Rob Mousley

Hank McGregor and Andy Birkett out to win Freedom Paddle

Monday, 15 April 2019 18:03 |

Cape Town - Multiple world marathon champ Hank McGregor will jet into Cape Town for the Freedom Paddle double ski race around Robben Island on 27 April with the single-minded intention of winning the race with his partner Andy Birkett to add the prestigious title to his comprehensive CV of achievements.

Tough Race in NZ: Mowlem, Clarke Win Again

Sunday, 31 March 2019 18:50 |

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...

Big and Bouncy – Yet Another Miller’s Run Video…

Thursday, 28 March 2019 14:52 |

Oh, dear me,” I thought. Or words to that effect. Rumbly Bay (encouragingly named for the way the boulders crash together when big swells hit the shoreline) hardly ever closes out – but the wave that was roaring towards me looked as though it just might break across the entire mouth of the bay...

Surfski Safety Gear

Tuesday, 26 March 2019 09:05 |

Extreme sports and 100% safety are incompatible. When you go to sea in gale-force downwind conditions, sometimes shit will happen. And it’s then that your safety gear and your preparedness in using it become vital…

PLB to the Rescue...

Thursday, 14 March 2019 08:55 |

As Alan remounted his surfski yet again, he realized that it was time to call for help. The wind was increasing, the tide had turned, and the beam-on waves were getting bigger and steeper. He fumbled with his VHF radio, but the cold had robbed his hands of feeling…

Tech Tip - Emergency Steering

Friday, 08 March 2019 12:41 |

My speed surged as I launched down the run, spray flying, the howl and crash of the wind and waves in my ears… and then, crack! “Faaaaaark!” (or words to that effect). The footplate assembly had completely separated from the boat and in an instant, I had no steering, nothing to press my feet against at all. The boat veered off, out of control…

Big Wednesday - Miller's Run Video

Friday, 08 February 2019 09:33 |

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…!

Fenn Mako XT S - Review

Sunday, 03 February 2019 14:16 |

My opposition surged past me on the last lap of the Seadog race in Fish Hoek. In desperation, I steered to hook onto his side wash… To my surprise the XT S accelerated instantly, and I sat there with little effort riding the wash for the rest of the leg.

Big Wave Surfing - Jasper Mocke Interview

Wednesday, 31 October 2018 17:04 |

As I watched through the zoom lens it felt as though I was right there: Jasper Mocke’s surfski hung for a moment on the precipice and then plunged down the face of a massive wave.  He hit a smaller cross chop, went airborne and then plunged down, the nose of his ski diving into the green water; he disappeared in an explosion of spray and then the boat shot up without him, spinning, into the air.

Technique Tip: Extreme Remount with Oscar Chalupsky

Monday, 29 October 2018 07:45 |

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.

Page 1 of 75

Latest Forum Topics