Dunlop World Cup (South Africa) - Top Aussies on the way

Friday, 03 June 2011 06:35 | Written by  Gameplan Media
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Clash of the titans...  Gardiner v Chalupsky for Durban 2011 Clash of the titans... Gardiner v Chalupsky for Durban 2011

Durban - A number of top international surfski racing stars are listed amongst the early entries for the Dunlop Surfski World Cup on 26 June, including Australian surfski legend Dean Gardiner.

Gardiner Returns

Gardiner famously spoilt the party at the first ever South African World Cup in 2004 by winning the single ski race from a strong and fired up field of local stars, and has consistently been a global pacesetter in major international surfski races.

Gardiner Wins

Deano won the very first World Cup in South Africa in 2004 (in Cape Town - when is the event returning to Cape Town???)

Taylor and Anderson

Gardiner will be joined at the race by fellow Australians Bruce Taylor and Mark Anderson, with a number of other international entries expected to follow this week, ahead of the closing date for normal entries on Friday 10 June.

Anderson raced last year's World Cup and is looking forward to his return to Durban now that he is familiar with typical winter offshore conditions, while Taylor is one of the consistent star performers on the Australian domestic surfski calendar.  Taylor lead the Perth Doctor in January all the way to the beach where he was pipped by a charging Tim Jacobs.

Clash of the Titans

Gardiner is a seasoned veteran surfski racer who has over the years developed a rivalry with Durban racer Oscar Chalupsky, who is two years his senior. Chalupsky is relishing the opportunity to lock antlers with Gardiner again.

"Bring it on," said Chalupsky after learning of Gardiner's entry. "He has only beaten me once in World Cups and he is racing me on my turf, so I can't wait."

Back to the old date

Last year's Dunlop Surfski World Cup was bumped out of its usual spot in the international calendar by the FIFA Soccer World Cup in Durban, creating an unfortunate clash with the Molokai Challenge in Hawaii, which attracts most of the world's top endurance surfski stars.

However with the calendar returning to normal the Durban event now enjoys the undistracted attention of the surfski community, and is sure to feature a big field.

Shorter Course

Significantly the race distance has also been shortened slightly, making it more attractive for visiting internationals.

"The Dunlop Surfski World Cup is the longest race on the international circuit," said race organiser Billy Harker. "However we have decided to shorten it from 33km to 26km for a number of reasons."

"It makes for tighter racing, with the top paddlers likely to take about an hour and a half to finish. But the main reason is safety," said Harker. "We often have to wait for wind and start the race later in the day, and that means that the slower paddlers risk coming in in fading light, which is a problem we face with a mid-winter race."

Durban World Cup 2008

Durban is famous for its fabulous downwind conditions, which saw particularly exciting World Cups in 2007 and 2008.  Here Oscar Chalupsky launches down a massive swell during the 2008 race.

Biggest Race

The Dunlop Surfski World Cup last year attracted a record 296 paddlers, making it the biggest race on the World Tour. Harker expects that number to swell significantly with the return to the traditional date and the new race format.

The race was won by Dawid Mocke (who won 4 out of 8 races on the international circuit making him the undisputed 2010 world champion) in the tightest sprint finish ever in the history of surfski.  Mocke and Matt Bouman had diced the entire course, until Mocke broke away towards the finish.  But Bouman took a risky line straight into the beach, while Mocke, playing safe, let a wave roll under him before charging for the finish.  Bouman got to the beach first, but some way from the flags, he had to sprint with his boat over the sand, while Mocke, having had time to line his ski up, came in directly to the finish.  The two men were cm apart when Mocke crossed the line in first place.

Matt Bouman

Matt Bouman rides a wave into the beach - but arrived some distance from the flags

 Dawid Mocke

Dawid Mocke played it safe, but was then able to ride the next wave directly to the finish

 Women's Race

All eyes will be on Nikki Mocke and Michele Eray; Eray won the 2009 race, Mocke the 2010 race.  They'll be challenged by Aussie paddler Ruth Highman and a strong contingent of Durban paddlers.

Nikki and Dawid Mocke - winners all Michele Eray

Dawid and Nikki Mocke (L) and Michele Eray (R)

 


 

Courses

Dunlop Surfski World Cup 2011

Dunlop Surfski World Cup 2011

Entries for the Dunlop Surfski World Cup close at midnight on Friday 10 June.

More information can be found at www.surfski.co.za

Dunlop Surfski World Cup 2011


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