Nelo Summer Challenge, Portugal
Report by Terry Newsome
Nelo Summer Challenge Day 2
Day 2 and Nelo put on a round the cans sprint race.
A beach start, 200m to the can then turn, sprint back and then jump off the ski and run to the finish line. Simple. But when some of the fastest paddlers in the world like Ed McKeever, Max Hoff, and our own Lisa Carrington and Teneale Hatton are there it may be a little harder.
A huge field of 176 paddlers massed on Azurara Beach under a clear sky with a light breeze cooling the morning down. The heats started with the first 5 going straight into the semis and the rest having a paddle-off. Both Teneale Hatton and Lisa Carrington had no trouble so could relax a little.
During the heats there were a few interesting starts. Some of sprint paddlers like Adam van Koeverden and Ed McKeever found the starts a little harder than a kayak start and some took a refreshing dip. Slowly the field for the semis and then the finals were found.
First up was the women’s final with Teneale and Lisa on the start line joined by Naomi Flood (Australia), Bridgitte Hartley and Michele Eray (South Africa) plus 13 Europeans.
It was a clean start and first on the water was Naomi Flood followed by Teneale and this was still the order at the turn and it did not change as NF just kept ahead of TH to win her second Nelo Summer Challenge. Teneale was not far behind and finished second with Bridgitte Hartley 3rd and then Lisa Carrington 4th.
A great weekend for Teneale and after the race she said she’d had a great weekend racing and was very pleased with both her results. Second in the sprint race was a lot better than last year. Great also to win the Hot Spot!
Women - top 5 results1 Naomi Flood Australia 01:51.15
2 Bridgitte Hartley South Africa 01:53.45
3 Teneale Hatton New Zealand 01:58.91
4 Lisa Carrington New Zealand 02:00.22
5 Michele Eray South Africa 02:02.95
The men’s final was set to go but one of the European paddlers had the biggest foot in the world. He could not keep his foot behind the line and after 2 false starts, an official even putting his foot behind the line, and a warning, the race got under way. David Smith was paddling like he was on fire, closely followed by Jasper Mocke. Next thing we see a paddle blade being held up and Dawid Mocke looking at his paddle, then he was off just using one blade and in last place. The leaders had turned at the buoy and David Smith was still ahead of Jasper Mocke and David Smith’s lead did not reduce and he finished ahead of Jasper Mocke. Did Dawid finish last? No, he powered home passing one paddler to finish in 14th place and may have won the first ocean canoe summer challenge.
Men - top 5 results
1 David Smith Australia 01:38.72
2 Jasper Mocke South Africa 01:40.24
3 Ken Wallace Australia 01:41.55
4 Billy Bain Australia 01:44.72
5 Rene Polsen Demark 01:46.36
1 Dawid Mocke Ocean Canoe Champion 02:09.84
Next year the Nelo Summer Challenge is the first ever ICF Ocean Ski World and Masters Championship. This will be a longer 20 km downwind course from Auazra Beach down the coast to Porto in July 2013.`
Today saw the running of the 4th Nelo Summer challenge in Vila do Conde which is 20km north of Porto in Portugal. Our own Teneale Hatton has been in Vila do Conde for the last few days paddling the course and making the most of the late afternoon breeze, fresh off her strong performance at the Olympics in flat water sprint.
On one paddle a few days ago conditions really tested some of the paddlers with 2-3 meter swells. One paddler hit a small reef which sent his ski to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Teneale was on hand to tow the paddler for about 3 kms back to just off the beach where Jasper Mocke, Sean Rice and young Australian paddler Billy Bain paddled out to help bring him in. The paddler was treated at local hospital for hypothermia and released later. Next day Teneale was feeling like she had had a hard work out. The paddler was also back on the water the next morning.
Check out the short video of the big wave run. From all accounts the pictures do not show the true size of the swell and waves.
Women’s race results
With a beach start Teneale got away first and managed to stick on the wash with the men most of the way to the first turn buoy and in doing so won the women’s hot spot. Teneale maintained her lead most of the way down the 9km downwind section until Michele Eray’s skills at picking and riding the waves put her in front by the bottom buoy. With a big swell breaking at the finish beach the 1 km from the buoy was going to be hard and Teneale could not pull any time back on Michele. After the race Teneale said that she was very happy with her result and to get the hot spot just made the race for her.
Top 4 places:
|Place ||Name ||Country||Time |
| 1||Michele Eray||South Africa|| 46:14|
| 2||Teneale Hatton ||New Zealand ||46:36|
| 3||Beatriz Gomes||Spain||47.55|
| 4||Sara Rafael||Spain||50:50|
The men’s race saw the return of last year’s winner Ken Wallace and runner up Dawid Mocke being joined by Jasper Mocke, Sean Rice from South Africa as well as 2011 Junior World Champion Billy Bain. Reading through the entry list it reads like a who’s who of great sprint and marathon paddlers. Names like Max Hoff, Erik Larsen, Adam Van Koeverden and Manuel Busto.
Men’s race results
After a quick start Sean Rice led the field around the first buoy to win the Hot Spot ahead of Ken Wallace and Jasper Mocke. By the time the lead group turned to head in to the finish line it was uncertain who was in the front as the sun was behind the paddlers but once closer to the shore we could see it was a Mocke, but which one, and who would be first to hit the beach? In the end it was Jasper Mocke taking a straighter line into the beach meaning a longer run along the beach which paid as he sprinted up to the finish line just 16 seconds ahead of brother Dawid.
Top 4 places:
|Place ||Name || Country||Time |
| 1||Jasper Mocke || South Africa ||38:57|
| 2||Dawid Mocke||South Africa||39:13|
| 3||SeanRice||South Africa||39:46|
| 4||Dane Sloss||Australia||40:35|