On the finish line at Fish Hoek beach after a tense & tightly contested race are Gabe Newton (USA) left and Mathew Gru (France) on the right.Cape Town’s world-famous 12km Miller’s Surfski Downwind Ocean Run, from Miller’s Point near Cape Point to Fish hoek beach,  is growing in popularity globally, gauging from an increasing number of international surfski & kayak paddling junkies who are queuing up on a daily basis it seems, booking through Dawid & Nikki Mockè’s trendy “The Paddling Centre” store situated on Fish Hoek’s Main Road.

Spotted in the Scenic South Peninsula  over the past 12 weeks or so have been paddling celebrities Tim Brabant (UK), the Beijing Olympic 1000m K1 gold-medallist;  Tom Brown (UK), the 2010 World Men’s Marathon K1 Champion; Chloè Bunnet (UK), the All England Ladies Surfski Champion, 2009, 2010 & 2011; Patrick & Dee-Anne Hemmings (USA),  former All American USA  Men’s & Ladies Surfski Champions (Dee-Anne is a former Olympic K1 sprinter) ; Dr Ruth Highman (Aus), current Ladies no 1 ranked world-surfski-series paddler; Joep van Bakel, Rolph Overvliet and Rick Daman (Neth); Vince Naert (Belg); Johan Skarskog and  Sophia Bagenhammar (Swed); Thea van der Westhuizen (UAE)and Danial Sanchez (Spain).

Other high-profile personalities seen in the area on a daily basis are Shaun Rubenstein, Beijing K1 Olympian, and Michael Arthur  who are South Africa’s 2012 London Olympic K2 hopefuls presently training with SA Canoe Federation’s high-performance squad on Sandvlei in Lakeside near Muizenberg Vilage, a few kilometers down the coast from Fish Hoek.

A variety of international single-surfski paddlers who have been reveling in white-knuckle Miller’s runs with the past fortnight’s blustery south-easterly conditions are Mathew Gru (France), Gabe Newton (USA), Nick Yap (Singapore), Andè Rodrigo (Chile) & Maurico Lucon (Brazil).

Paddlers like these have one aspiration in common – they’re desperately keen to experience the adrenalin-rush and sheer thrill of dashing downwind in the ocean for 12kms non-stop, from Miller’s Point to Fish Hoek beach – safely strapped in on a racing  double-surfski for 50-minutes  in a craft iexpertly piloted and powered by Fish Hoek’s Dawid Mockè, reigning 2011 Oceanpaddler World Series Champion.

A gathering of cheering downwind enthusiasts were treated to a nail-biting unofficial USA vs France ‘test-match dice’ Miller’s Run which culminated on Fish Hoek beach last week when USA’s Gabe Newton pipped France’s Mathew Gru on the line by winning “a best-of-3” test-series-challenge competition in the time of 43min35 sec.

Later that evening, within the exclusive precinct of the New Balance’s Fish Hoek Surf Lifesaving Club, a festive mood prevailed in honour of the gracious and victorious Obama “Stars and Stripes” and its gallant but vanquished Sarkozy “Tri-Colour” foe.

Article & pic  by Godfrey Mockè. +27 (0) 73-1547458.

16 March 2012

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