Perth World Cup 2007 – Drama Galore

Saturday, 08 December 2007 10:04 | Written by 
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Sorrento Beach, Perth, WA, 8 Dec 2007: Confusion reigned supreme at the finish of the Perth World Cup when race leader Oscar Chalupsky failed to round the last buoy.  Instead he went to within a few metres of the buoy but turned before it and headed to the beach.  

Perth World Cup 2007
What the problem was all about

Superb Conditions

Until that point everything had gone perfectly.  The deep water start off Rottnest Island had been clean; the conditions all the way across had been ideal - 20kt coming from the southwest with 1-1.5m swells.

Daryl Bartho said the runs were superb.  "They were V-waves," he said, "and you could hook first left and then right to stay on them."

Clint Pretorius - Fenn Hotspot winner

The night before the race, Clint Pretorius told his roommate Daryl Bartho that he was going to go for the Fenn Hotspots.  Daryl figured that Clint would burn out after that.  After all, Clint has been training only for about four weeks having recovered from a broken wrist.

True to his word, "I just wound it off the starting blocks and took the first Hotspot," said an elated Clint at the finish.  "Then I thought I'd just hang in there," he went on, "but about 3km from the second Hotspot, Daw, Daryl and Oscar and me pushed on and I caught a couple of runs on the left to take the second one."

Clint Pretorius Perth 2007
An elated Clint Pretorius at the finish (Pic: Rikke Nesbit)
 

Clint lead for most of the race, in a tight front bunch with Oscar Chalulpsky, Daryl Bartho and Dawid Mocke.

Daryl was dumbfounded.  "I was waiting for him to burn out," he said, "but he's such a talent in the runs...  Towards the end of the race I realized, hey, he's going to win this thing!"

Towards the end of the race the front pack split up a little; Dawid going slightly further north; Oscar in the middle and Clint and Daryl on a slightly more easterly line.  Clint and Daryl moved more towards Oscar's line and found that he was slightly ahead - and that's the way it stayed until the end.  Dawid found that he'd gone too far north and had to bear further to the east than the other guys, and as a result started taking the runs from the side and he fell further back.

Oscar was two waves ahead of Clint, about 30-40m, when they reached the buoy and he turned in towards the beach.

Oscar Chalupsky Perth 2007
Oscar's finish - Clint coming in behind (Pic: Rikke Nesbit)
 

"I thought Ash told me go to the right of the buoy," he said afterwards.  "I passed within 5m of it.  I was so far ahead that I didn't run up the beach; I walked.

"All the other guys agreed that I didn't gain one second," he added.

He said he accepted the decision of the race directors.  "But it's a fairly bitter pill to swallow," he said, "when you know you clubbed one of the best fields in the world; a serious field.

"They should have had two buoys so you'd pass between them," he added, "then there wouldn't be any question.  Also you shouldn't have to run up the beach."

So What Happened?

As Oscar approached the can, the escort boat saw that he was passing on the right of the can, instead going around the left of it.  They yelled at him to go around but by then it was too late and he was on his way into the beach.

When he got to shore, Oscar said that he had been told to pass to the right of the buoy by the race officials in the escort boat.

The latter stages of the race had been recorded on video, so the race officials were able to review what had passed between the escort boat and Oscar.  "There was no evidence that anything was said that suggested he go to the right of the buoy," Ash Nesbit said.  "The exact words spoken to him [as the boats approached Sorrento Beach] were ‘Oscar, there's a boat on the buoy.  It's to the right of the groyne.'"

(For those who don't know, a "groyne" is a jetty or breakwater that sticks out into the sea.)

At the race briefing, the competitors had been told to turn clockwise around a can laid off Sorrento Beach before heading in to the finish. 

"I think it was just an honest mistake," said Ash.  "I feel really sorry for him.  Oscar deserved to win this race.

"But having said that," he went on, "all credit to Clint Pretorius who was only 30m back and who took both hotspots.  He was so far ahead at both, the others didn't even try for them."

"It was clearly stated in the race briefing that the paddlers must have the buoy to their right as they went around it.  Even Oscar acknowledged that he'd understood that."

Penalty

"Once we'd established the facts," said Ash, "we approached the other top ten paddlers to get their opinion on what penalty should be applied.  It was unanimous that he should either be DQ'ed or take a time penalty.  We estimated the time we thought he'd gained by not going around the buoy, and doubled it."

Top 4, Perth 2007
The top 4: Oscar Chalupsky, Clint Pretorius, Daryl Bartho, Dawid Mocke (Pic: Rikke Nesbit)

Tomorrow's another Day

On Sunday the paddlers are doing an 8km race that has four Aus$250 Fenn Hotspots - and the sprinters are expected to go all out to take home the cash.

The next race on the circuit is the 56km Cape Point Challenge on 22 December, a 2-star race held in Cape Town that sees the competitors take on the massive Atlantic swells around the southwestern tip of Africa.

Top 20 Results

1

Clint Pretorius

01:26.40

SA

 

2

Daryl Bartho

01:26:53

SA

 

3

Oscar Chalupsky

01:27:00

SA

(30 second penalty)

4

Dawid Mocke

01:27:56

SA

 

5

Herman Chalupsky

01:29:15

SA

 

6

Tim Jacobs

01:29:15

AUS

 

7

Dean Gardiner

01:29:28

AUS

 

8

Barry Lewin

01:29:44

SA

 

9

Dean Beament

01:30:18

AUS

 

10

Lewis Laughlin

01:30:34

TAH

 

11

Dave Kissane

01:30:36

AUS

 

12

Tim Bird

01:31:13

AUS

 

13

Steve Woods

01:31:32

SA

 

14

Matt Rees

01:31:35

AUS

 

15

Dane Sloss

01:32:34

AUS

 

16

Jasper Mocke

01:33:00

SA

 

17

Heath Wright

01:33:11

AUS

 

18

Brendan Sarson

01:33:22

AUS

 

19

Brett Bartho

01:34:50

SA

 

20

Michael Baker

01:34:55

AUS

 

 

More results and photos to follow...


Latest Forum Topics

Tips to increase paddling angle? (11 Posts)

5 days 10 hours ago