King of the Harbour 2007 Day 1 Report

Saturday, 24 March 2007 13:30 | Written by 
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Image24 March 2007, Auckland, New Zealand

The King of the Harbour, one of the most prestigious surf ski races in the international calendar, is a two-day event held on North Island, New Zealand.  The results from the three-man relay event on day 1 are combined with the individual event on day 2 to compute the team and individual titles.


Day 1

Day 1 comprised a 7km time trial relay around buoys laid in a triangular course off Takapuna Beach.  A 15-20km/h wind was blowing onshore. 

"Add to the sidewind/headwind/downwind combination the outgoing tide and current of about 3-4kms/h in some spots and the paddle is quite technical." commented Dawid Mocke.


Top paddlers from South Africa, New Zealand and Tahiti competed in three-man teams, with individual times counting towards the overall event.

SA A-team: Bevan Manson, Dawid Mocke, Darryl Bartho with Grant Heim (NZ) in front (Photo: Oscar Chalupsky)

South Africa was represented by Bevan Manson, Darryl Bartho and Dawid Mocke; New Zealand by Fred Tear, Mike Walker and Ben Fouhy.  Oscar Chalupsky joined an "over 40s" team while a squad from Tahiti was lead by Lewis Laughlin.

Relay Race

The first lap saw the Over 40s leading as Oscar Chalupsky took charge, leading Bevan Manson by about 40 seconds.  But Darryl Bartho, taking up the second leg, paddled South Africa into the lead followed closely by Olympic bronze medalist Ben Fouhy for New Zealand. 

Dawid & Oscar before the Day 1 relay (Photo: Oscar Chalupsky)

Dawid, going third for South Africa made sure of the win, with New Zealand coming in second followed by the Over 40s.

Individual Times

Dawid Mocke took the fastest time of 29:29.  Mike Walker was 67 sec behind, Oscar Chalupsky another 15 sec further back with Darryl Bartho, Bevan Manson, Paul Wlford and Fred Tear also in contention.

With the times from both days counting towards the event, Dawid goes into day 2 with a huge advantage.

"I feel that this kind of time trial format suited me as I can really crank it up over such a short distance" said Dawid. "It's nice to go into the 2nd day with a 1 minute cushion, although anything can happen around that island tomorrow."

The Day 2 course takes the paddlers around Rangitoto Island - through an area notorious for tides and currents. 

Day 2 course - around Rangitoto Island

As Dawid said, "It's going to be a dog fight out there as Mike and Ben really know the water around that island and you can make 3-4 minutes in the blink of an eye if you're not concentrating"

For full Day 1 results, click here

Stay tuned!

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