Molokai demonstrates)
  • Dean Beament (Aus) (gold medallist and SLS coach)
  • Dean Gardiner (Aus) (Fit from Molokai, Deano is always a factor if there’s good downwind.)
  • Barry Lewin (SA) (Highly experienced campaigner from Durban)
  • Darryl Bartho (SA) (Winner of Cape Point and numerous other international races)
  • Bruce Taylor (Aus) (Lead for most of the Doctor in Perth in January, only to be pipped by Tim Jacobs, Taylor wants to break McGregor’s stranglehold on this race)

Clearly this is going to be one of the hardest fought races on the calendar this year – I can’t wait to see it.

Island Shamaal Mauritius Ocean Classic 2010 from Reuven Kustanovich on Vimeo.

Women’s Race

Ruth Highman (Aus) looks to lead the women’s contingent, competing with Camille de Carmejane (HK) and Lauren Allot (Aus).

And then there’s Mauritius itself

Apart from the race of course, there’s all the other stuff that goes with being on a tropical island in the middle of the Indian Ocean – whether it’s kite-surfing, fishing, diving, snorkeling with the dolphins, sailing, surfing, hiking…  or simply chilling on the beach, Mauritius is one of my favorite places on the planet.

Can’t wait.

Black River Dolphins

This is an experience not to be missed: snorkeling with wild dolphins at Black River...

Still a couple of skis available...

There are still some skis left to rent, but if you're planning on coming to Mauritius and you haven't entered or booked a ski yet, best pull finger...

Click here for details:

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