Writer: Nick Thatham - The country’s best surfski paddlers will descend upon Cape Town for the 2015 Mazars South African Surfski Championships that take place in Fish Hoek this weekend, 12 and 13 December with defending men’s singles and doubles champion Jasper Mocké hoping to retain his titles.
The Euro Steel/Epic Kayaks star has had much of his focus of late on surfski events internationally and with a tough period of ocean racing coming to an end, is in a good position to defend the title he won in Durban in 2014.
“You always want to go into big events confident and I am feeling confident about this weekend!” explained Mocké.
“I am in good form at the moment, which gives me that confidence, and being back in my home conditions after a number of weeks travelling is always welcome.
“I am getting towards the end of a long six week block of competing, this being the end of week five, so I have been busy but I am in a good space at the moment.”
Mocké partnered up with his 2015 ICF Marathon World Championship K2 team mate Hank McGregor for the recent Ozzie Gladwin Canoe Marathon in KZN however that aside, his surf paddling has been his major focus of late.
“I probably spent about two days in the river boat with Hank for Ozzie but otherwise I have been in my ski having returned quite recently from a trip to Australia for the West Coast Downwinder and the Perth Doctor.”
Conditions are expected to be good for the weekend as a quality field of paddlers sets off in single, on Saturday, and double, on Sunday, craft with the coveted national titles in their sights.
“The wind is looking good for the weekend and we should be able to get a number of runs on the downwind section but the secret is going to be the three kilometre upwind section.
“You have to stay in contention there but not expend too much energy early on in the race.
“The downwind is where you need to be on your game and be ready because that is going to be where the guys start taking their chances if you slip up,” added a level-headed Mocké.
Much of the quality field that Mocké expects to be joined by on the start line will be vying to dethrone the Fish Hoek paddler.
With such a prestigious title up for grabs though, Mocké appreciates everyone’s desire to win, himself included.
“It is the biggest surfski race that we have nationally so guys are going to be going all out.
“There is quite a bit on the line this weekend so it’s going to be a great weekend of racing!”
For more information go to www.canoesa.org.za