Fish Hoek – Surfski racing steps into a new era this month with the inauguration of a brand new fortnight of paddling events that will bring together some of the best surfski racers in the world, anchored by the iconic Cape Point Challenge and a brand new pair of specialist downwind racers that intend to show off the best offshore racing conditions the peninsula has to offer.
Things get under way when the gun goes for the start of the oldest surfski event in the province, the Peter Creese Lighthouse race, on Sunday 9 December with paddlers tackling the traditional 10km ‘out and back’ type course from and back to Fish Hoek Beach.
The second of the three events is a new and exciting venture for the Cape as the formerly Durban based World Cup shifts back to its original South African roots this year and the Cape Town Downwind also debuts on the Oceanpaddler World Series calendar as well.
Having replaced the fallen Dubai Shamaal on the international schedule the fresh encounter offers a staggering R200 000 in winnings to those at the top which promises to see paddling stars from around the globe making the trip out to our shores for the clash on Sunday 16 December.
Considering the vast depth of world class paddlers that South Africa boasts it is fitting that an event of this international stature also doubles as the South African S1 Surfski Champs for 2012 with the doubles leg (S2) of the national champs taking place the following day.
Once the oceans have calmed and the paddlers recovered from what promises to be an exhilarating national champs, the ultimate open ocean paddling slog – the Fenn Cape Point Challenge – then awaits on Saturday 22 December with this year’s event carry an extra element of prestige as the race celebrates its twentieth anniversary.
Only those brave and tough enough will venture out from the start at Scarborough and attempt to survive the 50km of gruelling ocean navigation around the spectacular and iconic Cape Point en route to the finish line at Fish Hoek Beach where here too the top achievers will take home their share of R200 000.
All in all the South African and even international surfski community is in for a paddling treat this festive season and all eyes will be firmly fixed on the small coastal town of Fish Hoek for vast stretches at a time this December.
More info can be found at www.capepointchallenge.com
Photo credit: John Hishin/ Gameplan Media