This weekend sees the start of the 2016 International Racing Season with two huge events being held in both Auckland, NZ and Clearwater, FL, USA.
As usual, Vaikobi will be in the thick of the action with our V-Team competing and lots of Vaikobi prizes and product on offer for competitors.
Here is Vaikobi’s preview of both of these fantastic events:
FLOW KING & QUEEN OF THE HARBOUR
Starting at 10am Saturday NZ Local Time, is the Annual FLOW King & Queen of the Harbour which has grown from strength to strength under the stewardship of NZ Ocean Ski Legend Garth Spencer. This year the King & Queen of the Harbour is Race # 1 of the World Surfski Series (WSS).
Garth knows exactly what paddlers want and has gone all out as usual to ensure a fantastic event for all competitors.
At this stage, the wind forecast is looking like a light Southerly, so the race will begin at Race HQ in Auckland and after a 23km on water battle will finish out on Waiheke Island.
With WSS points on the line, there is a strong International contingent from Australia, Tahiti and South Africa arriving in Auckland, all looking to draw early blood in what is going to be a long season of racing.
Heading up the Vaikobi Race Team in Auckland is local NZ Champion & Molokai Women’s Champ, Rachel Clarke, who is on the comeback trail after a short break following a cancer scare late in 2015. Rachel has been putting in the miles lately and is pumped for a big season.
Rachel will be going bow to bow with reigning World Champ and fellow Kiwi, Teneale Hatton who is in hot form.
In the Men’s, Aussie World Champ Cory Hill & best mate Michael “Boothy” Booth are arriving in Auckland as hot favorites. Boothy is coming off a string of victories across both Ocean Ski and SUP disciplines and is clearly in the groove right now. But never discount the smiling assassin, World & Molokai Champ, Cory Hill who knows when to apply the pressure to squeeze out a victory.
From Sydney, is Ocean Ski legend and professional Life Guard, Mark “Ando” Anderson who can never be discounted and will pushing hard for the King of the Harbour title.
The local Kiwi’s however will be looking to upstage their Trans Tasman rivals and expect to see the likes of Simon Longdill, Andrew Mowlem, Garth Spencer, Jeremy Kuggekeijn, Sam Clarke and Max Riley all pushing at some point of the race at the head of the field.
The hard luck story for this race is NZ Vaikobi Race Team member Sam Mayhew, who has spent the past week in hospital and will miss the race due to illness. Get well soon Sam!
In the 14’ SUP division, expect to see local Kiwi, Felipe Dos Santos push hard against the likes of Adam Fahey from Western Australia and Tahitian Niuhiti Buillard.
All competitors will be in the running for some fantastic Vaikobi prizes at the prize giving. Best of luck to everyone for a great run across the Hauraki Gulf.
Follow the action at https://www.facebook.com/KQOH2015/
THE SHARKBITE PADDLEFEST- CLEARWATER, FL, USA
Now in its 13th year, The Shark Bite Challenge has emerged as one of the largest paddle events in the USA providing racing for all Ocean Paddling disciplines- Ocean Ski, SUP & OC.
The lure of the famous Shark Bite Saturday night awards party and some warm weather racing has attracted a strong field of competitors flocking from all corners of the USA looking for a great weekend of racing.
Vaikobi is proud to be a “Bull Shark” sponsor of the 2016 Sharkbite Challenge and we are looking forward to giving out some fantastic Vaikobi prizes at the Awards Party!
This year also sees a strong International field from South Africa, Canada and Australia with Jasper Mocke & Vaikobi's Sean Rice from South Africa expected to battle for victory in the EPIC Kayaks 8 Mile Race.
Both Sean and Jasper will also be conducting coaching clinics throughout the weekend.
For Sean Rice’s Paddle Life Clinics and one on one coaching sessions (Powered by Think Kayaks, Vaikobi & Motionize) Please visit www.yourpaddlelife.com
For the Epic Kayaks Jasper Mocke Clinics Please visit http://sharkbitechallenge.com/clinics-demos/
Both these guys are fantastic athletes, coaches and people so don’t miss this opportunity to hear their secrets and learn from the best!
However don’t be tricked into thinking these two guys are here to take it easy and coach some clinics. These two are the ultimate competitors who love to race. When the start gun fires on Saturday morning, Jasper and Sean will be locking horns in a “Battle Royale” that will go the full 8 Miles!
Vaikobi will be on hand at The Shark Bite Challenge and will also have a full display of our Performance Products available through Ocean Paddle Company.
We look forward to seeing everyone there!