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Mighty McGregor wins Cape Point Challenge again

The forecast of extreme swells on the Atlantic Ocean had organisers of the 50-kilometre 2013 Fenn Cape Point Challenge having to make a last minute change to the route and opt rather for the safer contingency course for the race.

The new route saw paddlers starting at Long Beach in Simonstown, paddle into a strong head wind to Cape Point, before turning around and coming back to Fish Hoek beach for the finish.

Recently voted as the most versatile paddler in SA, Hank McGregor took his third consecutive and fourth overall win for the 2013 event in a time of 3hr 41min 19sec, with Jasper Mocke coming in a close second, and current world surfski champion and former Cape Point Challenge winner, Sean Rice third.

But ÔÇ£Man of the MatchÔÇØ definitely has to go to 18-year-old current junior world surfski champion, Kenny Rice who took fourth position overall. ÔÇ£I had a really great race today, things worked out better than I could ever have hoped for,ÔÇØ says Rice. ÔÇ£It’s a great way to finish my season ÔÇô really stoked.ÔÇØ

Pictured in race action (from left to right): Jasper Mocke (second), Hank McGregor (first) and Sean Rice (third).

Another ‘Man of the Match’ performance was that of 62-year-old paddling legend, Lee McGregor (winner of this event in 1991), father of winner Hank, who came home as the first Master in incredible 16th position overall and in the time of 4hr 07min. Placing in the top 10 in the annual Berg River Canoe Marathon in July earlier this year, McGregor Snr┬áfurther cemented his position as an SA, if not a world, paddling legend, a point made by the champion today, when in his acceptance speech, Hank McGregor noted that in the ‘elite group that lined up at the start in Simonstown with him,were the current Who’s Who of surf ski paddling ÔÇô and his father, Lee McGregor!

ÔÇ£Today was a really tough race, I think it was a very good call from the organisers to change the course as the conditions were too extreme and too dangerous on the Atlantic side, but it did end up being a tougher race having to paddle into the wind,ÔÇØ explained race winner, Hank. ÔÇ£All in all it was a great race to finish the season with and I am very happy with my win.ÔÇØ

Known as the most gruelling race in the sport of surfski, the race was originally started in 1980 to “fill the gap” in between the years that the Port Elizabeth to East London race was run. The record for the fastest time out on course is still held by current world surfski champion ÔÇô Sean Rice, who completed the 50km route in a fast 3hr 40min in 2010.

The race has one of the richest purses of all of the local races, offering R200 000 in prize money to the winners, and attracting some of the biggest names from around the world.

Nikki Mocke took first place amongst the ladies cementing her stronghold on the sport after an incredibly successful summer season. A three-time winner of the Fenn Cape Point Challenge, Nikki had the following to say about her race: ÔÇ£Today’s race was a really tough challenge. It was very windy on the way out, and it felt like we had all seasons out on the water.

“At one point we had to have a look around to see if we were actually moving forward at all! We all had to work hard to Cape Point, but once on the way back from Millers we had some amazing runs home. I am really happy with how strongly I finished.ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£Thanks to all the crowds and spectators who braved the strong winds and cheered on the competitors,ÔÇØ says race organiser and SA surfski legend, Dawid Mocke. ÔÇ£We really appreciate the support and hope to see you all out on the water soon!ÔÇØ

For more information please visit http://www.capetownsurfski.com/.

Picture: John Hishin/Cape Town Sport Photography

Senior Results
1 Hank McGregor 03hr 41min19sec
2 Jasper Mocke 03hr 42min 25sec
3 Sean Rice 03hr 45min 14sec
4 Kenny Rice 03hr 47min 59sec
5 Michael Booth (Aus) 03hr 48min 31sec
6 Tom Schilperoort 03hr 50min 44sec
7 Brandon van der Walt 03hr 52min 45sec
8 Grant van der Walt 03hr 54min 06sec
9 Austin Kieffer 03hr 54min 29sec
10 Craig Flanagan 03hr 56min 05sec

Double Surfskis
1 Shaun Rubenstein & Steve Farrell 03hr 42min 18sec
2 Kenlea Murray & Wayne Wilson 03hr 43min 32sec
3 Dawid Mocke & Lewis Pugh 03hr 47min 46sec

Under-23’s
1 Michael Booth (Aus) 03hr 48min 31sec
2 Brandon van der Walt 03hr 52min 45sec
3 Grant van der Walt 03hr 54 min 06sec

Juniors
1 Kenny Rice 03hr 47min 59sec
2 Nicholas Notten 04hr 11min 22sec
3 Tyrone Smolders 04hr 19min 05sec

Women
1 Nikki Mocke 04hr 24min 43sec
2 Bianca Beavitt 04hr 29min 55sec
3 Michelle Eray 04hr 29min 56sec
4 Chloe Bunnett 04hr 45min 12sec
5 Nikki Russel 04hr 52min 50sec


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