Four weeks to EuroChallenge (Few rental skis left)

Wednesday, 07 April 2010 11:55 | Written by 
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Spain’s K1 marathon superstar, Manuel Busto Fernandez confirmed this week that he’s coming back to Eurochallenge.  He came fourth in last year’s race behind Dawid Mocke, Matt Bouman and Sean Rice – all of whom have confirmed their participation in the 2010 event.

EuroChallenge 2009

EuroChallenge 2009 - The Start

With Busto on the Nelo surfski, watch out for an intriguing mixture of brands at the top end of the fleet – Mocke paddles a Fenn Mako Elite; Matt Bouman the Epic V10 and Sean Rice the Think Uno.

Spanish competition for Busto?

Daniel Sanchez Villoria recently spent three weeks in Cape Town, South Africa training with Dawid Mocke.  Being the middle of summer, the southeasters blew constantly and the Spanish paddler was thrown in the deep end – one of his first paddles taking place in some of the biggest swells Mocke had ever paddled in, at Cape Point.

Daniel Sanchez Villoria

The best Spanish downwind surfski paddler?!

By the end of Villoria’s trip, Mocke was full of praise for Spaniard.  “He’s improved unbelievably,” said Mocke.  The breakthrough for Villoria came during a downwind race when he paddled in the back of a double ski with Mocke, when he could see and feel how the South African was riding the waves.

“Something clicked in that race,” said Mocke.  “Danny had been paddling hard the whole time when going downwind.  But since then, he’s been working the waves, looking for the dip…”

Having won all four of the Spanish Cup series, Villoria is aiming to be the first Spanish paddler to cross the line on 1 May.  “Busto is the only one to beat in Spain,” he said.

He’s hoping to race later in the year in Portugal.  “But I need a sponsor to get there!”

EuroChallenge 2009

EuroChallenge 2009: Busto (4th), Dawid Mocke (2nd), Matt Bouman (1st)

Sean Rice

Sean Rice had a brilliant debut international race in the Think Uno last year - and beat Dawid Mocke and Matt Bouman last weekend in Plett, South Africa

Women’s race

Two of the top women’s surfski paddlers in the world will be paddling in La Villa Joyosa on 1 May: Michele Eray and Nikki Mocke, both from South Africa.  Michele Eray has won every surfski race she’s entered since January 2009, while Nikki Mocke is returning to the sport having taken 18 months off.

The women crewed together in the South African K4 at the Beijing Olympics – where they came a highly creditable seventh in the final.

Michele Eray won this weekend’s race in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, beating Nikki Mocke by just over two minutes.

La Villa Joyosa

From personal experience, I can confirm that there are plenty of attractions at Eurochallenge…  There will be all kinds of surfskis on display – and athletes from all over Europe will be there.  Dawid Mocke is running a series of coaching clinics the week before (see below).

Apart from that however, La Villa Joyosa is a beautiful little town.  The annual medieval festival was on when we were there in 2009 and all the tiny streets were decorated and filled with stalls.  (Beware though – the whole festival comes to a halt at siesta time!  Make sure you go early – or late…!)


Chocolate City

One of my non-paddling passions is chocolate…  and the Spanish have been making chocolate for centuries…  One of the premier chocolate manufacturers in Europe is Valor… and there’s a Valor shop in La Villa Joyosa.  According to the Valor website, the address is Avda, Pais Valencia, 14…  If you find it, make your purchases immediately…  I didn’t and lived to regret it – we never went back and I returned home without…  a mistake I don't intend to repeat.

Valor Shop

Where to find the Valor Chocolate shop in La Villa Joyosa!


Dawid Mocke’s Coaching Clinics

Saturday 24 April, 10:00

Clinic #1 - Safety Dynamics - Dawid Mocke:

  • My worst near death experiences
  • Understanding safety
  • What equipment and how to use it properly: leash, dry bag, lifejacket
  • Managing the conditions: Using wind and chop, using waves, big swell and surf, high winds
  • Safety rescue techniques: Remounting in difficult conditions, broken cable or pedal, snapped ski, lost ski, swimming w/ a paddle and lifejacket, 2 people on 1 ski

Theory then paddling - 2hours

Saturday 24 April, 12:30

Clinic #2 - Training:  Your program and sessions - Dawid Mocke:

  • Setting goals
  • Planning a program
  • Planning sessions
  • Doing the training: equipment set up (paddles/surfski/accessories), venue planning, weather, nutrition
  • Staying motivated

Theory then paddling - 1:15 hours

Saturday 24 April, 16:30

Clinic #3 - Going Downwind - Dawid Mocke:

  • Basic principles: Catching a wave, riding a wave, catching and riding swells, power up/power down
  • Finding the swell: where to look, wind direction, swell direction, finish point
  • Linking the swells: where to go, keeping the rhythm and speed
  • Common mistakes and how to fix them

Theory then paddling - 2hours

Sunday 25 April, 10:00

Clinic #4  - Surf skills - Dawid Mocke:

  • The Impact Zone
  • Paddling out through waves
  • Paddling in through waves: catching and riding a wave, missing a wave
  • How to keep your and stay in your ski....even sideways

Theory then paddling - 2hours

Sunday 26 April, 12:30

Clinic #5 - Racing and tactics - Dawid Mocke:

  • Pre race course check: start, route, finish
  • Pre race preparation, day before, morning of, 30min to start
  • Starting well: deep water start, beach start
  • Racing tactics: bunches, slip riding, turn buoys, waves, effort

Theory then paddling - 1:15hours


To book your place, contact Vio on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or see

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