2018: Year of the Dog



2018 has arrived! It is raining in California, which hopefully means my brown grass will change to a nice shade of green. And more importantly, that NW wind will start blowing so that I can do some downwinds!

2017 went by in a flash, and I have sadly realized that the older I get, the faster time flies. Staying focused these days is tougher than ever, the addictive nature of social media and the increased access to information seems to derail any well planned day!

Leaving behind the rigidity of an Olympic Training Schedule, and having the “freedom” of working for myself again, has definitely tested my self restraint and discipline in new ways.

My 2018 resolution is to have more “real” time, face-to-face conversations, genuine friendships and be more resistant to distractions.

Mostly just be better than I was yesterday!

Some highlights of the past year:IMG_20171208_111313.jpgOpening a new business – Paddle California, which aims to spread the stoke of surfski by growing paddling sports in California, and around the world! We aim to achieve this through world class coaching and education,  laying the foundations of great technique for beginners, and providing the worlds best (and self-tested & approved) equipment. We are the West Coast importers for Nelo, and a total highlight was exceeding our hopes by bringing in 3 containers for 2017!

Visiting Yosemite for my birthday 🙂

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Seeing the Florida Keys (and enjoying a couple days off after some Olympic Presentations and Coaching Workshops).


Being back in my home country South Africa for the Canoe Marathon World Champs (not our best race but always good to line up with the fastest in the world). And of course seeing our buddy Jenny Egan go on to win a medal! Been training with her since she a lightee!


Taking Maggie down her first river (my favourite river in the world – the Fish!)


And of course doing a few Miller’s Runs (with all the internationals post-marathon worlds).


Paddle California got a VAN! Spent many hours fixing it up to be the perfect mobile office/delivery vehicle and of course surf trip camper!

And finally, went to Hong Kong for the ICF Surfski World Champs. Not my best day out, battled in the flat water (the wind did not come through as hoped) and never really felt good. The wind came through the next day for possibly one of the best downwind competitions for the men’s race, kind of felt a little (LOT!) cheated by the weather gods! After missing 6 months of water time with a torn tendon, my base was only really starting to come back, but definitely needed the downwind if I was ever to be in contention. A bittersweet end to the year’s racing.


Looking back is always fun and it reminds me of how fortunate I am to live this life. I am super excited about 2018, and all the fantastic plans we have for Paddle California and some last gasp racing related travel planned!

Thanks for reading and all the best for 2018!

sig angled


Cape Town Downwind SA Ski Champs



The last few races of 2012 are all happening in Cape Town, the “Windy” city. In all the time I have lived and trained in CT, the wind has rarely not shown it’s  face. Until Sunday morning!

As Surf Ski paddlers, we need to be able to race in all types of conditions, and try and become skilled at all.
The race was tough, and flat. I always knew it would be hard to race Nikki in her home waters, and I gave it my best shot. I am happy with my race, and I went as hard as I felt I could. I am definitely where I want to be with regards to the year I have had, and am really looking forward to 2013 with the first official ICF World Surf Ski Champs happening in Portugal. It is going to be great for the sport and the guys at Nelo already have a super setup planned!

On Monday, I hopped in a double from Knysna Racing, their G42, designed by Neal “Steel” Stevenson. The conditions were fantastic. We suffered into the wind for 3.5km, and then turned and had amazing runs all the way back to Fish Hoek! HAppy with the win, and our 2nd SAS2 title.
THis event had a great turnout from the women, in both the doubles and singles events. There was less than 2 minutes seperating poisitions 4th to 10th in the S1 race!

The boat handled the conditions well, and Nikki didn’t even backseat-drive 🙂


Thanks to Owen Middleton and Cape Town Sport Photography for the images!

Next up is the infamous Cape Point Challenge. 49km of fun! Hoping the wind prediction will change, as it is looking ominous…

All results can be found on the Cape Point website: www.capepointchallenge.com