This year’s Mauritius Ocean Classic, the eighth and the first to be sponsored by Investec Bank, had seen perfect conditions for the entire week – the southeasterly trade winds blew every day and the paddlers reveled in the daily downwind runs from Tamassa to Le Morne.
The men’s field included three-time champion Dawid Mocke (RSA), three-time (and defending) champion Hank McGregor (RSA), current ICF Ocean Racing World Champion and 2015 World Series Champion Cory Hill (Aus), Michael Booth (Aus), 2014 winner Jasper Mocke (RSA) and Matt Bouman (RSA), Mark Anderson (Aus) any of whom could make the podium.
The women’s race was also packed with stars: Nicole Leigh Russell (who had just won the Durban Downwind at home in South Africa), defending champion Michelle Burn, three-time champ Nikki Mocke and Durban stars Jenna Ward and Hayley Arthur. The South Africans were unaware of a dark horse in the mix too: Wendy Reyntjes from Geelong, Australia. Overall, this was the biggest women’s field ever with over thirty racing.
Who’d be a race director? On Friday, a massive southwesterly swell came in, 3m/15s swells smashing and roaring onto the reefs and preventing the rescue boats operating in the unprotected area south of the island.
“It’s the kind of thing that that gives you grey hairs,” said race director Anton Erasmus. “We have a range of abilities among the paddlers and safety is paramount.
“At one point it looked as though we might have to race inside the reef.”
Happily by Saturday morning the seas had subsided somewhat, and although the course was shortened by 3km, conditions were safe, if challenging, for the majority of the paddlers.
Read the full article on www.surfski.info HERE
Barry Lewin, as always, was particularly handy in documenting his time on the island, here is his Day 5 video.
Summary of Results:
1. Hank McGregor 68.46
2. Cory Hill 69.43
3. Michael Booth 70.18
4. Jasper Mocke 71.30
5. Barry Lewin 71.57
6. Matt Bowman 72.20
7. Kyle Fridenstein 72.39
8. Oscar Chalupsky 72.44
9.Dean Gardiner 74.33
10. Mark Anderson 74.57
11. Herman Chalupsky 75.12
12. Joshua Fenn 75.23
13. Dawid Mocke 76.09
14. Oliver Burn 77.29
15. Steve Woods 77.51
16. Shaun Austin 80.26
17. Kurt Tutt 80.54
18. Brendon Thomson 81.08
19. Oskar Stileau 81.38
20. John Jacoby 82.10
21. Wendy Reyntjes 82.41 1st Woman
22. Michelle Burn 83.02 2nd Woman
29. Hayley Nixon 85.19 3rd Woman
34. Nikki Mocke 86.34 4th Woman
35. Jenna Ward 86.52 5th Woman