Rob Mousley

Up next: the Shaw & Partners Surfski Race Week in Perth

Sunday, 17 November 2019 02:11 |

Most of the world’s best surfski paddlers are congregating in Perth next week to take part in a series of events sponsored by Shaw & Partners… And the forecast promises cracking conditions, yeeeeeeha!

West Coast Express - Race Report

Monday, 28 October 2019 16:01 |

The start whistle for the women’s race coincided with the arrival of a set, a breaking wave smashing into the surfskis, sending their noses rocketing skyward before they plunged down the other side… One, two, four skis flying backwards without their paddlers as the surf played havoc with the field...

Review: the Mocke Surfski Coaching Videos

Tuesday, 15 October 2019 15:17 |

The year: 2004. The place: Fish Hoek Beach in a howling southeaster. Dawid Mocke says to me, “Go paddle upwind for a while.” So, I did. Quite a way upwind. Eventually I turned around and surfed the runs back to Fish Hoek. Dawid met me at the beach. “What happened to you?” he yelled. “The lesson’s finished now!” And that was my introduction to Surfski School…

“Bloody Awesome!” – 2019 ICF Ocean Racing World Championships

Monday, 16 September 2019 11:31 |

I knew a few of the paddlers had done the course earlier in the week and… my goal was to sort of sit with them and see where their line was,” said newly crowned World Champion Danielle McKenzie. “I had no idea where I was going. As far as race plans go, I had absolutely nothing… Just go pretty hard from the start. Yeah, bloody awesome!”

Jamo Porter, Danika Mowlem win Poor Knights Crossing in NZ

Tuesday, 10 September 2019 18:50 |

An angry sea and some supercharged paddlers gave the 2019 Zest Brokers Poor Knights Crossing ocean paddle race a dramatic edge with race records tumbling thanks to strong tailwind conditions for the event held in Tutukaka, Aotearoa.

ICF Ocean Racing World Champs - Weather Forecast

Tuesday, 10 September 2019 11:25 |

The weather sites are forecasting a moderate westerly wind for the ICF Ocean Racing World Championships tomorrow. We look at the forecast wind, waves, tides and currents and what this all means for the paddlers…

2019 ICF Ocean Racing World Champs - Briefing

Monday, 09 September 2019 16:18 |

The race organizers have just issued the provisional program and race course for the next few days in Quiberon, France where the 2019 ICF Ocean Racing World Championships are about to take place.  Here's what you need to know.

Where is it?

The event is being held near Quiberon, which is located on the southern part of the Quiberon peninsula in Brittany, France.

(The area is packed with maritime history, including the Battle of Quiberon Bay, 20 Nov 1795, between the French and British navies and an abortive invasion by French Royalists, assisted by the British Navy during the French Revolution.)

Winters are notoriously long and cold and Atlantic gales regularly smash the coastline… This isn’t an area noted for winter paddling!  But in summer it’s warmer and the exposure to the open ocean means that there’s almost always movement in the water, making for challenging, technical conditions. Given the location of the islands and the Quiberon peninsula, race organizers have a number of course options to choose from in order to create as much downwind conditions as possible.

2019 ICF Ocean Racing Championships Course

The organizers announced this morning (Monday) that the World Championship race will most likely take place on Wednesday, with the start some time after 2pm, when the maximum wind is forecast. The wind drops off on Thursday and Friday, the alternate days in the event waiting period.

The Masters race will take place on Thursday.

Both races will use the same course from the Gâvres Beach to Pentièvre Beach, just to the north of Quiberon itself.

course

NB: If the forecast changes over the next day or two, the course and program could change too!

Who’s Racing?

The Who’s Who of the surfski world will be lining up on Wednesday and an international crowd of masters paddlers on Thursday.

The 27 countries represented include: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Spain, France, Great Britain, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Mauritius, The Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Portugal, South Africa, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Sweden, The Netherlands Antilles, Tahiti and the United States.

You can download the full list of entries here:

2019 MOC

Cory Hill (Aus), the defending World Champion, Gordan Harbrecht (Ger) and Hank McGregor (RSA) at the Mauritius Ocean Classic in July this year

Who’s going to dominate?

I think the conditions are going to be technically challenging, with small runs coming in over the paddlers’ right shoulders.

With moderate wind, and small waves, the paddlers are going to have to work the runs, accelerating left and then working right in order to stay on course. There probably won’t be much paddles-down surfing.

The paddlers with the most open ocean experience will have an advantage in the conditions and that inevitably means the Australians, South Africans and New Zealanders (especially in the women’s race).

Both the previous men’s and women’s champions are present to defend their titles: Cory Hill (Aus) and Hayley Nixon (RSA), but they have plenty of competition…

  • Hank McGregor (RSA) came second in the 2017 World Champs in Hong Kong and beat Cory Hill in Mauritius a couple of months ago. The World Championships is just about the only title that McGregor hasn’t one, and he’d love to take this one.
  • Mackenzie Hynard (Aus) came second behind Cory Hill at the Perth Doctor.
  • Kenny Rice (RSA) won the under-23 title in Hong Kong and won both the Canadian Downwind Champs and the Gorge Downwind Champs in the USA earlier this year.
  • Tom Norton (Aus) took the Nelo Summer Challenge title in July, winning both the men’s race and the overall bonus prize.
  • Gordan Harbrecht (Ger) put on an outstanding performance in Mauritius in July, coming second to Hank McGregor (and beating Cory Hill) in a sprint finish.
  • Sean Rice (RSA) won the first ICF World Champs in 2013. 
  • Plenty of other talent from France, Portugal, Spain, Australia, South Africa and many other countries…

hayley nixon

Defending Champion Hayley Nixon (centre) in Quiberon

The women’s race should be a huge tussle up front:

  • Defending champion Hayley Nixon (RSA) won the Mauritius Ocean Classic convincingly in July this year.
  • Teneale Hatton (NZ) won both the Canadian Downwind Champs and the Gorge Downwind champs his year.
  • Georgia Laird (Aus) came second in the Molokai Challenge this year, beating Hayley Nixon into 3rd position.
  • Angie Le Roux (Fra) knows this section of the French coast well – having won the Breizh Ocean Race in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018!
  • Bridgette Hartley (RSA), Nicole Birkett (RSA), Bianca Beavitt (RSA), Sara Rafael (POR), Rachel Clarke (NZ), Judit Verges (ESP), Amaia Osaba (ESP) will also be keeping the front runners honest… what a race it’s going to be!

Angie Le Roux

When the race isn't the World Champs, it's know as the Breizh Ocean Race - and Angie Le Roux has won it 4 out of the last 5 years - and won the inaugural event back in 2010 in massive conditions.  She knows this area like the back of her hand...

Race Alert! R250,000 West Coast Express Launches in South Africa

Thursday, 18 July 2019 11:55 |

Big prize money has been offered before in surfski races, but the massive handicap prize-pool is really going to shake things up,” said Russell Sadler, Race Director for the newly announced West Coast Express, and Operations Manager for the World Surfski Super League (WSSL). “At least, we certainly hope it will,” he laughed.

Nelo Summer Challenge - The Insights and The Drama

Thursday, 11 July 2019 14:40 |

Running down the water’s edge, Hayley Nixon leapt onto her surfski. As she took her first stroke, the paddler next to her, floundering, clipped her ski and she half fell out. Frantically she recovered her balance, only to be hit and almost knocked out again. “Just. Move. Please!” she yelled…

Sprint Finish at 2019 Mauritius Ocean Classic

Tuesday, 02 July 2019 16:11 |

As the three men rounded the point at Le Morne, “Flash” Gordan Harbrecht shouted, “Is it 16 or 18km for the race?” “Mate, you see that red object up ahead? That’s the finish!” Instead of the 3 or 4km that Harbrecht had expected, the line was only about 800m away – and the big German exploded into a sprint…

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