Cape Town - Fish Hoek-based surfski star Jasper Mocké has set his sights on
making an impression on the world's toughest surfski marathon when the Maui Jim
Molokai Challenge takes place on Sunday, May 29.
The 31 year-old Euro Steel/Epic Kayaks ace said from his Hawaiian base that the
arduous travel, acclimatisation and shrugging off jetlag had gone well and he
was well prepared for the gruelling 52km haul from Molokai to Oahu.
"I have really enjoyed the final phase of training," said Mocké.
"Contrary to what many may think, long distance training is actually very
simple in that you just have to log your distance and not worry too much about
anything else. Chuck in some downwinds to keep the skills sharp and you're
He added that he had adjusted his training based on his experience at the
Molokai Challenge last year.
"I have upped my distance training considerably," said Mocké.
"Training in Cape Town in autumn and winter makes it almost impossible to
prepare for the heat of Molokai. I have seen the race as a natural extension of
Despite the common belief that success in the ultra distance event hinges on
mental strength once all the top athletes near the finish of the race
exhausted, Mocké says that the demanding nature of the race rewarded athletes
that were well prepared.
"I would actually say the Molokai s less mental than shorter, more intense
races. In long races you can't hide. If you've done the distance you'll do
well," said Mocké.
Each paddler in the race is assigned an escort boat, to provide safety, food
and to help the paddlers stay hydrated. Mocké confirmed that he will be
accompanied by a new crew that is totally unknown to him.
"I am using a totally new crew! It’s only my second time there so I'm
having to set myself up in terms of connections on the island who can
strategically help me in the race.
"Guys like Oscar (Chalupsky), Hank (McGregor) and Clint (Robinson) are so
established there with support crews and strategies. It's a big hurdle to
overcome and a huge, huge part of the race. Last year Cory Hill won it because
of the advice from his escort boat."
Mocké, who runs the Mocké Paddling business from his Cape Town base, will form
part of a 12 strong South African Challenge that will include marathon world
champ and Euro Steel team-mate Hank McGregor, who finished third in last year's
Molokai, winner of the world title Sean Rice, Tom Schilperoort, Richard von
Wildemann, Mark Perrow, Anton Fouché and brothers Oscar and Herman Chalupsky.