Former Canoe Marathon World Championships bronze medallist and global surfski superstar Jasper Mocké is just one of the Western Cape’s many powerful stars eagerly looking to leave their mark on this year’s national surfski showpiece.
“I’ve won two national doubles titles before but never a SA singles title, I would love to win my first title this year!” enthused the Fenn Kayaks ace.
“The race was a bit of a late addition to the calendar and I’m not looking to peak at this stage of the year but I definitely feel I’m paddling well enough at the moment to still get a good result this weekend,” he added.
Mocké, together with the hundreds of others who have already submitted their entry ahead of Wednesday 19 June’s extended entry deadline, currently has a keen eye on the various weather forecasts as he hopes for the wind to blow and swell to increase.
“The conditions can be so variable. Hopefully the wind picks up and there are some big runs come Saturday but either way, whether it’s dead flat or there are decent runs, I think my chances stay the same.
“If it’s big then one’s navigation becomes extremely important. If its flat then knowing the coast really helps. So, being from Cape Town, it would definitely help if the conditions got up a bit.
“Besides, it’s more fun when it’s big anyway,” chuckled Mocké.
Epic Kayak’s hometown hero Hank McGregor recently won the 2014 Molokai Challenge in Hawaii in which Mocké finished sixth, however the Fish Hoek local doesn’t believe McGregor’s victory brings much psychological advantage with it.
“Hank winning Molokai certainly doesn’t change anything from my side,” said Mocké. “They’re two very different races, different distances and in different conditions so that won’t affect me this weekend.”
With R50000 up for grabs across Saturday’s singles and Sunday’s doubles events, together with the year’s national titles, there will be plenty to race for and Mocké expects the competition to be stiff.
“From the Cape, guys like my brother (Dawid) and Sean and Kenny Rice I’m sure will all be up there and, if the wind gets up, Tom (Schilperoort) will also make the trip up so the Cape will be well represented this weekend,” said Mocké.
“Regardless of what the event is, nationals or not, to beat those guys as well as the likes of Hank (McGregor), Matt (Bouman) and co. will is always tough. You’ve always got to be right on top of your game so it will be another tough, interesting race I’m sure,” he added.
With the likes of Nikki Mocké, Kirsten Flanagan and possibly Samantha Murray also set to join their male counterparts, there is no doubting the pedigree of the Western Cape squad heading for KwaZulu-Natal this weekend.
The 2014 FNB Mazars Durban Downwind, which doubles as the 2014 SA Surfski Championships, takes place on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 June. The race starts at Marine Surf Lifesaving Club at Addington Beach, Durban and heads 26km north to La Mercy or south to Amanzimtoti depending on the wind direction. More info can be found at www.durbandownwind.co.za