Tricky test to be king of Kong

2007-11-24 00:00

SOUTH Africa’s top surfski paddlers will take on some of the world’s best in the tricky waters of Hong Kong today in the 30-km Dragon Run, the second leg of the World Championship Series.

The cream of the world’s surfski paddlers have flown in to the former British colony to get a feel for the tricky island currents, and the first big-name star to arrive was multiple World Champion Oscar Chalupsky, who linked a trip to his factory in China with a course race two weeks ago. The 44-year-old has made no secret of his desire to defend the series title and his preview of the course proves his dedication to collecting maximum points at every event. The R34 000 purse for the winner is obviously a draw card, but for Chalupsky, a victory in the series is the big prize. Chalupsky’s biggest challenge this weekend is likely to come from his long-time rival, Australian Dean Gardiner, or Dawid Mocke, the Cape Town star who ended second in last-year’s world rankings. Lewis Laughlin, the recent winner of the U.S. champs, the first leg of the series, will not be competing.

One big-name rival Chalupsky was hoping to race and beat, Nathan Baggaley — who was due to make his return to competitive sport after a two-year ban for drug use — is probably not going to be on the start line after reports that he was arrested by police for “drug manufacture and supply”.

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