CANOEING

Jacobs toughs it out to retain Hong Kong surfski title

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 11 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 11 November, 2012, 4:09am

Defending champion Tim Jacobs held on to his title in the sixth annual Steelcase Dragon Run Surfski and Outrigger Canoe Championships held in Hong Kong yesterday.

The heat and lack of wind made for gruelling conditions on the 23km course, which took the paddlers from the start at Clearwater Bay to the Nine Pins Group and then southwest around Cape D'Aguilar to the finish at Stanley.

Australian Jacobs accelerated into the lead midway through the race and went on to win conclusively, beating some of the world's top surfski paddlers in the process.

"It went alright," he said afterwards. "I took it easy until about half way into the race, and then I seemed to get into a nice rhythm and put some distance into the other guys."

South African Dawid Mocke's fifth place was good enough for him to secure the Oceanpaddler Surfski Series World Championship - the Steelcase Dragon Run being the penultimate race in the series, which ends in South Africa in December.

"I always love paddling in Hong Kong," said Mocke. "I've won the race three times and I'll definitely be back next year."

In the women's race, Australian Naomi Flood managed to stay ahead of a charging Michele Eray, of South Africa, and Australia's Ruth Highman.

"It was really tough out there today," said Eray.

There was drama on the course when the race officials had to direct some of the field around a huge towed barge.