18 May 2010
Reigning world champion Dawid Mocke fulfilled a dream by finally winning the Dunlop Surfski World Cup Durban in a thrilling duel with Durban surf lifesaving iron man Matt Bouman that was eventually decided in a neck-and-neck sprint up the beach to the finish at Winklespruit.
Mocke had the slimmest of leads going into the finish and opted to approach the crunching surf at Winkelspruit cautiously, taking a perpendicular line to the beach. Bouman saw his chance and took it, racing through the surf at an oblique angle to reach the beach before Mocke, but with 50 metres to run along the beach to the finish line.
Mocke held his nerve and raced through the surf as Bouman was running towards the line, and despite a small stumble as he exited the water, he ran across the line, thrusting the nose of his ski a mere 10 centimetres ahead of the charging Bouman’s craft.
‘The ultimate sporting contest’
“That was the ultimate sporting contest!” said an elated Mocke at the finish. “In all my years I have never ever had to work so hard to win a race. Matt (Bouman) was simply incredible, and this race is as much his as it is mine.
“Every time I made a break and I thought I had dropped him, he just came bouncing back, like some kind of Elastic Man! He just does not know the meaning of the word ‘quit’,” said Mocke.
A visibly gutted Bouman sank to the sand at the finish as he digested the narrowest of defeats. “Maybe it was just a bit too far for me today. I took my chances, but I was beaten by a brilliant athlete,” said Bouman. “I don’t care about the money, I just want to win this title.”
In third place, Dawid Mocke’s younger brother Jasper underscored his pedigree by powering past a spent Hank McGregor in the closing stages of the race and onto the podium.
McGregor looked to dominate the race early on and put pressure on Mocke and Bouman as the race wound towards Isipingo. However, shortly after he opted for a deeper line, he blew, and was left looking like a paddler stuck on a treadmill as Mocke and Bouman quickly dropped him.
“It doesn’t matter,” said McGregor, who completed a two month Canoeing SA suspension the day before the big race. “Actually, it just felt great to be back in the loop again.”
To complete the celebrations in the Mocke household, Nikki Mocke came storming through in the second half of the women’s race to dethrone Michele Eray, after the duo had been locked together at the halfway point of the 32-kilometre race.
“I was feeling really uncomfortable following Michele on her inside line close to the backline,” said Nikki Mocke. “Eventually I decided to follow my instincts and went much further out to sea where I felt a lot more comfortable.”
“To be honest I couldn’t see where Michele was, and I did not actually know if I was in the lead when I came into the finish at Winkle,” she added.
Toti local Michelle Eder finished third ahead of Donna Winter and Dene Simpson, a Durban expat now living and racing for New Zealand.
The in-form duo of Warren Jacobs and Jeffrey Smith took the double ski title in a fast time of two hours and 12 minutes, edging out the Durban series regular pacesetters Herman Chalupsky and Andre Pohl, while Andre Woods and Helen Weldrick took the mixed doubles title.
The event broke the world record entry for an international race, with 296 paddlers taking part in the race from Durban Undersea Club to Winklespruit Beach, raising the bar for the fledgling International Surfski Riders Association (ISPA) World Series tour.
DUNLOP SURFSKI WORLD CUP RESULTS
- 1. Dawid Mocke 2:16.23
- 2. Matt Bouman 2:16.24
- 3. Jasper Mocke 2:17.14
- 4. Hank McGregor 2:18.25
- 5. Daryl Bartho 2:20.16
- 1. Nikki Mocke 2:34.16
- 2. Michele Eray 2:37.44
- 3. Michelle Eder 2:44.36
- 4. Donna Winter 2:48.30
- 5. Dene Simpson (New Zealand) 2:49.50
- 1. Warren Jacobs/Jeffrey Smith 2:12.32
- 2. Herman Chalupsky/Andre Pohl 2:15.15
- 3. Quinton Rutherford/Bryan Taylor 2:19.34
- 4. Warren Valentine/Marc Germiquet 2:21.38
- 5. Steve Atkinson/Dwayne Powell 2:22.24
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