The Epic Kayaks Perth Doctor – Stroke for Stroke with Jasper Mocke
By Mocke Paddling
The Epic Kayaks Doctor is Australia’s biggest surfski race. As an aquatic powerhouse, success in Australia is hard to achieve but rewarded with great respect. The 2015 edition of The Doctor was no different. The title alone is coveted and it was also the final championship race on the World Surfski Series.
The conditions were incredible and race director, Dean Gardiner, must be very happy with his decision a year ago that saw the race moved to November from January. Top contenders for this year’s 15th edition of The Epic Kayaks Doctor was World Surfski Series leader Cory Hill, Michael Booth, Sam Norton and WA legend Reece Baker leading the Aussie charge against Dawid and I. The ladies division was also hotly contested as Rachel Clarke from NZ aimed to defend her title against South African Michelle Burn and of course Tenealle Hatton.
Early on it was Sam Norton who set the pace although Dawid Mocke took the hotspot. After that it was Dawid, Cory and I who set ourselves apart and traded the lead. Initially it was challenging finding a rhythm and I was battling to get a feeling of ‘flow’. It felt like I was just going from one run to the next without connecting them. By halfway I had tapped into a smooth tempo, connecting runs with ease and regularity. Dawid and I, roughly equal but on different lines were in a commanding position. Some misdirected eagerness and poor judgement by a camera boat skipper unfortunately left its mark on my race just after the Centaur Marker with 5km’s to go and it felt like I was watching from the third person, as I slipped from first into a battle for 2nd.
One week prior I won The West Coast Downwinder in a tight battle. A big group of 6 was whittled down to two and I lifted myself again and again to hold Cory Hill off for the win.
In the end Cory Hill proved why he is the world’s best ocean surfski paddler in 2015. He paddled a faultless final few kilometres to win Australia’s biggest race and cement his position as number 1 in the World.
The Double Race Combo
This double-header, The WCD and The Epic Kayaks Doctor is unmatched anywhere for its depth of competitive paddlers. The strong surf lifesaving culture produces 1000’s of able athletes. Typically the top 10 in The Doctor would be fairly predictable however positions 10 – 30 could be a different 20 names on any given day. If racing is your thing, whatever the category, you simply have to go and prove it on Australia’s West Coast. That’s why I do year after year.
Once again it was a treat visiting Perth, the vibrant coffee culture and spectacular public golf courses keeping me entertained throughout the week and of course the downwind’s every day. Special thanks to the Rice family from Ocean Built, a local WA brand, for hosting me and my sponsors Epic Kayaks, Euro Steel and Mocke Paddling for getting me there.
Source: Mocke Paddling