World series champion Dawid Mocke (right) paddles to reclaim the Dragon Run title yesterday. It was the third time he won the 24-kilometre open sea race, after losing it last year. The South African won the fourth annual race from Clearwater Bay via the Ninepins to Stanley main beach in one hour, 33 minutes and 30 seconds. Australian Jeremy Cotter, who was second last year, came in second again. Fellow Australian David Rhodes was third.
Australians edged out their South African competitors in the battle for the top 10 rankings in the race that attracted more than 100 paddlers. Australia's Ben Allen was fourth, Bruce Taylor took fifth, Cory Hill seventh, and Michael Booth ninth. Dawid's brother, Jasper, was sixth while fellow South Africans Herman Chulapsky and Sean Rice finished eighth and 10th, respectively.
In the women's surf ski division, Nikki Mocke won in 1:50.28, which meant the husband and wife team pocketed US$7,500 in prize money. Australia's Ruth Highman took second place and Hong Kong's Camille de Carmejani-Vesc came in third.
Karel Tresnak of Hawaii again won the OC1 division, and was followed by Japan's Shun Kobayashi and Kenny Kaneko.
For the fourth consecutive year, the top Hong Kong surf ski paddler was Rene Appel. Eighty-four surf skis and outriggers completed the course. Nine other paddlers raced in a shorter course, nicknamed the Chicken Run, in Stanley Bay, which was won by Hong Kong student Chu Wai-kin.