Fish Hoek – World marathon champ Hank McGregor added the cherry on the top of his most successful season ever by winning the Fenn Cape Point Challenge, presented by Hansa and Di Data, in a gruelling showdown with the Mockè brothers and defending champion Sean Rice.

The race started at dawn at Scarborough beach where a large group raced with a moderate South Easter  blowing to the halfway mark at Cape Point, at times challenging the paddlers with a modest headwind.

McGregor tagged along behind local pacesetters the Mockè brothers and Tom Schilperoort through the tricky kelp beds towards Cape Point, where they were met by stronger downwind conditions, and McGregor made a decisive break.

Jasper Mockè took a swim after misjudging a tight line through the reefs at Cape Maclear that he had hoped would open up a short lead for him, but he remounted quickly and started to close in one the paddlers ahead of him.

By Smitswinkel Bay McGregor had blitzed a two minute forty second lead and had the race in his steely grip with a defiant solo charge in the hot flat conditions into the finish at Fish Hoek.

With victory well and truly in his grasp McGregor tapped back and reached the finish with a minute buffer between himself and a fast finishing Jasper Mockè with his older brother and two-time winner of this race Dawid Mockè making up the balance of the podium. Rice was fourth with Aussie stars Hayden Smith fifth.

"This is one race that I can really tick off as one that I paced perfectly," said McGregor. "I tapped off a little at the end but I remembered how flat I felt in the last five kilometres in previous races so I wanted to make sure I had something in reserve in case they came back at me."

"I was kinda shadow boxing and covering it from the front, watching where the local guys were all the time to make sure I didn't make a mistake with lines like I have done in the past," he added.

"This race means a lot to me. I have raced six and won four, with two seconds, and it has a special family connection for me, so I am really stoked with the way it went. I think you'll never get better conditions for a Cape Point than we had today," said McGregor.

Jasper Mockè was delighted with his second place. "It was a great race and second to Hank is brilliant!" he said. "Maybe that swim wasn't such a bad thing because it forced me to get back into my own rhythm."

"We simply had no answer to Hank today," conceded Dawid Mockè, the newly crowned world series champion. "I have 25 good kilometres in me, but over this distance his long distance training really showed."

He heaped praise on his younger brother's good form in closing in at the death in securing the runner-up berth. "He is in great shape. I would have liked to have a word about him pulling away from his older brother, if only  I had been able to catch up with him!"

On form junior Dominic Notten continued his rise through the ranks of national surfski racing by winning the boys title, holding off a determined challenge from Craig Flanagan.

Alexa Cole added the Fenn Cape Point title to her impressive CV after dominating the final stages of the women's race which was complicated by talented youngster Bianca Beavitt starting in a batch ten minutes earlier than the other elite women.


Cole and Kim Brugmann latched onto a fast racing bunch for the first ten kilometres, before Brugmann dropped off the bunch. Cole managed to hang on, worried that the fast pace was using too much energy before she fell off the bunch ten kilometres before the turn at Cape Point.

Brugmann however managed to get onto the wave of a fast double ski and caught up to Cole as they rounded the Point, setting up a needle race over the second half of the race. Cole's stamina and experience on the homeward leg where the runs and downwind conditions deserted the paddlers came to the fore and she was able to pull away from the tiring Brugmann.

"Kim (Brugmann)  and I spent a lot of the day hacking away on our own and I think she was battled in the closing stages," admitted Cole, who caught Beavitt on the finish line to cement a ten minute victory margin and her first Fenn Cape Point title.

Cole echoed the sentiment of all the paddler who enthused about the event, which she predicted was poised for a major growth phase. "It's been a brilliant event and everyone is already talking about the next one. I think the numbers, which were already at a new record this year, are going to snowball," she added.

1.Hank McGregor  3:47.46
2.Jasper Mockè 3:48.49
3.Dawid Mockè 3:49.06
4.Sean Rice 3:50.00
5.Hayden Smith (Aus) 3:54.59
6.Grant van der Walt 3:58.44
7.Paul Marais 3:59.42
8.Brandon van der Walt 4:00.23
9.Tom Schilperoort 4:00.53
10.Richard von Wildermann 4:02.12

1.Alexa Cole 4:36.36
2.Bianca Beavitt 4:45.23
3.Kimm Brugmann 4:47.26
4.Kerry Louw 4:56.36
5.Kirsty Wessels 5:03.44

1.Shaun Rubenstein/Steve Farrell 3:50.53
2.Warren Valentine/Kenny Collins 3:56.27
3.Grant Woollaston/Bryan Taylor 3:58.13
4.Jaysen Golding/Marc Germiquet 4:00.44
5.Eugene van der Westhuisen/R. Daman 4:01.00