dawid mocke

Tuesday, 12 July 2016 16:07 | Category : Latest Surfski News

As we watched the Tractrac app, we could see Sean Rice edging ahead on an inshore line, exactly as he did in 2013 when he won the ICF World Champs…  Would it work for him again?  The conditions this year were very different to those in 2013.

Friday, 08 July 2016 17:01 | Category : Latest Surfski News

There are at least ten paddlers who could podium tomorrow at the 8th NELO Summer Challenge, which starts at 4pm in Porto, Portugal.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016 11:19 | Category : Latest Surfski News

Durban – Some the best surfski racers in the world will converge on Durban on the weekend of 25 and 26 June for the 2016 FNB Durban Downwind, setting the stage for another world class duel as the World Surfski Series title event draws top elite ocean racers to Durban idyllic wintery conditions for the 26km clash.

Saturday, 11 July 2015 17:54 | Category : Latest Surfski News

Durban – The final race of the 2015 FNB Durban Downwind Series saw some fantastic downwind conditions as paddlers made their way from La Mercy on the North Coast to the Marine Surf Lifesaving Club on Saturday with Australian Michael Booth narrowly claiming a beach sprint over Matt Bouman with Michelle Burn showing her class to claim victory in the women’s race on Saturday.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015 11:54 | Category : Latest Surfski News

New Zealand’s National Ocean Racing Championship once again graces the Surfski World Series on the 7th March 2015, after a hiatus of a few years. International paddling greats have used this event to pick up some much sought after points in order to determine the best marathon distance surfski paddler in the world, and last year’s winner South African Dawid Mocke (3 X World Champion) was no exception. 

Sunday, 22 June 2014 20:30 | Category : Latest Surfski News

Durban - Fish Hoek's renowned Mocké clan capped off a sublime family weekend's effort in KwaZulu-Natal by winning three of the four SA S2 Surfski Championship titles up for grabs at Sunday's second day of the inaugural FNB Mazars Durban Downwind surfski race.

Friday, 20 June 2014 16:44 | Category : Latest Surfski News

Durban – A star studded field has assembled in Durban ahead of this weekend's inaugural FNB Mazars Durban Downwind surfski race, which doubles as the 2014 South African Surfski Championships, and all are anxiously looking to Mother Nature to see what weather and ocean conditions she will serve them.

Saturday, 07 June 2014 13:10 | Category : Latest Surfski News

Want an indication of a popular race?  Three months before the 2014 Mauritius Ocean Classic, there were already 100 paddlers entered.  Right now, three weeks to go, there are over 150 and entries have closed (apart from anything else there are no more rental skis on the island!)  But why is it so popular?

Wednesday, 16 April 2014 09:18 | Category : Surfskis

"One should never have affairs with other boats - it can really mess with one's head, especially in the build up to a big race!" Dawid Mocke's wise words last week, following his successful 2014 New Zealand King Of The Harbour campaign, after trying the latest offerings from FLOW Kayaks in New Zealand. 


All of us know the feeling of paddling our hearts out in a race, but much fewer of us probably know the feeling of being able to truly draw deeply from that well of confidence, in knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the boat under our very backside is THE fastest boat on the water, for us, for these conditions.

This is a powerful differentiator at the top end of the field, and the psychological advantage proffered probably far exceeds the empirical, physical advantages. Well, it's no secret I have really enjoyed FLOW's original Sharpski, but lately I must admit, like many of you I expect, I have been flirting with a newer model, and it may make an Addict of me yet.

The 'Addict' in all of us!

It is amazing how attached us humans become to inanimate objects: Our phones, our cars, our surfskis...  With the fervour of a schoolkid with a new hobby, we spend hours and hours googling videos and images of surfskis, reviews, discussion posts, grainy Go-Pro footage of dodgy downwinds, completely ignoring our loved ones, who patiently humour us as we spend fruitless hours on surfski orientated Facebook pages and websites (just like you and I are doing now, right?)

All of us are seeking that extra edge, that little tip that will tweak or refine our technique, or our boat set up, to eke out another 0.0012 km/h boat speed. We treat our boat selection the same way. And so we should! Nobody enjoys paddling a boat they know is slower. It is like, well, an addiction! I am sure Richard and Andrew had this in mind when they chose the name!


 The rocker of a rocket: (Addict-Right, Sharpski-Left) The reduced rocker of the Addict is clearly visible when aligned with its predecessor, the Sharpski.


Richard Usher, iconic New Zealand paddler/multisportsman-extraordinaire, and the Businessman behind FLOW Kayaks, and Andrew Martin, FLOW's master-kraftsman certainly had a very clear idea about what they wanted from this boat.

The Addict is 6.4m in length, 43 cm wide and has approx 19mm less rocker than the Sharpski. The volume behind the seat is fairly significantly wider than the Sharpski (and probably most elite boats I have seen) and a number of other enhancements make for a very serious paddling setup for the paddler.

Weighing in around 12.5 for the standard lay-up, the proven Andrew Martin Carbon/Kevlar is ruthlessly tough, and what one would expect when the same layup is used on their riverboats. Drop it, or forget it's on your cars roof, and drive into the garage, and you'll see. (I have experience in both departments I am afraid to admit! Although to be fair it was my wife driving my car that day.)

The latter is a rather extreme example, and in this case the damage was somewhat significant: Bloody landlord made me repair/paint the damaged wooden beam in the garage. Oh, the boat was fine. The seams are tough, and the care with the finish is immaculate, as you would expect from the boutique, hand-crafted-with-love-in-the-FLOW-shed-in-little-old-Nelson-NZ manufacturer. Larger scale production of this boat is on the cards, and the FLOW team are working closely with local NZ potential manufacturers here.



 The FLOW Addict, attracting attention in Aus and NZ currently, about to commence trials in Auckland.

The Sharper End:

The most obvious change for me is the aggressive waterline, almost downward-angled nose shape, emphasising the boat's reduced rocker. You know that feeling I was describing earlier, when you know you have a faster boat in a race? Well in flatter conditions, like me, you might find yourself questioning this, if the nose of your ski is 1 meter proud of the water, and dry...

The Addict holds it's line beautifully in smaller chop, pitching less, sitting firmly wetted along its entire waterline length, even when accelerating over a wash/wave.



A serious nose-job: (Addict-Right, Sharpski-Left) The aggressive snitch provides for closer-to-K1 handling in smaller chop, with the boat holding it's line better, and pitching less. Again, I believe this adds to the boats surprising stability. The optional nose-loop was difficult to get used to in the beginning, but now I wouldn't have it any other way. Like me you might find yourself surprised how often you use this!  



The Middle Bits:


FLOW Kayaks have a particularly snug shaped seat, as mentioned in a number of reviews. You either love it or hate it. I reckon my butt is similar to Andrew's, so I fall into the former category here. The Addict has a slightly broader seat shape, and there is an XL cockpit for the fat-asses out there (you know who you are!) which also caters for the longer leg length paddler.

I am 190CM tall and paddle with the footplate a few notches back from max extension, but I must say I do miss the few CM's more space that I used to have behind the footplate on the Sharpski for my juice-bladder. Lets not forget the forward-placed cockpit on these boats, which I reckon is central to their awesome ability to drop down over runners. I think combined with the extra tail volume this is now a formidable offering.



The solid, well-engineered footplate and steering system is simply designed, does not pose any corrosion risk, and is easily adjusted. The new self-sealing bailer and the new fairings/cockpit lip on the upper deck are designed to keep the cockpit really dry, and even in the biggest chop this is remarkably effective.


The Blunter End:


The ass of this bad-ass boat is big: A bold design step that seems to differentiate this boat from many others - there is considerably more volume in the tail. When I first paddled this in some awesome large downwind conditions in Cyclone Lusi a few weeks back, it was immediately evident I needed to paddle the boat differently. I wasn't able to slide the tail around and zig-zag as aggressively/nimbly as I normally do when surfing my loyal Sharpski.

This was initially disconcerting, but have since discovered that the extra tail volume and reduced rocker combine nicely, leading to a more stable performance in the chop, aiding in paddling over waves, maintaining a more even keel and holding it's line better. The extra width in the tail is probably also the central factor in the boats significantly increased stability over the Sharpski. The fixing point for the unique optional oversteer rudder is clearly visible in the below pics, and serves the NZ estuarine/ocean-paddling race mix well.



I like big butts and I cannot lie! The additional volume in the tail (Addict-Left, Sharpski-Right) creates a surprisingly stable boat in the elite category of racing surfskis. 


Speed Trials:


So, you ask, what does all this mean? Is it faster? How much? yes, I have had the same questions, but how does one answer this? The funny thing about water is that it's, well, fluid. So many freakin' variables: Tide, wind, sea conditions, technique, effort applied etc. I mulled over this for some time. Understand, I have a boat I love (anyone with a Facebook account will tell you this!) so this is a very serious position to be in.

Eventually Dawid recommended a simple set of tests. "Set your heart rate to a constant BPM, not too high that you cant keep in constant, and not too low, say 145, and do multiple 1000m efforts on the GPS, in the same conditions in both boats. Simply compare the results."

So this I did. On three occasions. I adjusted my Garmin 310XT display to only show distance and HR. Then, chose a morning that was pretty flat, and at around low tide (to minimise any tidal currents) I performed four 1000M efforts, from standing start, keeping my HR between 137 and 143 in the Addict, and then repeated this again in the Sharpski. Then I repeated this exercise another 2 occasions, on different days, first in the Sharpski, and then in the Addict. Results were always similar:



Results of the speed-trials that tested the Addict against the Sharpski, show that on the surface the Addict is 0.09km/h faster, off a standing start, 1000m efforts, with a constant, purposefully moderate heart-rate. See full data attached to this article, and the conclusion below before seeking a warranty claim off FLOW Kayaks if you don't see this speed advantage immediately!


0.09km/h faster???


In this conditions, on a flat day, keeping a nice constant 140BPM of effort, for me, from standing start, it appears the Addict is 0.09km/h faster. This on the surface appears to be a significant speed advantage, and one that has more importantly I guess, been a great source of entertainment for my paddling mates at Royal Akarana Club over the last week or so. (Yes, I like to talk about surfski paddling. A lot!) The pre-race conversation at last weekend's Bo Herbert 30km race went as follows:

Jeremy K: "Garth, you reckon that Addict is faster than my Sharpski?"

Me: "Yip - speed trials telling me it is 0.092287645km/h faster in these conditions."

Jeremy: "Ah, so... if you had paddled this in the King of The Harbour last weekend you would have finished 3 places up?"

Me: "Yip! Another way of saying this mate: If we paddled at the same effort today, my race will effectively finish 207m shorter than yours!"

And so on. This is half the fun though. Right? Dodgy math being worked out by an oxygen starved, salt-addled brain, mid race... Love it!

However, closer inspection of my speed trial data shows that if I remove all samples between the start of my efforts, and the point where I have my HR at 137BPM (effectively removing any subjectivity associated with the rate of acceleration for my starts of these efforts) I find the two boats perform remarkably similarly. (In fact, the Sharpski came in at a slight speed advantage over the Addict, 0.012km/h faster). To me this seems to indicate that the Addict is quicker off the line, and quicker to accelerate. Which makes sense for a boat with less rocker. This is probably quite an important feature when surfing runs too. 




My conclusion would firstly be: stay well away from paddlers who claim their boat is 0.092287645km/h faster - they are probably talking crap! Find something you like, something that is fun to paddle, and something you can see yourself falling in love with.

Love your boat and be loyal to this. I think there is a lot to be said about getting to know a boat intimately, and someone who is absolutely at home in a boat that doesn't give them a sore arse, or test their stability too much, is probably not only going to be faster, but is also going to have more fun. The Addict is a wonderfully constructed boat, tough, beautiful, and remarkably stable for an 'elite' boat. Handles well in flat, and cuts beautifully through the chop, and surfing downwind appears to relish the runners.

Don't try surf it left and right as aggressively as on a Sharpski, or a FENN Elite for example, due to slightly less rocker. I love it, I have had heaps of fun performing these trials, and to quote Dawid's brief, scientific conclusion: "Jissie, thats a very lekker boat, China!" (and if you need a translation here, you'll have to attend one of his Mocke-Clinics!)










Monday, 31 March 2014 07:36 | Category : Latest Surfski News

Oily flat, steamy, hot conditions greeted the 95 competitors, lining up pensively off Birkenhead Wharf, Auckland. The tide would be turning nose-on shortly, and the 1 knot south westerly breezes would make it feel like we were paddling in a vaccum. The 24km stretch to Waiheke Island's Matiatia Bay was going to be one of my longer recorded times, ever, even though I paddle this stretch of water weekly! Dawid Mocke (current Worldseries no. 2) was hemmed in on the left, and Cory Hill (current Worldseries no. 3) and Mark 'Ando' Andersson were on the favoured extreme right, as the armada began the slow drifting across the imaginary start line anticipating Darcy Price's "Get set.... GO!"                

The Field

The premier surfski event of New Zealand is also the New Zealand Canoe Racing Ocean Ski Champs, this year attracting 18 international paddlers from Australia, Brazil, Germany, Russian Federation, South Africa. The ladies race was going to be a battle of tenacity, with Rachel Clark (last years Queen Of The Harbour) on form for Molokai, Teneale Hatton training hard but committed to the NZ ladies K4 team, 'Evergreen-Dene' Simpson, young up and coming star Rebecca Cole, Aussie Tracey Wilson, and Maria Plyashechko from the Melbourne-based Russian Federation all aiming for a spot on the podium.  With the SUP's and Double Ski's a few minutes ahead, the confused harbour waters were whipped to a frenzy as the swarm of ski paddlers charged towards the 1st upright stancheon of the Auckland Harbour Bridge, staying well right of the rusted metal and twisted concrete fouled waters on the left, where both Dawid and I had damaged our rudders in days leading into the race searching for a clear passage on a variety of tides.

King of the Harbour 2014

The flags on the iconic Auckland Harbour Bridge hang limp and lifeless, as the peleton squeeze the harbour chop for every little run or boat-wash, 4kms into New Zealand's premior surfski race.

Mocke, a former King Of The Harbour had done his homework, and favoured a left hand line heading past North Head. With the front-pack doing 16km/h pace in the infamous chop, he darted off to the left on some tiny, almost impercievable runners just before the navy base. Cory, Ando, 18 year old Kenny Rice (younger brother of Fish Hoek's 'Shaun the Prawn' Rice), myself, the two Tahitians, Leopold Tepa and Hiromana Flores, and local North Shore paddler Brendon 'Doon' Davies had to reform or chase. I saw Cory and Ando looking over their right shoulders at the stream of yachts and pleasure craft exiting the harbour over to the right, and they broke off, heading hard right to take advantage of this boatwash.

King of the Harbour 2014

Aucklands iconic Sky Tower stands sentinal over the confused waters of the inner harbour, as the front pack make their way past Devonport Naval Base. (Left to Right: Cory Hill taking the pull, Leopold Tepa, Dawid Mocke, Garth Spencer and Kenny Rice)

Reading the Ocean Currents

Dawid quickly put up a growing lead, but the Aussies Cory and Ando, working together with the aid of the last of the centre-channel currents, started to close up. Up ahead I saw Dawid looking over his shoulder from his extreme left hand course, closest to Rangitoto Island, with its textbook volcanic skyline, and make a set a direct course towards the centre of the channel.

"I was watching the speed dropping on my Garmin, and when this got below 13 km/h I knew I was out of the main current. I looked over my shoulder, saw Cory hunting me down, and I made a conscious course change to get back into the running current, the first of a few conscious course changes!".

King of the Harbour 2014

Dawid Mocke on the extreme left of the channel, framed by the volcanic crater of Rangitoto Island, realises he has lost the tidal-current advantage, as Cory Hill reaching hard starts to gain on him. It was at this point Dawid made a conscious decision to hit the right foot-pedal, and steer right to re-enter the main current.

The long, flat grind ensued through the Motuihe Channel, normally the hunting ground of the big ocean swell, driven into the Hauraki Gulf by the cyclonic summer north easterlies. this would take its toll on a number of paddlers, especially those favouring themselves on the downwind courses. Digging deep for all hidden reserves, and sucking feverishly on empty juice bladders for those last remaining drops, the scattered armada ground its way into the shelter of Matiatia inlet, on fair Waiheke Island. Dawid Mocke held onto his lead to finish comfortably in first place in a time of 1:42:04, almost 2 minutes ahead of Cory Hill, still a good 2 plus minutes ahead of Mark Anderson. Local boy Simon Longdil, fighting fit on his workup for Molokai, had an incredibly strong finish, peeling past most of the rest of the front runners, to finish fourth and first Kiwi paddler home, passing young Kenny Rice in the last few hundred meters, and fellow Royal Akarana clubmate Tim 'Rooster' Grammer just before this. Seventh and eighth place went to the Tahitians Hiromana Flores and Leopold Tepa who had worked well together for much of the hard grind, with ninth and tenth place going to myself and another Royal Akarana clubmate, Andy Mowlem.

The Course

The Auckland <-> Waiheke course is a regular downwind favourite for locals, with prevailing SW'lies over summer, with the odd NE'ly system bringing on some really thrilling downwind paddling. This King Of The Harbour race has seen its good years and bad year weather wise, but about half of the races have been flat. Its always going to be an honest race.

The wind simply doesnt blow as constantly as it does in Cape Town, and the relatively small landmass of Auckland and surrounds is simply too small to exert any great influence on the prevailing Pacific weather patterns. New Zealand has what is called a maritime climate. The weather is influenced by the sea, no place in the country is more than 130km's from the sea, and it can also be very transient.


King of the Harbour 2014

Dawid's Garmin trace, showing a few distinct course changes to stay in the favourable current, ultimately securing him the win.

King of the Harbour 2014

The final winners and grinners, including Dawid Mocke (centre left) and Rachel Clark (centr right), King and Queen of the Harbour for 2014.

Womens Race

In a perhaps unexpected twist, the womans race unfolded with the same top three result as last year. Rachel Clarke took out the womens race in fine form, securing the Queen Of the Harbour title. Silver went to young Becs Cole, and former Olympian and evergreen Dene Simpson took the bronze, with Teneale Hatton using the race as a training session, refusing to comprimise on her K4 team training the same morning. 

King of the Harbour and Canoe New Zealand Ocean Racing Championships

King of the Harbour 2014



Time Class Country
Rachel Clarke 1.54.48 OW NZ
Rebecca Cole 1.59.07 OW NZ
Dene Smpson 2.00.44 OW NZ
Teneale Hatton 2.02.07 OW NZ
Tracy Wilson 2.06.58 OW Australia
Maria Plyashenchko 2.08.27 OW Russian   Federation
Heidei Carlyle 2.18.17 OW Australia
Jackie Dring 2.23.39 OW NZ



Time Class Country
Dawid   Mocke 1.42.04 OM South Africa
Cory Hill 1.43.56 OM Australia
Mark   Anderson 1.46.42 OM Australia
Simon Longdill 1.47.45 OM NZ
Kenny Rice 1.48.03 OM South   Africa
Tim Grammer 1.48.25 MM NZ
Hiromana Flores 1.48.37 OM Tahiti
Tepa Leopold 1.48.39 MM Tahiti
Garth Spencer 1.49.46 MM NZ
Andrew Mowlem 1.50.44 OM NZ
Andrew Newick and Nickoli Gordon 1.51.09 Double NZ
Tim McLaren 1.51.13 OM NZ
Zac Franich 1.51.59 OM NZ
Oskar Stielau 1.52.24 MM NZ
Brendon Davey 1.52.35 MM NZ
Craig Jones 1.53.21 OM NZ
Samuel Clark 1.53.30 OM NZ
Grant Heim 1.54.07 VM NZ
Jeremy Kuggeleijn 1.54.29 OM NZ
Tamas Pinter 1.54.40 MM NZ
Gerry Callebaut 1.54.43 MM NZ
Ian Mercer 1.56.06 MM NZ
Chris Borchardt 1.57.04 MM NZ
Sven Hansen 1.57.13 VM NZ
Robert Askew 1.57.28 VM NZ
Sam Newlands 1.58.15 OM NZ
Robbie Ford 1.58.20 OM NZ
Bruce Dailey 1.58.40 MM USA
Simon McLarin 1.59.03 VM NZ
Kim Harker 1.59.13 VM NZ
Lance Roozendaal 1.59.20 MM NZ
Rod Russell 1.59.34 MM NZ
Tapu King 1.59.25 OC1 NZ
Sean Murphy 1.59.52 MM NZ
John Sokolich 1.59.58 VM NZ
Max Riley & partner. 2.00.09 Double Australia
Mark Van Den Anker 2.00.14 VM NZ
Andrew Czar 2.01.25 MM NZ
Vaughan Reid 2.02.11 OM NZ
Graeme Edwards 2.03.50 MM NZ
Serge Kurov 2.03.37 OM Russian   Federation
Bruce Hamilton 2.04.12 MM NZ
Anton Reiman 2.04.20 OM NZ
Peter Dallimore 2.05.17 VM NZ
Thomas Cole 2.05.40 Junior NZ
Roy Warren 2.06.00 MM NZ
Garth Civil 2.07.11 MM Australia
John Barker 2.07.26 OM NZ
Cam Scott 2.07.39 MM NZ
Rich Baty 2.07.51 MM NZ
Craig McLeod 2.08.40 MM NZ
Reuben Hansen 2.08.42 OM NZ
Sam Mayhew 2.09.26 OM NZ
David Blackford 2.10.53 MM NZ
Jordan McLarin 2.11.54 Junior NZ
Allan Davey 2.12.29 MM NZ
Warwick Smith 2.12.52 VM NZ
Allan Williscroft 2.12.55 VM NZ
Dave Chambers 2.14.08 VM NZ
Neil Carlyle 2.14.17 VM Australia
Derek Stewart 2.16.43 VM NZ
Richard Baker 2.17.25 MM NZ
Pierre Chemaly & Doc Godfrey 2.19.00 Double NZ
Pat Langley 2.19.12 OM Australia
Adrian Taylor 2.23.40 VM NZ
Tony Hillson 2.24.49 MM NZ
Martin Knocke 2.24.59 VM Germany
Michael Famularo 2.35.45 VM NZ









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