Paddling for points in final ’07 race

2007-12-22 00:00

OSCAR Chalupsky heads into this weekend’s Men’s Health Cape Point Challenge with a target on his broad shoulders and a determination to prove a point.

Today’s 56-km race from Scarborough to Fish Hoek is the last race of the year for paddlers to pick up points in the Surfski.info World Series Rankings and series leader Chalupsky just has to finish among the leaders to increase his standings’ lead.

Chalupsky (44) leads the ranking with 618 points, 35 ahead of Tahitian Lewis Laughlin, with Capetonian Dawid Mocke on 538 points.

Laughlin will not be at the challenge this weekend, which means Chalupsky is almost certain to increase his lead, but he is the first to point out that it is something of a false lead.

“The best six results count at the end of the series and this will only be the fifth race that counts,” he said. “Once the paddlers start discarding races and only counting their best six, the order will change.

“I am probably lying second in real terms with Dawid, who has raced one event less than me, probably the top paddler … but we need to see what happens in the next few races.

“This weekend’s race is a one-star race, which means it is only worth 50 points for the winner, but as the series leader, the other paddlers are going to be a little more determined to beat me.”

But Chalupsky has his own reason for wanting a win. In the Perth World Cup two weeks ago, he was controversially relegated to third after incurring a time penalty for missing a buoy when he misheard an instruction.

The paddlers who were promoted above, Clint Pretorius and Darryl Bartho, are both expected to be at the challenge, giving him an extra reason for wanting to win.

If recent form on the international circuit is anything to go by, Chalupsky, Mocke, Pretorius and Bartho will be the paddlers at the front of the pack today.

However, the Cape Town pair of Peter Cole and Paul Marais have not been doing the international races recently and, while the jet setters have been travelling around the world, they have been training hard at home and are sure to be challenging for victory.

Latest World Series rankings

(position, name, country, pts, no. of events)

1 Oscar Chalupsky RSA 618 4. 2 Lewis Laughlin TAH 583 4. 3 Dawid Mocke RSA 538 3. 4 Bevan Manson RSA 489 4. 5 Dean Gardiner AUS 481 3. 6 Daryl Bartho RSA 468 3. 7 Barry Lewin RSA 434 3. 8 Michael Baker AUS 416 3. 9 Herman Chalupsky RSA 390 3. 10 Clint Pretorius RSA 376 2.

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