Fish Hoek Paddling Festival (Cape Town)

Saturday, 17 November 2012 14:30 | Written by 
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Sun, southeaster, surfskis and four extraordinary races including the final Oceanpaddler World Series event… what’s not to like?  That’s the inaugural Fish Hoek Surfski Festival – kicking off on 9 December in Cape Town, South Africa.

The Races

Peter Creese Lighthouse Race

The second half of this race is the same as the second half of the (in)famous Millers Run…  and sees you paddling downwind from the Roman Rock lighthouse off Simonstown to the festival headquarters in Fish Hoek.  But here’s the trick – the first half of the race is into wind! 

The race is held no matter what the weather conditions – so you might find yourself tackling the notorious Cape southeaster head on!

But anyone can do 5km into the wind, right? 

Cape Town Downwind

On 16 December, the first World Series event in Cape Town since 2004 takes place.  Incorporating the South African Single Ski Championships, the race is expected to have a huge turnout of locals and hopes to attract significant numbers of paddlers from the USA, Australia and Europe.

Many of the other races this year have seen disappointing weather conditions – but in December Cape Town normally sees pretty reliable southeasters, so let’s hope for a stonking wind.

Here's some footage taken on the course...  (remember you can always mute the music...!)



Ideally the course (which may be changed on the day to provide the best possible race) will start on the beach, protected from wind and waves, in front of the Black Marlin restaurant near Millers Point.  The paddlers will head upwind, on the outside of Millers Point (no sneaking through the rocks) as far as Partridge Point where there will be a turning buoy.

From there it’s roughly 15km downwind to Fish Hoek – the course incorporating the Millers Run.

Double Ski Championships

On Monday 17 December (a public holiday in South Africa), the South African Double Ski Championships will be run. 

Cape Point Challenge

At almost exactly 50km, the CPC is a challenge in every sense of the word.  The race starts at the crack of dawn on Scarborough Beach with the paddlers heading southeast towards Cape Point.  25km later, at the base of 1000ft sheer cliffs, they turn north towards Fish Hoek.  If they’re lucky the wind will be light southeast, but strengthening as they reach the Point. 

The race is truly one of those that should be on every paddler’s bucket-list.

Prize Money and other useful information

The prize pool for the Cape Town Downwind and Cape Point Challenge is R200,000 each.  That’s currently about US$23,000 each.

Click here to access the event website

Click here to access the Facebook page

Follow the updates on Twitter @Surfskifestival

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