Mocké makes magic in Oregon

2016-07-26 06:00
Jasper Mocké (Euro Steel/Epic Kayaks) grabbed a technically impressive win at the Gorge Downwind Championships in the USA on Friday 22 July. PHOTO: Matt Moon/Gameplan Media

Jasper Mocké (Euro Steel/Epic Kayaks) grabbed a technically impressive win at the Gorge Downwind Championships in the USA on Friday 22 July. PHOTO: Matt Moon/Gameplan Media

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Fish Hoek surfski ace Jasper Mocké continued his trailblazing world tour by winning the Gorge Downwind Championships on the Columbia River in the USA on Friday 22 July, following hot on the heels of his second place to his brother in the Canadian Champs last weekend.

“I am stoked to win this one,” said the elated Euro Steel/Epic Kayaks athlete after the Gorge Downwind showdown, which is based in the watersport mecca inland of Portland, Oregon.

“It was great getting back onto the top step of the podium again,” says Mocké.

“I have been pretty consistent this year with lots of seconds and thirds with that one win in the West Coast Downwind last year feeling like it was a long time ago! It always takes a special effort to take a win in a major surfski race. I was really feeling so positive this week and I spent a lot of time doing downwinds on the river and had a clear idea of where I wanted to go. It is a really unique surfski race as the race is downwind, but into a three to four knot current, which made tactics really important as you weigh up catching runs against hiding away from the current,” says Mocké.

“Whether each decision I took was faster or not didn’t matter. What set this race apart for me was that whatever move I made during the race I totally backed myself. If I did make a small mistake I managed stay composed and correct it.”

He stuck to his game plan and wasn’t drawn into the dice for the hot-spot, just one kilometre into the 21.5 km race.

“I didn’t want to go out of the blocks too hard and rather set a steady pace at the beginning and maintain it the entire way through, and I was third going around the hot-spot,” says Mocké.

He took the lead a kilometre further into the race.

“I found myself in a really great rhythm. Guys like my brother Dawid and Sean (Rice) were always either on my left or my right, but I always felt like I was out in front.

“My mindset was not to think too much about the other guys around me but rather to concentrate on getting the most I could out of the runs. I knew that if I paddled as well as the runs allowed no one would be able to go past me and that is what happened.

“I was really happy with the way I played the conditions. I wasn’t physically better than any of the other guys but on the day I managed to put together a really great race, which I am obviously thrilled about.” he adds.

Completing another South African clean sweep of the podium at a major surfski international, fellow Capetonians Rice (Think Kayaks) and Dawid Mocké made up the rest of the podium with Kenny Rice fourth ahead of US star Austin Keefer.

The women’s race was won by Kiwi racer Teneale Hatton from compatriot Rachel Clark, with South African ex-pat Michéle Eray, currently coaching in the USA, in third.

The race was very well supported, resulting in the race having to cap it’s entry at 300 paddlers.



1.Jasper Mocké (RSA)

2.Sean Rice (RSA)

3.Dawid Mocké (RSA)

4.Kenny Rice (RSA)


1.Teneale Hatton (NZL)

2.Rachel Clark (NZL)

3.Michéle Eray (USA)


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