Oscar Chalupsky to use V10E for Molokai Challenge

Saturday, 21 April 2007 18:06 | Written by 
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ImageWhat's a V10E you might ask? According to Epic, it's E for Elite, but it may as well be E for Extreme - as in extreme lightness and stiffness of construction.

The Epic website says that the skis were built with "super-lightweight unidirectional carbon pre-preg combined with Nomex honeycomb, with a very thin, clear gel coat". The result? An 8kg V10. There are two of the boats in existence with a single V10L which, according to Oscar Chalupsky, is close to 7.5kg.


The proposed price is US$6,500 a copy.  Epic say they're not expecting to sell them in great quantities...

V10E (Photo: Epic Kayaks)

Oscar Chalupsky will paddle one of the skis in the Molokai Challenge next month.  Will it help him to a 12th victory?  Oscar says that Mark Sandvold, Epic's agent in Hawaii has been raving about the ski.  "Mark says he's paddling over 1mph faster," said Oscar, "but I'm not sure as the computer models don't predict that much improvement in speed." 

Looks as though Oscar lost his razor... (Photo: Epic Kayaks)

Oscar did say that the boats are extremely stiff.  "The V10Ultra deflects about 7mm in our 20kg load test," he said.  "The V10E deflects just 3.4mm".

Competition heats up

This year's Molokai sees a significant increase in the number of overseas competitors attending the race.  A strong contingent from South Africa includes Dawid Mocke who has beaten Oscar every time they've met in the last year.  Big downwind conditions are Oscar's forte, however, and Dawid has a reputation for being more of a flat water man. 

Oscar has been training with a group other elite paddlers including Bevan Manson, Clint Pretorius, Hank McGregor and Darryl Bartho off the Kwa-Zulu Natal coast in South Africa where the autumn conditions have been ideal, 50 or 60km downwind runs being the norm.  Dawid trains mostly on his own in Cape Town where the conditions are very different.  In order to achieve distance, Dawid has been resorting to paddling multiple short runs, recently completing six of the notorious Millers Runs one after the other. 

Adding to Dawid's difficulties he's recently been struck down with tick-bite fever which has taking him out of training altogether for a few days.  He'll be travelling up to Durban to put the finishing touches to his campaign before heading over to Hawaii. 

With current Molokai champion Clint Pretorius keen to repeat last year's victory, an amped Oscar on a V10E, up and coming Bevan Manson, current SA champion Hank McGregor, a Dawid Mocke keen to scotch his flat-water-paddler reputation for once and for all, not to mention challenges from other South African, Australian, Tahitian and Hawaiian paddlers, this year's Molokai looks like a humdinger.

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