King of the Cape (W Aus)

Saturday, 20 October 2007 08:42 | Written by  Dean Gardiner
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One of the best things about doing paddling races all over the place is that you get to race in locations that normally you may never even go to...

Cape Naturaliste
Formidable coastline near Cape Naturaliste

Jennings Hopkins Real Estate King of the Cape: Nov 3 2007

For most of us, Cape Naturaliste on Western Australia's South Coast is one of those places.  It's a formidable piece of coastline that cops the full brunt of waves and weather from the Southern and Indian Oceans. This is place where huge ocean swells generated south of Cape Town finally hit land and explode on beaches, bombies and cliff faces along the coast.

The area is very well known for its perfect massive surf (and when it's blown out, for the fine wineries that litter the country side!). What more can you want?  Perfect waves in the morning and great reds in the arvo...

For ocean paddlers the combination of wind and swell moving northward against an impressive and threatening cliff face creates the perfect playground for the downwind racer in all of us. The swell moves shoreward and the backwashes follow up allowing the skillful the rides that they crave.  And the not so skillful?  Well it moves them just a little out of their comfort zone.

Cape Naturalistas
Cape Naturalistas - Greg Mickle is the short guy in green at the front (Photo from Ningaloo Dreaming North Western Australia Expedition 2005)

Greg Mickle 

Held for the first time last year the King of the Cape was inspired by local ironman legend Greg Mickle. One blustery winter's day, Mickle launched his trusty Millennium off the beach at Yallingup in front of some of the hard core local surfing fraternity (who just happened to be sitting in the car park that day).  Walking down the beach with the car park crew hurling a barrage of abuse like, "You won't get that out through there, Stumpy!" and "Is that a goat boat on steroids?" the gutsy veteran proceeded to negotiate the surf and made it out the back, much to the disappointment and dismay of the car park surfer boys.

King of the Cape course
King of the Cape course

After re-adjusting and sticking his finger up at the mob on the hill, he started his way along the coast and made his way around "The Cape". Now Mickle wasn't the first to take on this formidable journey but definitely the first in such conditions.

Cape Naturaliste
Where the heck is Cape Naturaliste?

Last years race saw Ash Nesbit and me make a pact 1 kilometer from the finish and cross the line together. The sweetness of beating the young speedy kayak freaks was victory enough for me as I am sure it was for Ash.

Dubai Shamaal Logo 

This year the field will once again feature some of Australia's top paddlers both ocean and kayak. The US$1000 reward for the winner (if he takes up the "Cash to Compete" deal for the Dubai Shamaal) should be enough incentive to get the best on the line.

For those that don't want to take on "The Cape" there will be an awesome coastal short course race in Geographe Bay. Starting at Dounsborough, short course paddlers will paddle west towards "The Cape" pulling in at one of Australia's finest resorts at Bunkers Bay.

The "King of the Cape" is part of a big weekend on the South Coast with the Anaconda Adventure Race to be held the next day. Most of the team paddlers and some of the individual competitors from the Anaconda Event will take part in the King of the Cape and short course event the day before.

Spirit Paddle Logo

This is the first of 3 events on the Spirit Surf Ski WA Ocean Racing Series. The series will also feature the World Cup Event on December 8/9 featuring the biggest names in Surf ski paddling. 

For more info go

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