Jasper Mocké, who formed a winning combination with Nicky Notten, said the inaugural Freedom Paddle was staged on a day that was “so significant to our nation” after they won the event in Cape Town on Friday.
Local surfski stalwarts Mocké and Notten asserted themselves early on and took control of the front of the race, but had to fight off a spirited charge through the pack by Durbanites Clint Cook and Tyron Maher.
Another Durban paddler Matt Bouman and his Cape St Francis partner Phillip Smith took the last spot on the podium.
“We managed to break away with Matt (Bouman) and Phillip (Smith) after about five kays and once we came around the back side of Robben Island, we managed to link a few runs together which got us a nice gap,” said Mocké.
“We thought the last 12 kays back from the island would be an individual time trial, so we got into a rhythm and opened up the gap.
“But Tyron (Maher) and Clint (Cook) had a fantastic run back as well; they flew through the field and came right up to us at one stage, making the last two kays a really tight dice,” said Mocké.
“I am extremely stoked to win the inaugural Freedom Paddle, and to contribute on a day that is so significant to our nation,” said Mocké. “This is an event that is really going to go places,” he added.
Reigning surfski world champ Hayley Nixon won the women’s overall title paring up with young Sabina Lawrie, and enthused about the impact the maiden Freedom Paddle had made on the surfski community.
“It was magnificent! From the unbelievable perfect window in the weather to the significance of paddling to Robben Island on Freedom Day, it was totally magical; world-class,” said Nixon.
Durbanite surfski stalwart Barry Lewin was the first single ski to complete the race, while Cape West Coast paddler Bianca Beavitt took the women’s singles title in a strong showing that saw her finish second overall in the singles race.
1 Jasper Mocké/Nicky Notten
2 Clint Cook/Tyron Maher
3 Matt Bouman/Phillip Smith
1 Hayley Nixon/Sabina Lawrie
2 Nikki Mocké/Kim van Gysen
3 Wilma Deysel/Louisa van Staaden
1 Barry Lewin
2 Bianca Beavitt (1st women single)
3 Richard Lowe
– African News Agency (ANA)