Cape Town - Sean Rice upstaged world champion Dawid Mocké in a thrilling finish to win the first race of the summer Discovery Sunglass Hut Surfski Series raced in hot flat conditions at Simonstown on Sunday.

Rice went toe-to-toe with Mocké over the two lap race from Long Beach which ended in a thrilling end sprint into the finish which ended with Rice digging deep to snatch victory away from Mocké by less than a ski-length.

Series veteran Graeme Solomon, back home from his world marathon championships campaign with Ant Stott, finished third, having been a distant witness to the final lap dog-fight at the front for the overall honours.

"I am super stoked with this win!" enthused Rice, who earlier in the year hit global headlines with a victory at the US Nationals in New York. "Any win over Dawid Mocké is special, so I'll take it gladly."

"I knew that I had to get my nose ahead of him as we turned into the flatwater into the finish," Rice added. "I was thrilled to be able to get ahead and stay there."

"It is a massive confidence booster for me ahead of the Hong Kong Dragon Run and the Dubai Shamaal next month," said Rice.

A fast paced five boat group broke away early on in the race, led by Mocké, Rice and Solomon, with Durban paddler Barry Lewin and local stalwart Tom Schilperoort, as they raced out to the turn at Noah's Ark rock.

Mocké lead a fast paced break which whittled the front group down to three, with Lewin and Schilperoort dropping back into a chasing bunch.

"I tried my hardest to get away on the second lap, but Sean Rice stayed with me all the way, and we managed to drop Solomon," said Mocké. "In the last kilometer we were giving each other gears, and he managed to get into the finish ahead of me," he added.

Nikki Mocké showed that she has returned to her top form, winning the women's title from Jackie Barns wiyh Bianca Beavitt in 3rd, and bringing some consolation to the Mocké household.

"That was a proper test of fitness!" said Nikki Mocké. "It was flat and hot, honest and hard. I got a cracker of a start and basically settled onto a bunch with some other guys."

"I feel like I am getting back to where I want to be in terms of fitness," added the Olympian who took a year off to raise their first child in 2009.

In the doubles it also boiled down to an end sprint with Mark Mulder and lance King out sprinting another crew recently
back home from the world marathon championships, Ernest van Riet and Heindrich Schloms.

A massive field of paddlers took part in the race, raced in mirror like flat conditions and in energy sapping 28 degree heat, most of them eager to secure their grading for the ten race series that lies ahead between now and the end of the year.

The series shifts to Langebaan next weekend for the Driftwoods Lagoon Dash. More information can be found at

1.Sean Rice 53:47
Mocké 53:50
3.Graeme Solomon 54:38
4.Barry Lewin 55:40
5.Tom Schilperoort 56:09
6.Gary Cromie 56:28
7.Brandon van der Walt 56:42 (1st Junior)
8.Alasdair Glass 57:33
9.Jean Austin 57:38
10.Ian Trautmann 57:58

Mocké 1:01:53
2.Jackie Barnes 1:04:26
3.Bianca Beavitt 1:04:57