Dawid's Spanish Blog - Hola! (** videos **)

Saturday, 02 August 2008 11:23 | Written by  Dawid Mocke
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[Editor: Dawid is spending some time in Spain as the guest of the Federacion de Piraguismo de Comunidad de Valencia.  He's been giving paddling clinics and will be taking part in a championship race this weekend...  He's been writing to tell us about his trip...]

Dawid Mocke in Spain - 2008
Upwind Spanish Style! Dawid & host Jonathan Neill

29 July 2008

I LOVE SPAIN!!!!!  It's barely my first day here and it seems I've probably experienced Spain the way that one would imagine it.  Off the plane straight into "siesta" with a awesome lunch of fresh bread, cold meat and a potato-tuna salad.  My host Jonathan Neill (Aqua-Ventura) and the President of the Valencian Kayak Federation (who are sponsoring my trip) picked me up from the hairy port and took me straight to the club where I was introduced to some of the local gang.   

From my first minute in Spain the Spaniards strike me as a very individualistic nation not prone to any type of cosmopolatinism.  These guys have figured out what works for them and you'd beter slot into the system buddy.  No room for hang-ups here.  They are friendly, helpful and interested.  But the thing I love most is, it seems that eating well is very, very important.


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Spanish Surfski 2008
On the Spanish World Cup (2009) course

Jonathan and his wonderful wife Violetta live in a five hundred year old villa on a small farm in the Spanish countryside at the foot of some majestic mountains.  The home is exquisite (9 bedrooms); they have a 25m long crystal clear natural spring at the bottom of the garden; they have a well in the kitchen where they get their drinking water from and their 2 kids, Isabella (6) and Dillan (4) run wild with as little clothes on as possible (generally none).  Jonathan and Violetta run an adventure tour company called Aqua Ventura and their lives revolve around being outside and being active.  They do what they love and love what they do, in short, my kind of people!

So we arrived at the beach with a fresh breeze blowing.  Wonderful, great for downwind!!  Jono was keen and I was keen, but we were rushing to get done before the wind died, so we paddled upwind Spanish style....check the video.  The stretch of ocean we paddled is where they will be hosting a race in April next year, and judging by all the indicators, it's going to be an awesome race.

Dawid Mocke in Valencia, Spain 2008
Magnificent landscape!

I have quite a full schedule here with clinics the whole day Thursday, Friday, Saturday; and then on Sunday the last of their local series race.

Keeping logging on to see new pics and videos of the trip.

Dawid Mocke paddling at the 2009 Spain Surfski World Cup Venue.  The 2009 race in April will form part of the European leg of the Surfski.info World Series

So this is how the Spaniards like to paddle upwind..????  No, we were scared of missing the wind which apparently hasn'tbeen blowing for a while, so we hitched a ride upwind for 10kms.  Come to thinking padlding would've been easier...

The Mediteranean must be one of the best places to surfski.  Dawid Mocke and Jonathan Neil go for a paddle and a swim off Alicante on the Spanish coast.

2 August 2008

Dawid Mocke Speechless in Espana!

So here I am to help promote surfski paddling in southern Spain and to add some momentum to the awesome race they have planned for April next year.  BTW the local Government here is seriously amped at putting on what will be a fantastic race, so keep your diaries open, SPAIN ROCKS! But, back to me, so here I am you know the guys flew me over; and you kind of think you're a big deal you know; kind of celebrity type.  Cameras flashing, newspapers TV  Well, what I thought made me quite the conquistador was left pale in comparison to what I saw last night.  Made me feel quite ordinary really.

Dawid's Spanish paddling clinic - August 2008
Dawid's clinic class - 'learning paddling, but not much English!'

Last night I was left speechless!  I sat with my mouth wide open marveling at the human body and what it is actually capable of.  I'm sure you've heard of the Cirque De Soleil?  Well if you haven't then check out the website (or YouTube it or something) and if you ever, ever, ever have even the remotest chance of going to see a show then you must take it because it is truly inspiring.  I can't even begin to explain what these athlete/performers, or "Performathletes" as I've dubbed them, can do.  They are almost super-human.  I reckon, if it wasn't for the stares I was getting from my fellow members of the audience, I probably could've clapped, whooped and whistled from start to finish.  Man, I tell you, even if it was only the percussion/music team on stage (ALL sound is live), you would be amazed, let alone the precision choreography involving a revolving stage and a superbly effective overhead cabling system.  The outfits are fantastically esoteric to say the least, and it's going to take the square root of Barry Ronge (and that's a whole lot of Barry to go around) to explain to you the theme of the show, but let's just say that I reckon their message was something like: "Out of this World" or something to that effect. 

Other that Cirque De Soleil the daily routine have involved "The Breakfast of Stunning Views", followed by the drive along "The Pass of Improbable Narrowness" down the Paddling/Yacht Club.  A morning session of exercise and the like is on the cards followed by my personal favorite....yip you guessed it...Siesta!  I've picked up that Spanish people like eating well, and I'm all for that.  The afternoons are for being inside out of the sun and then at about 18:00 ish I'll head out for some alternative form of exercise.

Today was Clinic #2 of 3.  Our group today consisted of juniors from the area.  Yesterday was mainly aimed at senior paddlers from the club, and Saturday's clinic will be for paddlers travelling to Alicante for Sunday's race.  Now, regarding the clinics, these guys aren't keen on the standard hour to hour and a half thing.  Noooooooooo!  Here you are given enough time to pass on your entire life's lessons and experience on to those willing to spend the day with you.  We start at 10am and go all the way until 14:00.  You can't go longer because it's siesta of course.  Then, after siesta at 16:00 we're on the water again for some training.  Make no mistake Hombre....these dudes KEEN!  I especially enjoyed working with the juniors today; it seems that surfski paddling has a bright future in Espana.

Dawid Mocke takes his 2nd of 3 clinics in La Villa Joyosa, ALicante Spain.  This is the venue for the April 2009 debut Spain surfski event which promises to have really good conditions, competition and prizemoney.  This clinic was with a bunch of juniors who are super keen.  With these guys here the future of surfski in Espana is bright indeed.