Mocke hopes to make it third time lucky for Dragon Run victory
World series champion Dawid Mocke will attempt a third victory in tomorrow's annual Dragon Run, a 24 kilometre open-sea course with a US$15,000 prize purse.
South African Mocke won the event in 2007 and 2008 and finished fourth last year. Jeremy Cotter, who took second last year and has been consistently first or second in races around the world in the past two years, will give Mocke a run for his money again.
More than 100 paddlers will take to the seas at Clearwater Bay tomorrow morning and head into the wind to the cluster of islands known as Nine Pins, where paddlers on surfskis and outriggers will face two-metre waves. The race finishes at the Sea School pier in Stanley.
Surfski racing is known as the Formula One of ocean paddling with its 6.5 metre-long, light and narrow high-performance craft.
The course has a variety of conditions - but the majority are downwind, hence its appeal, and one reason why the race attracts more international surfski paddlers as well as outrigger canoeists. More than half of the competitors are from abroad.
Also in the mix are legendary brothers Oscar and Herman Chalupsky from South Africa, and Australian Dean Gardiner. Between the three of them, they have won 22 Molokai world championships in Hawaii.
In the women's event, Beijing Olympic finalist Nikki Mocke from South Africa will likely battle it out with Australia's Ruth Highman.
In the outrigger canoe event, Hawaiian champion Karel Tresnak Jnr will once again return to defend his title. Local paddlers to watch include Rene Appel, Jon Dingley, Leon Rossbotham and Rob Wall.
More than this number of competitors will take to seas on surfskis or outriggers at Clearwater Bay: 100