Round 1 of the Shaw & Partners / Anytime Fitness Australian Ocean Racing Series, kicked off in style at The Gold Coast Classic Ocean Race held on Saturday September 9th with the who's who of the Gold Coast surf life saving scene all present and hunting hard to be the 2017 Champion.
Shannon Eckstein, Jeremy Cotter, Mackenzie Hynard, Kenny Wallace, Sam Norton, Mark Anderson, Karla Gilbert, Dean Gardiner, Yanda Morison, Georgia Laird, Jake Jensen, Matt Nottage, Nathan Meyer, Bruce Taylor, Guy Andrews, Dane Sloss, Maddie Spencer, Tommy Woodriff and Bruce Hoppa Hopkins were amongst some of the legends who rolled up at North Kirra Beach on Saturday morning, getting ready for a cracking race.
In the days leading up, Race Director Jeremy Cotter promised awesome downwind conditions and he delivered with a fantastic 18 knot South Easterly filling in by the start of the race at North Kirra Beach creating some awesome runs down the race track to Tallebudgera Beach.
Pre-Race at North Kirra, the 165 competitors across Ocean Ski, SUP, Prone and OC, all took a moment to remember legend Iron Man and paddler Dean Mercer, with a one minute silence in his honour.
First up the SUPs and Prones took off from the beach with a sprint out to the first turning mark before turning left on their way to Talle with the wind and waves building behind them making for a quick run north.
The second start saw the Ocean Ski's and OC take a course which included a sprint out to the first mark, before turning right for an upwind leg of 3km up to Snapper Rocks, before turning North for the 11km downwind slide for all the way to Talle....and there were some awesome rides to be had!
At the finish everyone was frothing about how awesome the runs were out there. For sure this event will grow in numbers as more and more paddlers hear about what a great race it is.
Race Director Jeremy Cotter not only pulled off being part of the organisation team for this race, but also pulled off a race victory with a 15 second win over Iron Man legend Shannon Eckstien with Sam Norton, 3rd, Vaikobi's Macca Hynard 4th and Olympic Champion Kenny Wallace in 5th. Not a shabby top 5 right there you have to say!
Notable mention to 17 year old Oscar Jones who finished 9th in the Open Ski, only 2 minutes 30 off the winner. One to watch for sure.
One of the awesome aspects of the GC Classic this year was the strong SUP turn out with 46 SUP's on the startline at North Kirra.
Jake Jensen scored a strong win in the Unlimited SUP Mens from Ben Tardrew and Chad Islip.
Matt Nottage pushed the unlimited's hard whilst taking out the Men's SUP 14' from Jackson Maynard and Tim Gyprien in what was a hot field.
In the Women's SUP, legend ex Iron Woman and now legend SUP racer Karla Gilbert, cleared out to take a big win over Vanessa Caley and Karen Masson.
Back in the ski's, the legend of the ocean and the man responsible for the Australian Ocean Racing Series, Dean Gardiner got the Team Ocean Paddler double fired up with ex Olympian Yanda Morison in the back seat, to take the win in the doubles from Heath Brown/ Todd Murray and Brook Crosse/ Peter Winton.
In the Women's Ski, Georgia Laird took a strong victory over Victoria's Wendy Reyntjes and Vaikobi's Maddie Spencer.
The Spec Ski saw Jy Timerley take a close win over Dane Sloss and Jon Locke in what was a strong turn out for this class, as you would expect on the GC.
Eight prone boards took on the GC Classic and in the end it was Iron Man Rhys Burrows who took the chocolates from Lochlan Jonquieres and Michael Chan.
Six OC1's were on the startline with Paul Chong taking a massive victory.
Congratulations to everyone involved in putting on this awesome race.
For Sydney based paddlers, this is a super easy race to do on a day trip due to the close proximity of this race to Gold Coast Airport, so lock it in to your schedule for next year!
Next up is Round 2 of the AORS with "The Chucky" Charles Stewart Memorial being held here this Saturday September 16th
Full Results available at: https://www.p2ftimingsystem.com.au/events/view/results/65
Make your Dad Number 1 this Father's Day with a gift from Vaikobi Ocean Performance!
Vaikobi Ocean Performance Gear is designed and engineered to make your Dad increase his comfort and performance on the water.
Vaikobi gear also has the added effect of making your Dad even cooler than he already is!
Vaikobi also has full line up of our hugely popular Performance PFD's designed to keep your Dad fast and safe on the Ocean and is available through your local Vaikobi Stockist in Australia and NZ as well as online through www.vaikobi.com
Still undecided on what to get him, have no fear as there are more options available for you:
1) Get him a Vaikobi hat. Dad's always dig hats!
2) Purchase a Vaikobi Gift Voucher available in a number of values and let him select his gift later on.
If you are still struggling, then have no fear as you can Email our Fathers Day Emergency Help Line at email@example.com for specific advice and we will help you work out the best gift for him.
Happy Fathers Day to all the cool Vaikobi Dads out there!
Vaikobi is stoked to announce a renewed partnership with one of the world’s top racers in Stand Up Paddle boarding, Michael Booth!
Michael has become a hugely successful SUP racer after turning his focus to it at the start of 2016. Since then he has become arguably the best distance SUP racer in the world winning the World Championship in Fiji in 2016 and the European Tour in 2017.
Prior to SUP, Michael had a successful background in other paddle sports, including Surfski, finishing 2015 with a 1st in the Durban World Cup and a 2nd in the World Series. In Kayaking he represented Australia in 2014 at the U/23 and Senior World Championships in Moscow in K2 events. Further to that he has also represented Australia in two U/23 Surf Life Saving teams touring New Zealand and Japan.
Michael is dedicated to not only building himself as an athlete but also to building the sport of SUP racing into a more widespread and credible sport. He does this by raising awareness of SUP as an alternative healthy choice and water activity for the masses which perfectly aligns with Vaikobi’s philosophy to all Paddle sports.
With Michael being one of the first athletes to join the Vaikobi Race Team back in 2012, Pat Langley from Vaikobi said “It is awesome to renew our partnership with Michael as he continues to evolve as a paddle athlete. To see him become one of the best SUP racers in the world is fantastic and we are delighted to work more closely with Michael as we increase our focus on the international SUP market”.
Vaikobi is a leading technical apparel and gear brand which is purely focused on performance paddle sports. Every item in the Vaikobi range is designed specifically for the paddle athlete to control body temperature, maximise comfort and increase performance.
For more information on the Vaikobi line up of technical paddle gear, please visit www.vaikobi.com
About Michael Booth:
Home Town: Perth, WA
Sponsors: Starboard, Shaw and Partners, Inamo, Zazik, VMG Blades, Oceanpaddler, Psyborg
Australian Ocean Ski Series Champ ion 14/15
The Vaikobi race team completed a full domination of a world-class field at the Nelo summer challenge here in Porto, Portugal.
Pre Race forecasts on Saturday promised for great downwind race, however the a persistent high pressure system did not move away in time to allow for the wind to increase as much as anticipated, leaving competitors with the task of grinding out a tactical race down the Portuguese coast.
Vaikobi’s Sean Rice continued with his strong run of form this year where he dominated the field to score a massive 2 minute + victory over the Spanish Marathon Champ Walter Bouzan who relished the tough flat conditions.
Australian Vaikobi Race Team charger, McKenzie Hynard has also put his hand up as a strong contender for this year's tour with an extremely strong performance claiming third place overall. Macca was placed second for the entire race before being run down by the flat water specialist, Bouzan in the last kilometre.
In the Women's Vaikobi’s Hayley Nixon from South Africa also decimated the field with a massive victory providing a strong reward for all her hard training efforts over the last few months as she continues to gear up for some major races in the back half of the year.
The pocket rocket, Angie Le Roux from France paddled a fantastic race to claim third behind the gutsy New Zealander Teneale Hatton.
In a fantastic result for the Vaikobi race team, our athletes claimed 5 out of the top 8 places in the Men’s and 3 out of the top 6 spots in the Women's! Great work Team!
The World Surf Ski Tour continues this week where all the action moves to Squamish, Canada, BC, where the Canadian Surfski Championships will see some of best paddlers from around North America and the World complete on a fantastic downwind course on Howe Sound.
Following on from the Canadian Surfski Championship, the tour moves to Hood River, Oregon for the Gorge Downwind Championship which this year will see a record turn out of competitors enjoying the epic downwind conditions on offer at the Gorge.
Stay tuned for updates through the Vaikobi Facebook and Instagram pages.
Congratulations and thanks to the race organisers- Andre Santos, Marisa Magalhaes, Nuno, Oscar and the whole team at Nelo who put on such a fantastic event.
Nelo Summer Challenge Results:
Mens Top 10:
1st Sean RICE RSA
2nd Walter BOUZAN ESP
3rd Mackenzie HYNARD AUS
4th Gordan HARBRECHT GER
5th Nicolas LAMBERT FRA
6th Jasper MOCKE RSA
7th Esteban MEDINA ESP
8th Laousse YANNICK FRA
9th Stuart MACLAREN RSA
10th Bevan MANSON RSA
Womens Top 10:
1st Hayley NIXON RSA
2nd Teneale HATTON NZL
3rd Angie LE ROUX FRA
4th Jenna WARD RSA
5th Amaia OSABA ESP
6th Chloe BUNNETT ESP
7th Sara RAFAEL POR
8th Simone JUNKER GER
9th Sara MARTI ESP
10th Gras LISA FRA
For full results, please visit: http://summerchallenge.nelo.eu/new/results/
The 2017 Maui Jim Molokai Challenge is over for another year and we were extremely proud to see two of our star athletes from the Vaikobi Race Team, absolutely dominate this years race.
Sean Rice & Rachel Clarke claimed both the Men's & Women's titles respectively giving Vaikobi an exciting double title in what was a gruelling Molokai this year!
In the Men's Sean Rice (South Africa) owned it from the beginning and pulled out a massive win over what many considered to be one of the strongest line up of competitors for a long time. To describe the calibre of this victory, one only has to see the names of the competitors behind him- Hank McGregor, Cory Hill, Jasper Mocke, Clint Robinson, Pat Dolan, Oscar Chalupsky & Lewis Laughlin....all absolute legends of the sport.
Sean has locked in to a strong training program out of his Richmond base in London UK and his perfect preparation showed as he dominated this race from start to finish.
We are extremely proud of Sean and everything he has achieved to date and we know that winning this race has been a goal of his for a very long time, so it was fantastic to see his goal achieved.
In the Womens, Rachel Clarke (New Zealand) set the pace from the outset and showed why she is one of the world's best ocean paddlers on the circuit right now. Rachel controlled her tempo and finished strong to take the Womens title- Her second Molokai title and we don't think she is done yet!
We are so stoked for Rach to be able to claim her second Molokai in such great style and we are excited to see her continue this strong form through the year.
Ryan Paroz (Australia) was the third Vaikobi Race Team member competing in the Molokai this year. 2017 was Ryan's 4th Molokai, which for a 21 year old is pretty awesome if you ask us! Ryan finished 19th overall and 3rd in the 19-29 division. Well done Ryano!
Below are the Molokai stories as told by Sean and Rach. Enjoy!
Today was a big day for me! Today I finally took the win at one of the most prestigious Surfski races in the world, the Molokai Challenge. I've been so close before, but 4th time lucky! The hard work and sacrifice that has gone on behind the scenes to me achieving this is endless and by no means all mine! I have to thank my sponsors, both Think Kayak Global and Vaikobi for their confidence and support they put into me. I just can't thank you enough! Thank you to the crew from Richmond Canoe Club for the quality training!
I want to thank my friends, family and most of all my Emily for the endless guidance and encouragement towards me achieving my best. I doubt my self a lot and you never do!
The racing was tough and the field was strong. Thank you to all the guys out there today for a fantastic and brutal race. I will be feeling it for a while haha.
The beers are going to taste as sweet as honey tonight!
After last years Molokai I didn’t think I would be heading back to race the gruelling 52km slog that it was. Dead flat glassy waters and I was just happy to finish the 2016 Molokai race. Late last year i thought to myself, you know what; I want to be the female ski paddler that’s known for Molokai, the most wins under their belt. I think for me the feeling when you cross the finish line in Hawaii Kai it’s a pretty unreal feeling knowing that you’ve just crossed one of the most dangerous channels in the world – ‘The channel of Bones’. Molokai is one of the most prestige races in the World so who wouldn’t want to go back?!
This year I arrived in Hawaii on the Saturday morning, 1 week prior to race day. I wanted to give myself enough time to acclimatise and feel comfortable during the week. Leaving Auckland with rather chilly weather it was quite nice to arrive in Hawaii with 28-30 degrees! Once I landed in Hawaii I spent the day with my mum just relaxing and checking into our Hotel. I had a rest day and just went for a swim and walk at the beach. Over the next couple of days I did a couple of downwind runs from Hawaii Kai (where the race finish is) to the Outrigger Club, this paddle is approximately 18km from the edge of China Wall. I had an awesome time during these paddles and thought to myself maybe this will be a downwind year for Molokai! The entire week was absolutely cranking conditions the daily shuttles were full. Once again as all the paddlers were looking on weather and wind apps it would seem we were going to have another flat year paddling across the channel. I wasn’t too phased by this, I had done majority of my training in the flat but of course a downwind would have been a lot of fun! On the Wednesday mum and I hired my dream car aka Jeep Wrangler and drove up to the North Shore for the day, we checked out the local town and spent some time checking out the famous Waimea Bay. That night we had a lovely BBQ at the Brand’s residence with fellow paddlers which was so lovely and amazing scenery to look out onto Pipeline from their backyard! Thank you so much Charles and Beth for having us! Days went by and I kept on checking the wind conditions but it was pretty set in that it was going to be flat. I continued doing my planned programme and tried to keep relaxed throughout the week.
This year I had decided to fly over to Molokai on the race morning, this meant I could have a hearty dinner and a early night sleep knowing that I would have to get up at 4am to catch the flight. By 6:30am we had landed on Molokai and it was about a 20 minute shuttle to the race start location at Kepuhi Bay. We arrived at the Bay and I had a about an 1 1/2 hours until the female start, the mens start was 30 minutes after us. I found my ski and got it all set up with my drink system and gels and made sure everything was set to go. The water looked rather calm and I though ‘Wow here we go again, flat racing’. At about 7:45 all paddlers gathered on the beach for a blessing which was really moving and I think made us all realise how special this race and channel we are about to paddle really is. At about 8:00am I located my support boat and waved him down, my mum then swam out to the boat with our gear bags and I got on the water for a warm up. I was feeling really good and was trying not to get too nervous. 8:30am and we were all lined up on the start line, also in the women’s start were the outriggers, double ski’s and a few on the intermediate male paddlers. The hooter went and I was off, I had a good start and was in a group with an OC6 and a women’s double ski. I stayed in this group for about 15km’s, I was feeling very strong and relaxed in the flat conditions. My plan was to stay controlled for the first 30km and then push it up a notch for the last 22km. With that in mind I didn’t want to push it too hard and have nothing for the last 2hours. This year I was paddling the Epic V12 where as last year I paddled the V10L GT (about 3kg’s lighter). The V12 is the ultimate downwind boat however noticeably heavier than the GT but that’s the boat I had decided to paddle and I love it. For the next 15km I was with the double ski and we had a few turns of taking leads. Up to 35km I was feeling really good, I went off on my own and tried to tick it up a notch. The muscles were beginning to ache and I was definitely starting to feel the pain. As I approached China wall there were a few pumps to catch but it was pretty hard work and as I got closer and closer to China wall it got messier, pretty much like a washing machine. As I rounded China wall I knew I had about 2kms to go, I gave it everything I had and pushed it to the finish. Crossing that finish line I was so happy, knowing I gave it everything and the icing on the cake to be the first female. I guess I was slightly disappointed to have done exactly the same time as I did last year but hard to compare with the conditions and paddling a heavier boat. I will definitely be back next year for another crossing!!! The mens race was one hot field with Sean Rice taking the win, Hank McGregor coming in 2nd and Cory Hill in 3rd.
A huge thank you to my sponsors for your ongoing support and helping me get here!!!!
LAUNCHING APRIL 20th 2017
Vaikobi is excited to launch the 2017 VCold Performance line up of paddle gear specifically designed to increase performance in cool to cold conditions.
The new 2017 VCold Storm fabrication features a slightly thicker outer ripstop fabrication for increased protection from the elements, whilst still maintaining the highest level of breathability and wick ability.
In the 2017 collection, we have updated the trusted and proven VCold Storm Paddle Pant and Paddle Top's with new design and fabrication features to further improve performance. We have also added in two brand new items in the VCold Storm Paddle Short and Vest, based on paddler feedback.
The VCold Base Top completes the line up as the trusted paddle top to keep you warm without over heating.
AVAILABLE APRIL 20th 2017 through all Vaikobi Dealers and www.vaikobi.com