Jasper and Dawid Mocke are in Perth for the 2015 Fenn Epic Kayaks Doctor surfski race. Based in Cape Town, the pair have travelled to Western Australia yet again to compete against the best on what seems to be a popular downwind course.
But what brings them back? Jasper says “The fact that I’ve won the race definitely helps the decision to return but more than that I believe this is consistently the best paddle in the best conditions which makes achieving significant.” Dawid adds: “It’s an ocean crossing in warm blue water, with a howling tail wind and a massive field of very competitive Aussies! If you like adventure and to compete, this race certainly ticks the boxes.” As defending champion, Jasper is sure to face stiff competition from the locals, a task he is used to even back home in Cape Town. How does the competition in Australia compare to Cape Town? It appears that there are similarities but Jasper adds that perhaps there may be more depth down under: “…For instance you’ll see more guys on elite ski’s. They’re quite similar in the sense that no one is a superstar, which is nice. Everyone treats everyone the same.”
Local competition aside, perhaps one of Jasper’s biggest threats when the paddlers leave Rotto (Rottnest Island, the starting point for the race) will be his older brother, Dawid. Most travelling athletes would agree that having your own brother as your travel buddy is beneficial, Jasper considers himself lucky and adds: “Yes it helps mostly. We’ve travelled lots so we’ve got a good system. However it does expose weakness on the water if you’re having an off day in training which can be annoying.”
Dawid sees similarities between the surfski culture in Cape Town and Western Australia, saying: “There is of course only the one section of coast that they paddle in WA whereas in Cape Town there are around 4 different venues , so a lot more cohesion here and much bigger groups.” Dawid won the popular Sunset Series Downwind event last night, which drew around 200 paddlers including SUP. Not bad for a local time trial!
Both Dawid and Jasper will be quietly confident ahead of tomorrow’s race. Jasper won last weekend’s West Coast Downwinder in an end sprint with recently crowned ICF World Champ Cory Hill while Dawid won the Pete Marlin Surfski Race in East London, South Africa just two weeks ago. It will certainly be interesting to watch the race unfold.
The Epic Kayaks Doctor in Perth, WA is Australia’s most exciting ocean paddling event from Rottnest Island to Sorrento Beach covering 27kms (or vice versa depending on wind conditions).
The event is scheduled to race on Saturday 28th November 2015 starting at Rottnest Island and finishing at Sorrento Beach. This will be reversed if strong off-shore conditions prevail. In the advent of dangerous conditions on Saturday the event will move to Sunday 29th November.