Man Dragon Run course a “True Test of Surfski Paddling”

Wednesday, 19 November 2008 07:31 | Written by 
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Oscar Chalupsky paddled the race course yesterday - and was impressed.  Paddlers from all over the world are converging on Hong Kong to take part in the annual Man Dragon Run.

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Weather Forecast

The weather forecast is looking good. 

(See  http://www.windguru.cz/int/index.php?sc=4900 and http://www.hko.gov.hk/contente.htm for up to date forecasts.)

13kt ENE is the current wind forecast for the race.  "It's a true test of surfski paddling," said Chalupsky.  "There's upwind, cross-wind and downwind.  The great thing is that there are bumps virtually the whole way."

Navigation

Navigation is challenging - visibility isn't always good and the many islands dotting the sea can be confusing, as Chalupsky found!  Last year too, Dawid Mocke became confused during a reconnaissance paddle and had to ask a passing Outrigger Canoe where the finish was...

Race Coverage

Surfski.info will be offering live commentary for the race starting from around 10h30 Hong Kong time (if you're not sure what that is, Google "time now Hong Kong"!)

We also have legendary photographer Graham Uden who will be shooting the race again; we'll have video directly after the race and Karl ‘Jackal' Treacher will be giving us the Aussie viewpoint on the race.

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Great lineup

The Aussies are out in force with:

  • Dean Gardiner
  • Brett Tyack
  • Jeremy Cotter
  • Mark Anderson
  • Karl Treacher
  • Dean Beament

Taking them on are South Africans

  • Dawid Mocke (defending champ)
  • Oscar Chalupsky (came third last year)
  • Tom Schilperoort (21 year old South African who has been training with Dawid Mocke)
  • Steve Woods
  • Clint Pretorius

The Hong Kong locals will be hoping to break into the top ten this year.  In 2007, Rene Appel cracked tenth place with Paul Etherington, Jon Dingley, Andy Orr and Rob Wall filling up the next four places (what makes you think they were working together???)

The women's race will essentially be between Michelle Eray and Michelle Eder, both from South Africa.  Alexa Cole is focusing on the Dubai Shamaal and has not travelled to Hong Kong.

Challenging the established elite paddlers are competitors from Japan, New Zealand, Hawaii, Canada, Singapore and a big squad from the UAE.

Paddleboarder's first ski race

Top Aussie paddleboarder Jackson English takes on the MAN Dragon Run as his first long distance ski race.  The 33 year old has been living in Singapore for last 4 years; he's originally from Avoca Beach in NSW Australia.

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He finished 2nd in the Molokai to Oahu Paddleboard Race July 2008 and Hennesseys International July 2008 (first race on a paddleboard in 4 years) He was the first person to paddle on a paddleboard from Singapore to Indonesia and back 80km in March 2007 to raise awareness for the NGO SurfAid International (have raised $150,000 for them over the last 3 years).


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