Dawid Mocke King of the Harbour 2007

Sunday, 25 March 2007 05:20 | Written by 
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Image"Well pleased!  Very well pleased!" - Dawid Mocke's feelings on being crowned King of the Harbour for the third time.

Dawid took a 70 sec lead into Day 2 after his outstanding performance in the relay race the day before, but he knew that Mike Walker, current King of the Harbour Champion, would be going all out make up the deficit.  And with local knowledge of the tricky currents, Mike just might be able to pull it off.

"I didn't want to just sit and protect my lead," said Dawid, "because I knew there would be runs for second half of the race - and anything can happen downwind."

Race Course

The race course was simple: send the paddlers out from Takapuna Beach into the wind., anti-clockwise around Rangitoto Island and back to the beach.

King of the Harbour day 2 - Oscar's GPS Track

But Rangitoto itself is deceptive - the channel between the two islands is shallow giving paddlers a hard grind for about 500m and, while the race start was timed to coincide with high tide, there was potential for local knowledge to give an advantage in the currents around the north end of the island.

A 10-15kt onshore breeze ensured that the last 8-9km would be downwind with runs.  


Dawid was therefore faced with two threats - Oscar Chalupsky's legendary downwind prowess over the second half of the course and Mike Walker's strength on the flat and local knowledge of the conditions.

"Mike started super-hard," said Dawid. "He broke up the group early and went about 100m into the lead."

Race start (Photo: Oscar Chalupsky)

Dawid and Oscar chased him down, but Dawid was struggling - his foot plate had shifted about two notches forward as he set off ("I must have dislodged it when I was putting my juice in," he said) and he could barely reach his rudder pedals.

Mike Walker leads Dawid Mocke and Oscar Chalupsky (Photo: www.sportzhub.com)

"I don't think Mike knew just how close I was to dropping off," Dawid added.

By the time the three reached the island, they were in a tight bunch, Mike Walker leading; Dawid second and Oscar close behind.

Mike Walker and Dawid (Photo: www.sportzhub.com)

"My tactic was to break away in the wind shadow between the islands," Dawid said, "and that's what happened.  The runs cleaned up a bit, giving me my favourite conditions."

Dawid opened up a 50m lead which he maintained through the channel between Rangitoto and Motutapu Islands.  As he turned the corner to head back to the beach, he put his head down to try and increase his lead.

Dawid breaks away at Rangitoto (Photo: www.sportzhub.com)

"As I hit the runs, I cranked hard to increase my lead over the other two - and I got out to about 600-700m ahead," he said.

Wary of Mike Walker's intimate knowledge of the currents and coastline, Dawid kept an eye on his rival.  "Wherever Mike went, I covered him," Dawid said.

Coming back in the runs, Dawid maintained his lead to the end, winning the race by some two minutes overall.

Dawid victorious (Photo: www.sportzhub.com)

Dawid announced that he will be traveling to Hawaii to take part in the Molokai Challenge in May.  Watch this space!

For more information see:




Day 2 Results:

1. Dawid Mocke (SA)

2. Mike Walker (NZ)

3. Oscar Chalupsky (SA)

4. Bevan Manson (SA)

5. Darryl Bartho (SA)

6. Ben Fouhy (NZ)

7. Paul Wilford (NZ)

8. Simon McLarin (NZ)

9. Oskar Stielau (NZ)

10. Grant Heim (NZ)

First woman: Katie Pocock (NZ)


Overall Results:

1. Dawid Mocke (SA)

2. Mike Walker (NZ)

3. Oscar Chalupsky (SA)

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