Going South

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After The Doctor Ski Race, we went South of Perth, to Margaret River. Better known for its big wave surfing, we were there to do a ski race. Marg’s is a pretty cool place, reminded me of The Garden Route here where I live.

The Race was fun, pretty low-key, with fun wind. We started in Gnarabup, and paddled North towards Grace Town. The SUP’s went off first, followed by the women, and then 5 minutes later the men. After about an hour of downwind, we turned around a rock and headed in to the Beach. I won from Ruth Highman and Lara Taylor. Jasper Mocke won the Men’s, followed by Tom Schilperoot, and Bruce Taylor (who took a short course:) )

Ruth and I

The final race I was meant to do was in Mandurah, however with the predicted cyclone (for Sunday) Saturday’s race was cancelled! The Aussies sure are cautious…

Anyway, I am now back in SA, after a great time in Perth. I had a week off, and am now back into training. I have changed my whole approach, and will spend the next few blocks working on the neglected aspects of my paddling. So far I am loving the variety and change. Hope I can keep it up!

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Perth so far

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Andre from Nelo took the above photo of TJ, Henrique and myself before our first paddle here in Perth at Scarborough Beach. The lifeguards wouldn’t let us paddle out as they had just spotted a 2.5m Tiger Shark! However, about 150m up the beach they were letting people swim? So we walked along the beach and paddled out there…

The sea is an amazing light blue colour here, and really warm (well compared to Plett), and its so clear that you can see the bottom (and the Tiger Shark). So far I am loving it here. The people are super friendly, and everything is clean and organised. We did a great, although short downwind in the arvo (hows that for Aussie slang?), and luckily Lara and her buddy gave us a ride back to out apartment. I then got to catch up with ex South Africans James and Tanya Mangold. Great to hear the SA accent after all this Aussie 🙂

Hoping for the wind to pick up again today, so I can have another crack at it with my uber-cool Blue and Lumo Yellow NeloSki. Then registration tomorrow, and finally race day. Although I havent prepared specifically for this event (more of just continued my training after my peak for Dubai, and ultra test at the 50km Cape Point) I am very happy to be here to race. The conditions look great, and the women’s field is looking to be the hottest ever! I love a good race!

p.s. For all my SA readers, I am 6 hours into the future here:) So apologies if I don’t return messages until the next day. Also the phone is on roaming text but not calls…

Cape Point Challenge

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Having probably done the least amount of Cape Point (read 50km) Specific Training this year, I had no idea how I would go, actually, I knew I would go well until 25km, it was the other 25km that I had no idea about!

The weather predictions were moderate, no real wind and pretty small swell. I got seeded into B Batch, along with Nikki. We had a really civil start and the pace remained like that most of the first half. When A Batch came past we made the most of their wash and had a free (although short) ride! Just before the Point, Jayden went hard, and I went with him through the kelp beds. We opened up a little gap, and the others had to work to catch back up. Rounding this iconic landmark is truly special, especially in a relatively small craft, powered only by yourself! It always makes me remember how unique this sport is, and how lucky I am to call it my job!

Once we had passed the boat that served as a check point, Jayden went quite deep. I went a more direct line. the runs (leftover from the week before’s South Easterly wind) were pushing in towards Buffel’s Bay. Tempting to go for them, but they were going too inshore, as well as being pretty hard work for not much reward. I chose rather to catch only the bigger ones and work them as right as possible. I saw Nikki going way inside of me, but I trusted my line. I caught Jayden before Smits, and we sat together until just after Miller’s Point. Then the little bugger opened up a 500m gap on me! I really felt strong, and actually started enjoying myself. The decision to take only ice-cold water, and use PVM’s Octane Gels was a good one, as the water was so refreshing, and the gels provided enough carb’s to keep me going (not to mention caffeine-check out their new Chocolate flavoured, caffeine added Energy Gels!)

Just after Miller’s Point (about 10km to go) I had a mini meltdown. I suppose my distance training had not been enough,so I just tried focusing on my technique, and rewarding myself with little sips of water and splash of cold Indian Ocean water over my face and neck every 500m. I have never sat in a ski for so long, without a foam butt pad of sorts. The NeloSki was great, no dead leg, and no discomfort. Lucky for me:) It also managed to dip onto all those “hard to catch” little runs that were popping up every now and then.

The last 5km from the Lighthouse were long, and I was super happy to cross the finish line. I finished in 12th position Overall in 4:09, and first in the Women’s race. I am really happy with this result, it is also my 3rd win in a row at the Cape Point. Nikki was 2nd just over 5 minutes back, and Bianca Beavitt was 3rd.

Thanks to Keith Fenn for being supporting sponsor, and to Richard and Pete and the guys from Fish Hoek LSC for putting on a great race!

I drove straight from there to the Breede River, to be a part of Abbey and Chad’s wedding. What a beautiful venue, special people and overall, a fantastic weekend !

Yesterday was the Discovery/Sunglass Hut Surf Ski Series final party and prize giving. I unfortunately couldn’t make it, but I won the Series Title for the 3rd year in a row. I also made Elite Grade, and I think that is the first time a female has made the Men’s Elite!

Now I am back in Plett, and the Silly Season is upon us. The town is bustling with holiday makers. It’s a really great vibe. I have a few local events in the holidays, and then it’s off to Perth for The Doctor Ski Race. It’s one I have never done, and I am itching to get over there!

Seasons Greetings and Happy Holidays!