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The Dragon Run

 

Research pays off for surf ski champ

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2007 SUNDAY MORNING POST

WATER SPORTS
Unus Alladin

South Africa’s Dawid Mocke beat a star-studded field yesterday to win the Dragon Run, Hong Kong’s surf ski race, which was part of the International Ocean Kayak and Outrigger Championships. The 30-year-old’s thorough research paid rich dividends as he crossed the finish line first at Deep Water Bay to pick up the winner’s cheque of US$5,000.

Mocke beat Molokai world champion Lewis Laughlin of Tahiti and South Africa’s ski surf legend, Oscar Chalupsky, who finished third. He completed the course in one hour, 46 minutes and 30 seconds. The course started at Clearwater Bay and featured 15km of downwind before finishing under sunny weather at Deep Water Bay. “It’s a very technical course,” said Mocke (pictured), who competed in a field that included six of the world’s top ocean paddlers. “I did a lot of research. I made up my mind beforehand what I was going to do. I wanted to shadow Ken Wallace [fifth] and try to keep up with him because he’s so fast at the start.

“I tried to get into the run – the downwind section – and catch the ocean swells in front. If you catch those swells first, you can open up a lead very quickly. “The last 6km were really tough. I wanted to be ahead of Lewis [Laughlin] because he is so strong and he was catching up to me at the end. Had the race been another 3km, he would have caught me,” said Mocke, who beat Laughlin by 55 seconds. Ten-time world champion Chalupsky, who finished another minute behind, said: “It was a very tough race.

I was in third place most of the way and then I slipped to fourth when I took a worst line. I eventually got it all together.” Hong Kong’s Dan Fedoruk was the day’s top outrigger when he crossed the line in 2:17.44 ahead of Hawaii’s Byran Ho and Hong Kong’s Cummings. The fastest team to finish the Marathon Swimming Open Water Relay, which was held in conjunction with the Dragon Run, was the Hong Kong national under-24 team.