Dubai Shamaal - Guts and Glory ** Results **

Friday, 03 December 2010 21:52 | Written by 
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Ben Allen - 2010 Dubai Shamaal Champion Ben Allen - 2010 Dubai Shamaal Champion Credits:

Aussie Ben Allen won the 2010 Dubai Shamaal in an extraordinary display of skill and strength today.  South African Dawid Mocke kept coming back, but in the end couldn’t answer Allen’s final push to the finish.

Hot and Flat

The conditions were grueling.  What breeze there was came from behind the paddlers for most of the race, leaving them with the sensation of paddling in an airless vacuum with no relief from the suffocating 30C heat.

Start to the Turn Buoy

The start was frantic – the paddlers were lined up at random and several groups emerged from the thrashing mob before coalescing into a single stream of surfskis all heading for the turning buoy placed about 3km offshore.

Dubai Shamaal Start

Suddenly a white Nelo ski pulled off line and drew up next to one of the Police escort boats.  Yells of “Take the bloody camera off!”  By the time one of the crewmen had leant over to removed the “bloody camera” from his rear deck, defending champion Tim Jacobs had fallen back about twenty places and his race was over.

Dubai Shamaal

The paddlers approach the turning buoy with the magnificent Dubai skyline in the background

Meanwhile Grant van der Walt (SA) briefly lead the way before being overtaken by Hank McGregor (SA) who turned first, with Ben Allen (Aus) on his slip.

Dubai Shamaal

Hank McGregor and Ben Allen turn first, Dawid Mocke and Sean Rice behind

Dawid Mocke (SA) and Sean Rice (SA) were on Allen’s tail and the four men instantly dropped the rest of the fleet, although Jeremy Cotter (Aus) was close behind, but on an inside line.

Dubai Shamaal

Mocke almost immediately moved to the front opened up a gap.  But Ben Allen ground his way up, and for a while four men worked together: Mocke, Allen, McGregor and Sean Rice.

Dubai Shamaal

Dawid Mocke and Ben Allen

But the field spread fast – some paddlers opting for the deep line; others working inshore on an apparently more direct route to the Palm.

Dubai Shamaal

Herman Chalupsky and Barry Lewin

A few km into the race, McGregor saw Jeremy Cotter on his left.  “I thought the guys were going too far out,” he said.  “I looked left and saw Jeremy coming up.  On his inside was Jonathan Crowe – and if anyone should know the best line, he should!”

McGregor moved across to join Cotter and the two groups drew inexorably apart until more than a km separated them.  Crowe was on an even tighter line – which he claimed was beneficial, at least for a while.

Women’s Race

Behind them a fierce battle was being waged for the women’s race – Nikki Mocke had the better start and lead out to the turning buoy.  But Michele Eray fought her way up in a parallel group, then moved across to Mocke’s slip. 

Mocke rounded the buoy first and set off downwind – but Eray surged past to take the lead.  Some four km later, Mocke had pulled back, put the hammer down and overtook her rival.  Nothing daunted, Eray refueled with some juice, caught a couple of runs (“probably the only runs out there”) and took the lead back, moving past about 20m on the outside to open up a gap.

“I had a bad patch out there,” said Mocke.  “I felt like I was melting!”  Cramming a gel and some juice into her mouth, Mocke put her head down to respond.  But, “I just couldn’t catch her; we were moving at the same speed.”

As they approached the flat water at the base of the Palm, Eray had a lead of some 200m.  “I caught up a little,” said Mocke, “and then a bunch came through and I hopped onto the wave.”

“I looked back and saw Nikki in a big bunch of about 5 paddlers,” said Eray.  Her heart sank as she started feeling “that hunted deer” sensation.  Momentarily disconcerted as she tried and failed to catch the wave of a passing paddler, Eray put her head down and ground out the final stretch to the finish.

“Michele had an awesome race,” said Nikki Mocke afterwards.  “I was happy with my performance.  It’s been such a good trip.”

Nikki Mocke

Nikki Mocke at the finish

Allen v Mocke

Meanwhile, back at the front, Ben Allen had moved to take up the pull; Mocke on his sideslip and Sean Rice on Allen’s tail.  “The two of them were playing games,” said Rice.  “I was happy just sit there and let them do the work.”

Dubai Shamaal


By now the paddlers were feeling the heat: Mocke repeatedly stopped paddling to dip his hat in the sea, losing ground each time to the seemingly unstoppable Allen.

Dubai Shamaal

Dipping his hat...

Half way back to the Palm, the paddlers on the inside lines appeared to be gaining.  Cotter and McGregor seemed to be lined up with the lead group, and we could see still more skis closer to land that also seemed to be close to the front.

Then in an instant, everything changed.

Matt Bouman

Matt Bouman

“We’d been told about a current that comes out of the Palm channel,” said Sean Rice, “so I knew we should be way out there.  And sure enough, it worked.”

“we were going pretty well,” said McGregor, “when suddenly it was like we’d hit a brick wall.  I moved out at that point and dropped Jeremy – but it was too late.”

Final Sprint

Mocke, Rice and Allen were still close together, when Allen made a break.  “I saw Dawid drop back a little, and then I caught a wave,” he said.  “I put my head down and opened up a gap and dropped him.”

Dubai Shamaal

Allen opens up a gap

For a while it looked as though Mocke had hit the wall.  He slewed off towards the shore, taking a line 40m inside Allen and dropping back.

Rice then put together an interval and passed Mocke, closing up to Allen’s tail.  The effort had cost him and when Allen put the hammer down yet again, Rice had no answer.

“I thought I was clear when I dropped Sean,” Allen said, “but then I saw Dawid come back up again.  It was absolutely incredible.”

Dubai Shamaal

Mocke - locked in to Allen's slip

As they approached the Palm bridge, Mocke slotted back onto Allen’s slip and it looked set for a sprint finish.

Allen and Mocke were side by side; Mocke riding left slip.  Rice had dropped back a few lengths, and as he came past the media boat he asked how far Matt Bouman was.  When he realized that his third place was in no danger, he backed off a little, focusing on just getting to the finish.

Matt Bouman, having paddled almost the entire race by himself was some 500m back from the lead group, with 21 year old sensation Cory Hill another 300m or so further behind.

Under the bridge and along the final stretch to the Marina, and Mocke was locked on…  but then Allen put the hammer down one last time and finally broke free of Mocke.  “Dawid did incredibly well to come back,” said Allen, “but I knew he had to be hurting from the effort.”

Dubai Shamaal

Ben Allen - sprinting in to claim the 2010 Dubai Shamaal

The DIMC beach erupted as the paddlers turned the corner and Allen sprinted in to win by a couple of lengths.

“That was the toughest race I have ever done,” said a shattered Matt Bouman afterwards.

Matt Bouman

Toughest race ever...

Dubai Shamaal

Hank McGregor and Tom Schilperoort dice to the finish

Shamaal Women

Chloe Bunnett (UK), Ruth Highman (Aus), Michele Eray (SA) - champion for the third year running.

Results (times to come later)

Overall PositionCategory PositionPaddlerNationalityCategory
1 1 Ben Allen Australia Open
2 2 Dawid Mocke SA Open
3 3 Sean Rice SA Open
4 4 Matt Boumann SA Open
5 5 Cory Hill Australia Open
6 6 Hank McGregor SA Open
7 7 Tom Schilperoort SA Open
8 8 Jeremy Cotter Australia Open
9 9 Jasper Mocke SA Open
10 10 Murray Stewart Australia Open
11 11 David Smith Australia Open
12 1 Jonathan Crowe UAE (Australian) Masters
13 12 Grant van der Walt SA Open
14 13 Hayden Smith UAE(Australian) Open
15 14 Tim Jacobs Australia Open
16 15 Michael Booth Australia Open
17 2 Herman Chalupsky SA Masters
18 16 Ben Brown UK Open
19 3 Oscar Chalupsky SA Masters
20 17 Barry Lewin SA Open
21 18 René Holten Poulsen Denmark Open
22 4 Michael Dobler Germany Masters
23 19 Robert Ernst Germany Open
24 20 Tony Schumacher Australia Open
25 5 Pete Higgins UAE (Australian) Masters
26 21 Ekimov Dmitry Russia Open
27 22 Gaven Needham UAE(Australian) Open
28 23 Steffen Burkhardt Germany Open
29 24 Alexandr Larin Russia Open
30 1 Michele Eray SA Ladies Open
31 25 Gleb Greben Norway (Russia) Open
32 26 William Lee UAE(SA) Open
33 1 Simon de Spéville Mauritius Junior
34 2 Nicola Mocke SA Ladies Open
35 27 Peter Longdill UAE(NZ) Open
36 28 Tim Fiedler Germany Open
37 29 Mark Anderson Australia Open
38 30 Henrique Silva Portugal Open
39 31 MARREC France Open
40 6 Colin Campbell UAE (Australian) Masters
41 32 Paul Rosenquist Sweden Open
42 33 Chris Cheyne UAE(British) Open
43 7 Lutz Erichsen Germany Masters
44 34 Antoine Ducrot France Open
45 1 Thor Nielsen Denmark Veterans
46 35 Simon Longdill New Zealand Open
47 8 Carlo Cottino UAE (Italy) Masters
48 36 Dave Shennan UAE(NZ) Open
49 37 Peter Bengtsson UAE(Sweden) Open
50 9 Igor Zarubin Russia Masters
51 2 Stephen Jackson UAE (British) Veterans
52 38 Glenn Eldon Australia Open
53 10 Robert Klok UAE (SA) Masters
54 11 Alan Norton UAE (SA) Masters
55 39 Ludovic Gourichon France Open
56 40 Roland Anton Lacock UAE(SA) Open
57 3 Colin Smith UK Veterans
58 2 Rasmus Møller Jørgensen Denmark Junior
59 3 Ruth Highman Australia Ladies Open
60 41 Robert Floryan Denmark Open
61 42 Andrew Dunstan UAE (SA) Open
62 4 Richard Howes UAE(SA) Veterans
63 43 Nuno André Santos Portugal Open
64 44 Morten Skytte Denmark Open
65 45 Christopher Camilleri Malta Open
66 12 David Beau UAE(French Masters
67 46 Trent Rogers UAE (Australian) Open
68 47 Ben Brough UAE (British) Open
69 48 Patrick Ellis UAE(SA) Open
70 49 Marc Robitzkat UAE (German) Open
71 50 Andy Blow UK Open
72 51 Bruce McLaren UAE(SA) Open
73 13 Bruce Hamilton Qatar Masters
74 52 Søren Hyttel Denmark Open
75 53 Wayne Hilton-Taylor UAE(SA) Open
76 14 Arnim Schon UAE (SA) Masters
77 54 Bradley Holliday Oman Open
78 1 Mark Robert Bruyns & Chris Hirst UAE(SA) Doubles
79 15 Ian Kingon UAE(SA) Masters
80 3 Luke Chalupsky SA Junior
81 55 Mats Berglund Sweden Open
82 4 Chloe Bunnett UK Ladies Open
83 56 Thijs van der Veen Netherlands Open
84 2 Cédrick Villaret & Nicolas Coulet France Doubles
85 57 Ben Swart UAE (SA) Open
86 58 Doug Bitcon Bahrain (Irish) Open
87 16 Terekhov Aleksey Russia Masters
88 5 Flora Manciet France Ladies Open
89 5 Mark Rogers UAE(RSA) Veterans
90 17 Tom Kerr USA Masters
91 59 Mark Hogbin UAE(British) Open
92 6 Rebecca Mehew UAE(British) Ladies Open
93 60 Asanka Priyankara UAE (Sri Lankan) Open
94 18 Barry Roy Lewis UAE(British) Masters
95 61 Ahmed Talhimet UAE (Morocco/Netherlands) Open
96 62 Marc Le Mentec France Open
97 6 Nigel Harvey UAE (RSA) Veterans
98 7 Richard Leif Nero Qatar Veterans
99 63 Wayne Powell Spain (Australia) Open
100 64 Nathan Hanns UAE (SA) Open
101 65 John Standley UAE(SA) Open
102 19 Andy Nicholson UAE(British) Masters
103 8 Jean Marc SAUZIER Mauritius Veterans
104 66 Gavin Dickinson UAE (SA) Open
105 20 Andrew Welch UAE(SA) Masters
106 3 Edmond Menzies & Peter Wilson UAE (SA) Doubles
107 21 Christopher David Bartlett UAE (SA) Masters
108 67 Ivan Michardière France Open
109 22 Andreas Dobler Germany Masters
110 23 John Blacklaws Qatar Masters
111 68 Ivan Cole UAE(NZ) Open
112 9 JIM HOFFMAN USA Veterans
113 7 Thea van der Westhuizen UAE (SA) Ladies Open
114 69 Grant Hartley UAE (SA) Open
115 24 Rob Annandale UAE (Zimbabwean) Masters
116 70 Jean van Loggerenberg UAE(SA) Open
117 25 Nick Harel UAE (Zimbabwean) Masters
118 26 Neil Hamp Adams UAE(SA) Masters
119 71 Stuart Brock UAE(Zimbabwean) Open
120 27 Paul Hilton Hong Kong (Australia) Masters
121 28 Mark Timmermans UAE (NZ) Masters
122 29 Patrick Flynn UAE(SA) Masters
123 30 Michael Cilento UAE(Australian) Masters
124 72 Baldran Romain France Open
125 31 Guy Wilson UAE (SA) Masters
126 73 Stephen Kenealy UAE (SA) Open
127 74 Anthony Bugden UAE (Australian) Open
128 75 Darryl Chiles UAE(British) Open
129 76 Brett Smyth UAE(SA) Open
130 77 Nico Smit & Megan Smit UAE(SA) Open
131 8 TIna Tinggaard Nielsen UAE (Denmark) Ladies Open
132 9 Miranda Richardson UAE(NZ) Ladies Open
133 32 Michael Dawson UAE(Irish) Masters
134 10 Gary Barrass UAE(British) Veterans
135 33 Jeremy Coles UAE(Australian) Masters
136 11 Theunis Reynolds UAE (SA) Veterans
137 4 Aurore Saurel & Adeline Le Roy France Doubles
138 34 Richard P. Flynn Bahrain Masters
139 78 Wayne Randall UAE(SA) Open
140 79 Udaya Ruwan UAE (Sri Lankan) Open
141 12 Martin Brown UAE (Zambian) Veterans
142 35 Peter Wentzel UAE(SA) Masters
143 80 Patrick Gunn UAE(SA) Open
144 81 Declan Gaynor Bahrain Open
145 82 Christian Nielsen Denmark Open
146 36 Stephen French UAE(Australian) Masters
147 83 Sergey Kokarev UAE (Russian/SA) Open
148 84 Adam Marcinowicz UAE (British) Open
149 85 Kim Bowra Australia Open
150 86 Gregory Slingerland UAE(SA) Open
151 1 Julia Townsend UAE (US) Ladies Master
152 10 L'Her-Marrec Veronique France Ladies Open
153 37 Johan Venter UAE(SA) Masters
154 87 Paul Ian Pimblett UAE(SA) Open
155 13 William Aylmer Lewis UAE(British) Veterans
156 2 Barbara Hatfield UAE(SA) Ladies Master
157 88 Andrew Dunstan UAE (SA) Open
158 89 Andre Snyman UAE(SA) Open
159 90 David Hackett UAE(Irish) Open
160 38 Richard Nezar UAE(SA) Masters

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