Results by tag: downwind

Tuesday, 27 February 2018 13:57 | Category : Latest Surfski News

"That was… the best fun I've had in years," said Dawid Mocke as he watched the rest of the paddlers riding the surf into the beach. "It doesn't matter who you are, you're all in with an equal chance."

Friday, 23 February 2018 07:08 | Category : Videos

21 Feb, 2018 - Yeeeeha!  I turned towards the whoop to see Jono Niemann came shooting past, spray flying…  The back of my ski lifted and I took a couple of hard strokes to accelerate onto my own wave…

When we met in Fish Hoek to load the surfskis onto the Miller’s Run Taxi, it was to find a veritable sandstorm; the weather station at the club said the wind strength was averaging 30kt, gusting 40kt.  Twenty minutes earlier, it had peaked at around 48kt…

Wind

Wind strength reported at Fish Hoek Beach Sports Club We were on the water at about 16h45.

As we drove up to Miller’s Point, the sea looked wild – but in a good way; the swell wasn’t outrageously big and you could see the sets moving in lines.   In the bus, mentions of “Looking good” and “Personal Best” started to be heard.

At Miller’s Point, conditions were perfect.  As usual, the wind wasn’t as strong here – but it was still strong enough that we’d be catching good runs right from the start.

The beauty of paddling in a very strong wind is that you can push over waves that normally stop you – so you can maintain speed and create longer sequences at higher speeds than normal.

Mocke Miller’s Run of the Season

I was delighted when the competition was announced: register as many runs as possible between the beginning of November and the end of February.  Prizes for the fastest runs in each gender and age category; for the most runs; for the best video… 

The Miller’s Run (can anyone not know this?!) is a short, 11.6km-11.8km – depending on where you finish – downwind run from Miller’s Point to Fish Hoek, here in Cape Town.  Whenever the southeaster blows (and that’s probably 2 out of every 3 days in summer) the Miller’s Run beckons.

When we got together for this particular run it was in the knowledge that this was probably the last run of the competition – the forecast was for much lighter winds the next day.  So the team was amped right from the start.

And the video really speaks for itself. 

Fast Conditions

The conditions – small swell and strong wind – were ideal.  When the swell is big, it tends to become confused and it’s difficult to link runs efficiently. 

In the end nearly half the group beat their Personal Best times.  I beat mine by over half a minute. 

What a rush!

Monday, 19 February 2018 16:59 | Category : Latest Surfski News

"The Europeans have caught on," laughed Jasper Mocke. "We used to be much quicker than them at the start, but we had six or seven boats dicing in a sprint to the first turn buoy!"

Saturday, 10 February 2018 09:33 | Category : Latest Surfski News

"Fortunately the camera died for the last 5km, because I was cursing..." said Oscar Chalupsky. "It was flat, hot, headwind… and I was blown!"

Tuesday, 30 January 2018 09:37 | Category : Videos

A few days after winning "Ze Caribbean Race", here's Oscar coaching a couple of paddlers (including his boss) on downwind technique.

I've had the enormous pleasure of paddling a number of times with Oscar in doubles on our beloved Miller's Run downwind route here in Cape Town, and I can say with all honesty that it's been a revelation and inspirational every time.

As you can see (and hear, as he barks at his pupils!), Oscar's basic mantra is to paddle early and stop paddling early and work with the energy of the waves.  On many other occasions (although he doesn't mention it in this video) he's described taking a couple of "explosive" power-strokes to get onto the run.  

Don't try to catch every run

When I paddled doubles with him, I was astonished at how many waves he didn't take: he has an uncanny ability to feel whether the wave is the right one or not.  If not, he lets it roll under him, taking the next one (or the one after that).  But more often then not, he then pops back over the one or two that he discarded, making up the distance and more.  This kind of skill takes time in the boat to acquire - at the beginning of a downwind career, the novice tries too hard, fails to get over too many runs, using too much energy - but you learn over time how to use the least amount of power to catch the run and then to milk it for all the energy it contains.

Scanning

Another of Oscar's mantras is too keep scanning 45 degrees either side of your course, looking for the next dip in the water, or the next shoulder of the wave in front.  Frequently he'll steer a kind of S-curve, turning left or right, keeping the speed up, before turning back onto the wave.  

If you ever get the chance to ride doubles with Oscar (or any of the other top downwind elites), don't hesitate!  You'll learn more in five minutes than you can imagine - and you'll be inspired to get straight back out to try it for yourself.

Monday, 22 January 2018 14:01 | Category : Videos

Sharon Armstrong again, doing what she loves on the warm Durban ocean.  

This kind of paddling has a different flavour to the downwinds that we do over here in Cape Town.  The runs tend to be bigger and longer and fast and the water's much warmer than ours.

We tend to be nervous of the surf when we go to Durban; when they come here they always exclaim how cold the water is!

40kt and big waves is combination only very experienced paddlers should attempt - Sharon has our full respect!

Monday, 22 January 2018 13:43 | Category : Videos

Peter Holloway got into surfskis in the late 90s, using a series of hand-me-down boats for playing in the waves...  but around that time Fish Hoek saw a series of encounters between Great White Sharks and surfskis (click here for the details).  "For some reason," says Peter, "I lost interest in paddling for a while and took up cycling instead!"

And it was only 2014 that his yearning to be back on the sea overcame his aversion of big toothy fish.  He bought a Custom Kayaks Horizon from the surfski school and went on to a Think Evo II in which he did his first Miller's Run in 2015.  He now paddles a Fenn Swordfish S and this video was taken as he did his 89th Miller's Run.

#mockemillersrunoftheseason

The Mocke Millers Run Of The Season competition started in November and continues until the end of February; prizes for fastest run, the most runs, the fastest mixed doubles runs and... the best video are all on offer.

Pete's also after the 20-run special edition shirt and is only 4 away from that particular goal.

The day of this video, the SE swell was just begining to swing into False Bay, and Pete took one on the nose as he headed out to Bakoven Rock (which marks the start of the run itself).  It was big and bouncy and enormous fun.

"For me, the Miller's Run is the epitome of surfski paddling," said Peter. "It is a perfect combination of facing your fears and harnessing the power of the wind and waves. The rush of flying down the face of a huge ocean swell at 25 km/h is one that not many sports can compare with... it's also a great way to keep fit!"

Anything under 50min is considered a respectable time and Peter has broken his own record no fewer than 4 times so far during the competition, his current personal best being 47:32, which he achieved on 28 Dec 2017.

Go Pete!

 

Tuesday, 16 January 2018 15:59 | Category : Latest Surfski News

"Why go all the way to Guadeloupe?" I asked Nelo Surfski CEO Oscar Chalupsky.  "We sold a lot of skis there," he replied, "and it's a lot warmer than Porto!"  Oscar Chalupsky leaves his home Portugal on Saturday to fly, via Paris, to the Caribbean to take part in one of the longest downwind races in the world, Ze Race in Guadeloupe. 

And I suspect it's the "downwind" part that's the deciding factor that's attracting him there!

Tuesday, 16 January 2018 08:28 | Category : Videos

Darryl Khng (DAZ) lives in Perth, Western Australia and is a prolific downwinder as his YouTube account testifies.

This video was shot in Perth on a run from Point Peron to South Beach, south of Fremantle, WA.  The runs are crazy clean - the water is crystal clear and warm.  What's not to like?!   

Click here to see more of DAZ's downwind vids.

Thursday, 04 January 2018 09:12 | Category : Videos

Durban resident Sharon Armstrong  paddles a Carbonology Sport Zest surfski (and owns two of them, a full-carbon and a hybrid version).  "Due to the fact that my passion lies in downwinding in winds that exceed 30 knots and I do very little to no flat paddling, I chose an intermediate boat as I feel in 30-40 knot winds it is better suited," she said. "It is also a bit shorter so I can manoeuvre on the wave easily to maximise the runs. It catches and handles runs amazingly and is very reactive."

The route she was following on the day of this video was from Marine Surf Club (Addington Beach) in Durban and to Umhlanga (Durban View Beach). The route is +- 16km beach to beach.

When not on the ski, she does pilates, gym and swimming...

Go Sharon!  More of these videos, please!

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