Thursday, 3 January 2013

McGregor and Eray claim again a hard Cape Point Challenge

On December 22nd finished the Cape Town Surfski Festival with the celebration of the classic Cape Point Challenge, one of the toughest races on the international scene, where paddlers go around the Cape from the Atlantic side to finish in False Bay, on the Indic Ocean, at the beach at Fish Hoek.And victory went to two of the favorites, Hank McGregor in men (for the third time individually, fifth overall) and Michele Eray in women, who got her fourth title in this exigent race.

McGregor enters the finish line with Rice (left) and van vdWalt (right) behind. Photo: Owen Middleton / Gameplan Media
The main character was the wind, which, contrary to what happened during the World Series the week before, turned this time to blow from Northwest, which made the whole second half of the race a hard headwind. If the test is long and this made for some factor should become almost endless. Not surprisingly, the winner was a time of 4h02'27 ".At the start, paddlers already knew the upwind conditions they were going to find after turning around Cape point, something that didn't encourage too many adventures during the first half of the race.

A large group where marched all the favorites began the tuyrn around commanded by McGregor. After him it was formed a long line snaking on the swells trying to keep protected from the wind, but at the pass by Peter Creese Lighthouse first attacks began to drop some members off the main group. tBut still there were many paddlers who resisted to the end, reaching Fish Hoek, after more than four hours, seven paddlers in a great sprint.However, already in the last kilometre, McGregor put a very strong pace with the young Sean Rice and Grant van der Walt on his wash. Sean Rice tried to go front four or five times, but McGregor kept strong and claimed a well deserved victory ahead of Rice, second, and Grant van der Walt, third. Just a few meters behind came Simon van Gysen, Jasper Mocke, Richard von Wildemann and Dawid Mocke.

Michele Eray on her way to her fourth title in the Cape Point Challenge. Photo: Owen Middleton / Gameplan Media

The women's competition was marked by the tough battle held the week before between Michele Eray and Nikki Mocke. This time victory went for the Plettenberg Bay Olympian, which showed to be in much better shape on the long distance and finished ahead Mocke by 8 minutes. Although, given the conditions of the race, which Eray made in 4h32'06" Eray, the difference doesn't look that big.At this link you can see the full results.

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