US Champs 2011 Champions: Dawid Mocke & Michele Eray

Sunday, 14 August 2011 09:31 | Written by 
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Lining up for the start of the 2011 US Surfski Champs Lining up for the start of the 2011 US Surfski Champs Credits: Dave Kelly and Dave Wells, pics taken on the water using mobile phones!

Dawid Mocke dominated the US Champs today, while Michele Eray overcame the pain of an arm injury to take the women’s title by over 11 minutes!


I’ve covered this race for a number of years now, including once in person (fantastic trip to a unique venue) and every year, on the day, the conditions are the same: it’s freezing cold at the start with fog obscuring the top of the famos Golden Gate bridge.  But by start time, the wind comes up, blows away the fog and the sun comes out leaving fabulous downwind conditions for the second half of the race…

As for the headbash out to the turning buoy – although the paddlers had a brisk headwind, the waves were small and the current gentle.

Race Summary

The front bunch of six broke away instantly from the mob, with South Africans Dawid Mocke, Matt Bouman, Sean Rice and Barry Lewin taking turns to pull. Spanish paddler Dani Sanchez did exceptionally well to hang on the bunch.  US/French Olympian Philippe Boccara keeping up but paddling on his own taking a deep line.

US Surfski Champs 2011

Sean Rice pulls the bunch into the wind and current just after the start. Mocke on the inside; Bouman on the black Epic; Barry Lewin on the yellow Bullet.  

Some 50m back, Carter Johnson was mixing it with Olympians Greg Barton and Tommy Karls (Sweden)…

3km into the race, Mocke put the hammer down and lead a breakaway pack…  now it was three: Mocke, Rice and Bouman and they traded the pull, with Sean Rice eventually rounding the turning buoy at the mouth of the bay in first place.

US Surfski Champs 2011

Then it was three - Mocke, Rice and Bouman on the way out to the turning bouy

Michele Eray

Michele Eray on the way out


It was now that tactics and pre-race planning played a huge role.  The current had turned and was predicted to be only 1kt in strength, flowing in the opposite direction to the paddlers.  In the event, in places it was much stronger, reaching 3-3.5kt.

As the three men turned round the buoy, Rice caught a run and, staying a couple of hundred metres offshore, quickly opened up a substantial 100m lead on Mocke, who had however, immediately headed inshore.

Matt Bouman

Matt Bouman trails Mocke

Dawid Mocke leads

Mocke leads

A few minutes later it was clear that Mocke had taken the right line and by the time the leaders were back under the bridge, Mocke had more than made up the deficit and had taken the lead.

Rice swung inshore when he realized what had happened – but it was too late and Mocke was never threatened the rest of the race.

The leg from the turning buoy back to the Fenn hotspot at Fort Baker was relatively flat, with the paddlers working hard on the small runs.

Hotspot and more downwind

Mocke having secured the $1,000 hotspot, he set off for Angel Island – and by now Matt Bouman too had overtaken Rice, passing the hotspot buoy in second position.   Barry Lewin was well clear of the following bunch in fourth.

The conditions from here on in, simply improved minute by minute.  Mocke had the perfect line, sheltering from the current behind Angel Island.  Close to Pt. Blunt they all eventually hit the current, providing a strange spectacle of skis screaming down steep runs and yet seeming to stand still in terms of speed over the ground…

(At this point the commentary team had lost all idea of what was going on further back in the fleet – our spotter having left his phone behind was using an unfamiliar device and was unable to answer my frantic calls!)

Matt Bouman

Bouman rounds the hotspot, by now in second place

Sean Rice

Sean Rice heads towards Pt. Blunt in 3rd place.  By now the surfing conditions were excellent.

From Angel Island across to the finish at Berkeley, the runs were coming at a diagonal from the paddlers’ right…  But they were catching long, beautiful rides – 10 seconds with paddles down, a couple of quick strokes, and off again.

Just before Berkeley, the paddlers found themselves facing a couple of dozen 40ft racing yachts heading straight for them…  For a moment, things looked tense, but Mocke made a left hand jink and cleared the fleet.  That left the bunch having to work hard right to get back to the finish.

Fourth Title

And Mocke took his fourth US Surfski Champs title in a time of 1:54:35, finishing just over four minutes ahead of Matt Bouman.  Sean Rice was another minute off the pace, with Barry Lewn nearly three minutes further behind.  Daniel Sanchez Villoria paddled a brilliant race, coming in fifth.  The first Aussie, Robert Barry was next with Greg Barton in seventh.

US Surfski Champs

...and it's all over.  Rice and Bouman congratulate the 2011 US Surfski Champion

Women’s Race

As expected, Michele Eray totally dominated the women’s race, beating US paddler DeAnne Hemmens by over 11 minutes.

Michele Eray

Eray turns the mark...

Michele Eray

...and heads downwind.  In spite of an injury to one arm, Eray was never challenged.

Results Summary


  1. Dawid Mocke 1:54:35
  2. Matt Bouman 1:58:38
  3. Sean Rice 1:59:47
  4. Barry Lewin 2:02:34
  5. Daniel Sanchez Villoria 2:04:10


  1. Michele Eray 2:20:05
  2. DeAnne Hemmens 2:31:58
  3. Kristen Podolack 2:35:09


Full Results

More on

RankNameLocationTimeDivisionDivision PlaceBoat Make/Model as registered
1 Dawid Mocke Fish Hoek, Cape Town, South Africa 01:54:35 OP 1st Fenn Elite
2 Matt Bouman Umhlanga Rocks 01:58:38 OP 2nd Epic V10
3 Sean Rice Cape Town, South Africa 01:59:47 OP 3rd Think UNO Max
4 Barry Lewin Durban Kawazulu Nata, South Africa 02:02:34 OP 4th Custom Kayaks Bullet
5 Daniel Sanchez San Jose, Ibiza, Spain 02:04:10 OP 5th Fenn Elite
6 Robert Barry Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia 02:05:46 SM 1st Fenn Elite
7 Greg Barton Seattle, Washington, USA 02:07:05 SM 2nd Epic V12
8 Tommy Karls Trosa, Sweden 02:07:50 MS 1st Fenn
9 Dorion Wolter Delaware, Ohio, USA 02:08:57 OP   Fenn Mako Elite
10 Philippe Boccara Newport Beach, California, USA 02:09:12 SM 3rd Fenn Elite
11 Oskar Stielau North Shore City, New Zealand 02:09:38 MS 2nd Fenn Elite
12 Robbie Ford Northshore, Auckland, New Zealand 02:10:02 OP   Fenn
13 Gabe Newton Seattle, Washington, USA 02:10:46 OP    
14 Patrick Hemmens Costa Mesa, California, USA 02:11:26 MS 3rd Fenn Elite SL
15 Donald Kiesling Seattle, Washington, USA 02:11:35 OP   Epic V10L
16 Carter Johnson Sausalito, California, USA 02:12:09 OP   Huki S1X Special
17 Ian Mercer Auckland, New Zealand 02:14:27 MS 4th Huki
18 Reid Hyle DeLand, Florida, USA 02:14:47 OP   Fenn Elite
19 Austin Kieffer Asheville, North Carolina, USA 02:15:35 OP   Fenn XT
20 Robin Graham Atherton, California, USA 02:15:39 OP   Fenn Elite
21 David Jacobson Bellingham, Washington, USA 02:15:44 OP   Fenn Swordfish
22 Gareth Tudor-Jones Cobble Hill, British Columbia, Canada 02:16:42 OP   Think UNO Max
23 Pablo Fernandez Santander, Cantabria, Spain 02:17:03 MS 5th Fenn Elite
24 Shane Martin Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 02:17:15 OP   Epic V10
25 Paul Rosenquist Stockholm, Sweden 02:17:28 OP   Point65 Bourbon Orca
26 Rich Long San Clemente, California, USA 02:17:36 MS   Fenn Elite
27 Dan Yoder Dana Point, California, USA 02:18:16 OP   Fenn Elite
28 Tommy Yonley Houston, Texas, USA 02:19:37 OP   Huki S1X Special
29 Michele Eray Piettenberg Bay, Western Cape, South Africa 02:20:05 W 1st Nelo Medium
30 Brent Reitz Moss Landing, California, USA 02:21:04 SM 4th Huki S1X Special
31 Morris Arthur Bellingham, Washington, USA 02:21:34 MS   Huki S1X Special
32 Borys Markin Hackensack, New Jersey, USA 02:22:45 OP   Nelo Large
33 Kenny Howell Montara, California, USA 02:23:05 MS   Epic V12
34 Brian Kummer San Clemente, California, USA 02:23:43 SM 5th Fenn Mako 6
35 Rob Hansen Campbell River, British Columbia, Canada 02:23:50 MS   Fenn Elite
36 Ken Stanick North Vancover, British Columbia, Canada 02:24:12 MS   Epic V12
37 Carl Greenhalgh Mainbeach, Queensland, Australia 02:24:20 MS   Vajda Orca Racing
38 Adam Fahey Secret Harbour, Western Australia 02:24:29 OP   Think UNO Max
39 Bob Putnam Deep Cover, North Vancouver, Canada 02:24:46 SM   Epic V10
40 Sean Morley Fairfax, California 02:25:13 MS   Huki
41 Jack Kraus San Clemente, California, USA 02:25:32 SM   Fenn Mako 6
42 Sean Lupton-Smith Atlanta, Georgia, USA 02:25:50 MS   Fenn Elite
43 Steve Kaspar Martinez, California, USA 02:26:28 SM   Fenn Elite
44 John Dye San Rafael, California, USA 02:27:06 SM   Mako Millenium
45 Mike McNulty Boulder Creek, California, USA 02:27:48 SM   Huki S1X Special
46 Chris Stout Monterey, California, USA 02:28:30 MS   Fenn Elite
47 Corry Fitzgibbons Costa Mesa, California, USA 02:29:01 MS   Fenn Elite
48 Jeff Schwing Oakland, California, USA 02:30:09 MS   Huki S1X Special
49 Daryl Remmler North Vancover, British Columbia, Canada 02:31:12 MS   Think Evo
50 DeAnne Hemmens Costa Mesa, California, USA 02:31:58 W 2nd Fenn Swordfish
51 Dean Jordaan Atlanta, Georgia, USA 02:32:20 OP   Fenn Elite
52 Didier Vavasseur Bassussarry, France 02:32:47 SM    
53 Vineet Buch Foster City, California, USA 02:32:57 OP   Fenn Mako Elite
54 Matt Kelly Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 02:34:41 MS   Think Evo
55 Kristen Podolak Berkeley, California, USA 02:35:09 W 3rd  
56 Warren Bruce North Vancover, British Columbia, Canada 02:35:40 SM   Epic V10 Sport
57 Rod McLain Stockton Springs, Maine, USA 02:37:32 OC1-SM   Kai Wa'a Scorpius
58 Tim Burke Crownsville, Maryland, USA 02:39:37 MS   Epic V10 Sport
59 James Hoffman Bedford, New York, USA 02:39:48 SM   Fenn XT
60 Alex McLain Stockton Springs, Maine, USA 02:42:37 W 4th Epic V12
61 Nick Hanoian San Diego, California, USA 02:43:45 OP   Epic V12 Ultra
62 Jerry Merayo Marina Del Rey, California, USA 02:43:50 MS   Fenn Elite
63 George Porter Dana Point, California, USA 02:44:42 SM   Fenn Elite
64 Joel Leker Marina, Calfiornia, USA 02:51:52 SM   Fenn Mako XT
65 Jonathan Sanborn Maple Grove, Minnesota, USA 02:52:52 SM   Epic V12
66 Greg Greene Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA 02:53:02 SM   Huki S1X Special
67 Edward Visser Los Angeles, California, USA 02:53:12 SM   Fenn XT
68 Andy Howell Englewood, Colorado, USA 02:53:13 MS   Fenn XT
69 Olaf Beckmann* St. Helena, California, USA 02:54:46 MS   Fenn Elite
70 Tom Mohr Dana Point, California, USA 02:55:03 SM   Fenn Mako 6
71 Sandy Yonley Houston, Texas, USA 02:55:07 W 5th Huki
72 Fernando Marcenaro Houston, Texas, USA 03:00:01 SM   Huki S1R
73 Mike Gregory Bellingham, Washington, USA 03:14:27 GM   Epic V10 Sport
74 Roger Lamb Bellingham, Washington, USA 03:24:47 GM   Huki S1X

OP=Open (18-39);  MS = Masters (40-49); SM = Senior Masters (50-59); GM = Golden Master (60+)

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