Results by tag: oscar chalupsky

Sunday, 31 March 2019 18:50 | Category : Latest Surfski News

This was one of the toughest races I’ve done in a long time!”. When a campaigner like Oscar Chalupsky says that, you know the conditions must have been challenging. Chalupsky had been in New Zealand for a two-week trip, culminating in the Vaikobi King and Queen of the Harbour race in Auckland.

Tough Course

Given the forecast 20kt Northeaster, the race directors chose a 23km route known to the locals as the “Gnarly Northerner” from Whangaparaoa Peninsula on Auckland’s north shore to finish at Takapuna Boating Club.

start

The first leg of the course was a flat-out 3km grind into the wind and waves, and any thought of an easy downwind was quickly dashed as the paddlers rounded the buoy.

“Once we turned, I thought it would be an easy downwind,” said Chalupsky. “But I was mistaken!” In fact they were faced with almost side-on wind and waves, extremely testing, technical conditions.

Looking at some of the race tracks on Strava, you can see how they were catching runs by turning right and then working left to stay on course for Takapuna.

strava

Walking away with it

Defending champion Andy Mowlem reached the turn-buoy first and simply paddled away from the rest of the field, finishing in 1:34:54, a massive 3 ½ minutes ahead of second placed Sam Mayhew.

mowlem downwind

Andy Mowlem hurtles downwind...

The real race was for second place; a tremendous dice between Mayhew, Toby Brooke and Oscar Chalupsky.

Takapuna club member Mayhew, with the benefit of local knowledge, took an inside line to the final turn and pipped Brooke by seven seconds with hard charging Chalupsky (“you can see from my heart rate that I pushed my hardest in a long while!”) just two seconds behind.

"Finally cracked the podium!" said an elated Mayhew on Facebook.  "2nd place at the King of the harbour which is also the NZ Ocean Ski Nationals!"

"6 years ago I started falling out of a SLS ski for the first time," he added, "and later that year I did my first king of the harbour. I was near last but I was hooked..."

In the women’s race, Rachel Clarke dominated, coming in 7th overall in the single skis with Rebecca Cole and Danika Mowlem coming in 2nd and 3rd respectively.

“VERY technical conditions out there today,” said Clarke, “… which I loved!”  It was Clarke's seventh win in this iconic event.

rachel clarke start

Rachel Clarke heads out into the chop at the start...

Friday, 08 February 2019 09:33 | Category : Latest Surfski News

Yeeeeeha! A couple of strokes and the ski started accelerating, 16kph, 20kph, 26kph… Whooomph! The spray deflector threw a mass of water arcing into air… Blinded, unbalanced, keep it going, paddle, paddle…!

Monday, 29 October 2018 07:45 | Category : Latest Surfski News

There are quite a few how-to-remount videos on YouTube - but once again Oscar shows us the best technique for remounting and he makes it look easy (it is easy, you just need to practise!).  Remounting is one of the core skills in surfski paddling - along with the brace stroke.  Best you don't come out of your ski at all, but if you do, this is the best and easiest way to get in again.

Wednesday, 09 May 2018 09:56 | Category : Latest Surfski News

Kenny flew off the line,” said Sean Rice. “I had to consolidate, stay on his wave to the buoy. I knew I couldn’t give him an inch… I went hard for 3km to try to open a gap; looked around, he was still right there!” And what he didn’t know was that “Flash” Gordan Harbrecht was also right behind him…

The paddlers were dicing in the first big international race of the European season: EuroChallenge 2018 off La Vila Joyosa, Spain.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018 11:06 | Category : Latest Surfski News

"There is no good reason to use feather angle on your paddle," said Oscar Chalupsky (in his usual assertive manner.)  The surfski.info forum has seen something of a debate raging on this topic in the last couple of weeks; I knew that Oscar had been encouraging beginners to use zero feather, so I called him to ask for his views.

Tuesday, 06 March 2018 17:24 | Category : Videos

"Molokai"  You just have to utter that name, and everyone in the surfski community knows what you're talking about: the 53km open ocean crossing from Molokai to Oahu across the Kaiwi Channel.  One of the oldest surfski races in the world, it was long regarded as the surfski world championships; and in the 2017 race only three of the past 43 year's winners weren't back to tackle the challenge once more.

The Kaiwi Channel has a reputation for massive downwind conditions; with a fetch of several thousand km, the NE trades can produce ferocious swell.  In 2017, however, the winds didn't arrive on the day and the paddlers faced a challenge of a different kind: heat, a head-on current, a slow heaving, seasickness inducing swell...!  (Those were the conditions I faced in 2008 - and it was one of the toughest days of my life.)

This video was released 6 months ago - but is well worth taking the time to review.  And with the Maui Jim Molokai Challenge coming up on Sunday, May 27, 2018, it's a great reminder to make your bookings and to keep on training hard...  And train for flat water, just in case.

Click here for the 2017 results

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!"

Wednesday, 07 February 2018 08:29 | Category : Latest Surfski News

"It was an adrenalin rush and I can't wait to do it again…" said Vinnie Cicatello. He'd just completed his first ever Miller's Run, in the back of a double surfski with Oscar Chalupsky.

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.

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!

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