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Cape Point Challenge

Cape Town Surfski along with Fenn, Vodacom and host of sponsors made it possible to set up an awesome race this year.

A week before the Cape Point Challenge Cape Town Surfski hosted a world class downwind event. For the first time in a long time we had the most classic conditions for a downwind race, it was perfect. I arrive in Fish Hoek on the Friday before the race – which was due to be held on the Monday. As I arrived I got changed and hopped onto a downwind, the famous Miller’s Run. Which was also the race course for Monday’s race. The course would take us from Miller’s Point upwind to Partridge Point and the downwind to Fish Hoek, the upwind section was about 3km…..then it was one of the best downwinds I have paddled in a long time :)

Check out Cape Town Surfski for the results.

During the next week I did a few Miller’s runs to get to grips with what would be the final 12km of the Cape Point Challenge. Also during this week I took time to catch up with friends, what I love about racing around the world is seeing everyone at different locations throughout the year.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to do over 50km and I didn’t think I had done enough distance, quite worried I would hit the wall before I got to the end. Anyway there was huge swell predicted so hitting the wall was the last of my worries….also the wind was forecast to be a pumping South Easterly. Pete Cole had the difficult call of whether to let us go around the Point or to keep us in False Bay. He made a decision on Friday and we gathered Friday evening for the briefing and the decision was to stay in the bay and the course would start at Simon’s Town go out to Cape Point and then back to Fish Hoek. This was a tough but great decision by Pete, a very good call as the swell on the Atlantic side was huge!!

5:45 am was my start time and so we headed down to Simon’s Town early, waking up and trying to eat breakfast at 4am is not easy!! When we got to Simon’s Town – Long Beach – it was quite sheltered but you could see at the harbour wall that it was going to be a tough race. The wind was blowing about 20kts (gusting about 25kts), 25km headwind was going to be hard and the only way I could do it was to break the whole race into sections. The pace at the start was “friendly” and we all just got into the race. I felt quite good so I decided that as my downwind is not as good as my competition I would go for a strong paddle into wind. So I put my head down and paddled. We hugged the coast quite tightly and following these guys through the kelp and close to the rocks was an experience!! I was pleased to reach the buoy at Buffels as I knew we then only had about 3-4km to the point….but that was 3-4km of brutal headwind!!

Once we got to Cape Point there was a marker buoy to round and it should be downwind home….after banging into a headwind for 25km there wasn’t much of a downwind to start. The sea was very messy and it took a lot of energy to find and get on the runs. I caught sight of Nikki Mocke as we went to go downwind and basically aimed for a similar line. The runs really picked up at about Partridge Point (+/-15km to go) and from there I just concentrated on getting as many runs as possible and hoping to put my paddle down to rest as often as I could. I was so amazed that with so many paddlers on the water once you all take your own line you hardly see anyone else until you come into Fish Hoek. So I had no idea of where I was in the field, maybe a good thing as after 40km going at your own pace is good. I finished in 4th and it was a result I wasn’t expecting, very happy with my race :)

Thanks to Nikki Mocke and her crew for a great couple of races!!

Cape Point

Photo courtesy of DrumBeat Photography

Top 10 Ladies

  1. Nikki Mocke       4.24:43
  2. Bianca Beavitt    4.29:55
  3. Michele Eray      4.29:56
  4. Chloe Bunnett    4:45:12
  5. Nikki Russel       4.52:50
  6. Kim van Gysen  4.54:56
  7. Eloise Horne      5.00:20
  8. Kerry Louw        5.09:36
  9. Angie Mouden   5.20:30
  10. Ale Adie             7.15:23

Check out the video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJ42tN3VNyY

Thanks to Knysna Racing for your support.

Happy New Year to everyone, see you in 2014 :)

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Game Magazine

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The Game Magazine, a local sports mag in Dorset, did a nice little interview with me. Check it out here

http://www.thegamemagazine.co.uk/female-focus/female-focus-chloe-bunnett.html

It is fantastic to have a local mag covering sports in our area and its great to get Surfski promoted in there as this area is perfect (in the summer when its warm) to paddle.

We are now coming to the end of the season here and this weekend is last of the British Series races, it is being held right here in Branksome, Dorset on Saturday the 7th September at 10am – Poole Bay Surfski Race 2013. There is also another race in Poole Harbour run by Poole Canoe Club, they are encouraging surfski’s to get involved and enter. This race is usually pretty flat, but it takes in some of the most beautiful Islands in Poole Harbour and is on the 22nd September 2013 and starts from Lake Pier in Hamworthy, Poole.

My season is not coming to an end as I am training for the Cape Town Downwind and Cape Point Challenge which are both held in December in Fish Hoek, Cape Town. 15th & 21st of December (respectively).

Thanks once again to The Game Magazine for a great article, also to Allwave and Knysna Racing for your continued support.

See you on the water

:)

 
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Posted by on September 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

1st ICF World Surfski Championships

I have just returned from the first ICF World Surfski Champs in Portugal, this event was put on by Nelo with the driving force of Marisa and Andre behind it. They did an amazing job, along with their team and not forgetting all the volunteers as without them we could not have had such a great event!

Looking down the start line seeing over 350 boats lined up was just unbelievable. The womens race had 50 entrants, it was incredible to see so many of us lined up ready to go. We used a paddle lock system, which they use at The Sella race in Spain, I have never used them before so it did add to the nerves. Actually the paddles came out smoothly and before I knew it I was in my boat and racing my heart out. The race was fast out to the turn buoy as there was a hotspot at the buoy. Teneale Hatton, Nikki Mocke and Michelle Burn broke away and raced for the hotspot, which Teneale won! I had said before my race that if I wasn’t almost dead at the end then I hadn’t paddled hard enough – so I raced as hard as I could. The runs, and the wind, virtually stopped with about 5 or so km’s to go so I knew then it was just going to be a grind to end.

Unfortunately for Michelle Burn she missed the final turning buoy and had to go back out around it and then finish, which allowed Michele Eray to take the win, great paddling from Michelle Burn as there was still a sprint finish and she finished in second place with Nikki Mocke in third. Teneale Hatton in 4th, Alexa Cole in 5th, Angie Mouden in 6th, Kirsten Flanagan in 7th, Me in 8th, Bianca Beavitt in 9th and Sofia Coelho in 10th. That’s the top ten ladies in the World this year. Awesome paddling – it was great racing you all.

Finished at the Finish

Racing to the finish

Huge congrats to Sean Rice taking the Gold in the mens race, with Tim Jacobs in 2nd and Cory Hill in 3rd! Great racing there as the men came in thick and fast!! Thoughts go out to Dawid Mocke, who is a real ambassador for surfski paddling around the world, and could not race as he fell ill and was rushed to hospital to have his appendix out, so he couldn’t race!!

The standard of Ladies racing has really stepped up a gear so I am pleased with my result as my goal was to achieve a top ten place overall and to be World Champ in my age group. I got a Gold in the 35-39 age group – so my goals were achieved!

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Team GB did very well coming home with three medals: Colin Smith Gold in the 60-64 : Glenn Eldridge Bronze in the 40-44 : and myself Gold in the 35-39! I might be biased but Team GB definitely won the Anthem singing contest and then led by Ivan we most surely got the party started!! What an awesome night.

The next day we raced doubles as a test event for the future World Championships. Myself and Greg Pienaar paddled together and just missed out on a top 10 finish, but we had a great race.

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It was great catching up with friends from all over the world again and making new ones!! Also I’m surprised I have not put on weight as I did have my fair share of the irresistible Pastel de Nata’s (a great Portuguese custard tart)!!

Thanks again to everyone and see you next year :)

For the full results click here ICF World Championships 2013

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Icon Classic 2013

me

We kicked off the GB Ocean Racing season with a classic race in North Devon. The Icon Classic was to be the first of three selection races for the GB Surfski Team which will compete at World Champs in Portugal in July. It attracted a record entry and a good few international paddlers. This race was breaking all records with a great line up of 7 ladies in the Open Women category – c’mon lets keep it up!!

The weekend forecast was looking good, mild breeze and warm. It sure was warmer than it has been and it was great to be out racing in summer weather. We headed out into a slight headwind to Mort Point – which was very kind to us and it was great fun punching through the run. Then turning to head along the coast, with the breeze coming slightly over our shoulder it was a very technical race and not much help until near the end, where we got some great runs. The route from Woolacombe to Combe Martin is STUNNING, such a beautiful coastline to race along.

I got off to an “OK” start and was in a good bunch heading out to Mort Point, from there Angie Mouden (France) went a bit wide and I stayed in a bit closer – still not sure which was better, don’t think there was much in it. As we came in to bay at Combe Martin there were some great runners and rebounds off the cliffs, I was so busy watching Angie and trying to close the gap a rebounding wave caught me off guard and before I knew it I was swimming. Lesson learnt – don’t worry about what other paddlers are doing and just focus on your own race! Angie had a great race and took the win, Well Done – it is great racing along side you :)

Benoit Le Roux (France) also had a great race and took the overall win with Glenn Eldridge (GB) in second and Mark Ressel (GB) in 3rd.

Open Men

1st – Benoit Le roux  1.17.30 (France)

2nd – Glenn Eldridge  1.17.50 (GB)

3rd – Mark Ressel       1.17.54 (GB)

4th – Jordan Roberts  1.20.27 (GB)

5th – Toño  Girón         1.23.18 (ESP)
Open Women
1st – Angie Mouden 1.27.26 (France)
2nd – Chloe Bunnett  1.29.32 (GB)
3rd – Jenna Ferris  1.34.37 (GB)

4th – Emily Corin  1.35.47
5th – Dee Paterson  1.50.16
6th – Jess Hanafin  1.57.37
7th – Ally Martin  2.00.28
Full Results on GB Ocean Racing
Next up is the second selection race in Weymouth, where we will race from Weymouth to Lulworth Cove!
To enter go to the GB Ocean racing website, entries are open so what are you waiting for?
See you on the water :)

 

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Eurochallenge 2013

I always look forward to this race, it is one of my favorite venues. The Hotel that Club Nautico Villajoyosa organised for us was Hotel Allon – it is a great hotel. The hotel is right on the beach overlooking the start/finish and it has a great breakfast buffet.

We arrived very late Wednesday evening, my boat was only arriving on Friday morning so we had Thursday to kick around and meet up with our friends from SA, Spain, Portugal, Italy!! Also this gave us time to go to the best Chocolate shop – Valor Chocolate. A nice cup of pure chocolate with some “churros” and I think that was my perfect race fuel :)

I am going to be racing in an Allwave CX Surfski, I have tried it in South Africa but this would be my first race in the CX. It is a great boat, very comfortable. Also adding to a new boat this would be my first race with my new paddles from Knysna Racing, I am using the Swing LD and loving them.

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I felt good coming into this year’s race and new I would have a tough race against last year’s winner Jenna Ferris. It was decided that Saturday at 13:30 ish (Spanish Time) we would start the downwind race (22km) and Sunday would be the classic race (18km). Then the times added together from the two days to determine the final positions. With not much help from the wind on either days we all knew this was going to be a tough race. The first race we actually had a headwind to start off, but as we rounded the point the wind died completely. There were some runs from Benidorm Island home but wow you had to work for them. I raced as hard as I could and came in first with Jenna in second, I was very happy to have a lead going into day 2.

In the men’s race – Sean Rice had a great race and finished first ahead of 2nd placed Dawid Mocke and Japser Mocke in third.

Day 2 and it was going to tough, tired from the day before……not use to this two day racing thing :)!! The start would be a mass start from the beach, standing about 10m behind your boat – the spectators love to see this start. We then paddled a triangle heading back to where we started as there was a HOTSPOT, which Dawid Mocke claimed. Another great time for the spectators as everyone rushes towards the beach for the turn buoy to try and claim the HOTSPOT. Our course then took us out to Benidorm Island and back.

I finished first to win my first ever Eurochallenge Race, very happy all the hard work paid off!!

Sean Rice, Dawid Mocke and Jasper Mocke all held the same places as day 1. Well done everyone out there it was a tough two days, but very enjoyable and I will be back next year for sure.

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Next up are the first three (Icon Classic, Weymouth to Lulworth & St.Ives Paddlefest) of the GB Series races before we all head out to the World Champs in Portugal in July.

Thanks for all your support :)

 
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Posted by on May 6, 2013 in Surfski

 

Extended Summer in South Africa

It has been a while since I wrote on my blog, so I thought I would right about my time racing, training and travelling over the past 5 months in South Africa, whilst enjoying my last day with family in Swellendam!

We based ourselves in Knynsa, my home town, and arrived here early November 2012. I had 3 weeks left to train for the Cape Town World Cup, SA Double Champs and the Cape Point Challenge in Fish Hoek. This is my view from our balcony, so a perfect place to stay and train!

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On the 8th of December after 3 weeks of training over we headed to Fish Hoek. I really love Fish Hoek, the people and the place are amazing! Leading up to the World Cup I was doing a fair few Miller’s Runs – one of which was an all girls Miller’s and it was great to see so many girls getting out there and giving it a go.

First race was the World Cup and the competition was tough. Unfortunately as luck would have it the wind did not blow, I mean it blows everyday in Cape Town ;). The race was a 20km race going out from Miller’s towards Cape Point and then turning and heading “downwind” to Fish Hoek. Nikki Mocke won with Michele Eray second and Michelle Burn third, I placed 8th and only just over 2min behind 4th. So it was a great race between all of us! The next day was the SA Doubles Champs on the same course, but today the wind decided to show us its back! I paired up with Angie Mouden from France, thanks to Knysna Racing for making us an awesome Double Surf Ski to race in. We had a great race and lots of fun, reaching a top speed of 31km/h!!

For the next week we trained and chilled out in Fish Hoek preparing for the Cape Point Challenge, a gruelling 50km race. Race day dawned and the wind again was light but slightly from behind to start the day, once we got to the point it was going to be a head wind slog all the way home. Well done to all who managed to finish that one. Thank you Roberto from Allwave for giving me a great boat to use.

After the races we travelled back to Knysna for Christmas and some more decent base training for the upcoming season. This season Surfski Ocean Racing is taking Surfski Racing to the next level with the first Surfski World Championships in Portugal in July.

In February we once again headed to our favourite place – Fish Hoek. I got a great week’s training and it is always great to catch up with friends there. Angie Mouden came back with us to visit us and we had a fantastic time, it was great as we turned into proper tourists for a week :)

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Now I can’t believe my time in Knysna has come to an end, for this trip anyway ;)! Training out here has been great and makes life so easy with the weather we have had! Albert from Knysna Racing is awesome and built a lovely G40 Surfski for me to use while I’ve been training out here. I have also tried and tested out the Swing Paddle Range from him and they are great paddles, I am now using the Swing LD paddle and I’m loving it!

I am sitting in Swellendam and this is our view today as we enjoy our last day with family before we fly out to the UK this evening.

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We have had a great time over the past 5months – thanks to everyone who made it, all the dinners, braai’s and evenings out, you guys rock! I can’t wait to get back, but keep checking out my blog to see how things are going. It’s going to be a busy season with my first race in May in Spain!

Until next time! :)

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Nelo Summer Challenge 2012

The Nelo Summer Challenge is a race I’ve been wanting to do for a couple of years. It’s only a 10km downwind dash, my preference being 20km, but I’ve heard so much about this race that I was so happy when the dates this year fell onto a weekend I could get off from work. Also being after the Olympics it was going to be very competitive!

Michele Eray, good friend and great paddler, stayed with me for the two weeks leading up to the race. So I could not have had a better training partner leading up to this race. Also she showed me some good new recipes in the kitchen!! Thanks Mich :)

We arrived in Porto on the Thursday at lunch time to be met at the airport by one of Nelo’s drivers (Victor) and he took us to our hotel. He said to me that there was a downwind at about 4pm and he will be back at 3pm to pick us up. Awesome, just enough time to unpack and grab some lunch, then it’s down to the beach. The wind was pumping, I was excited to get out on the water, but there were a few paddlers who were slightly nervous about going out there. The waves were crashing over the harbour wall, which to me was perfect :). We had an awesome downwind, I had jumped into a Nelo for the first time ever and was not as stable as I would like to be out there – but I had so much fun. The shore dump was pretty nasty, that’s when I got a bit nervous – but I made it without any drama!!

Dinners were at our Hotel and all the athlete’s were eating together, this really made for a good atmosphere with stories flying around the table! Especially after the hectic downwind.

On Friday morning I went to set my boat up and the wind was blowing in the wrong direction……Andre (race organizer) reassured me that this happens everyday and that by 2pm’ish it will swing and there will be a perfect downwind, and he was right!! So now we are all hoping for the same to happen on race day.

RACE DAY: Race time will be at 16:00 or 17:00, briefing at 14:30 to confirm. So I went down nice and early to check my ski and just chill under the Nelo tents on their bean bags. It soon started to buzz around the arena and everyone was discussing the wind, or the lack there of, but just as Andre had said the day before at about lunch time is swung around and picked up from the perfect direction – game on. Briefing was soon upon us and race was to start at 17:00 so we could wait for as much wind as possible.

The start was chaos, everyone was on edge. It was fast and furious, and I gave it my all to the turn buoy - hoping that I could rest on some runs downwind to catch my breath! I did catch my breath as we turned downwind but not for long – I had decided that I must not have anything left at the end of this race. I concentrated on catching and linking as many runs as possible and paddled so hard I could hardly breathe at times. This was one hard fast race. I was dicing with a Portuguese girl for the last few km’s and as we turned the final turn buoy we had to paddle with a side wind/chop for the last 1km, the hardest 1km I think I’ve ever done – she was better than me in the side chop and she hit the beach about 15seconds ahead of me, I ran as hard as I could up the beach and realized that I had given this race my all. I finished in 5th place and I am so happy with that result.

Top 10 Women; Michele Eray took 1st, Teneale Hatton 2nd, Beatrice Gomes 3rd, Sara Rafeal 4th, Chloe Bunnett 5th, Bridgitte Hartley 6th, Mira Larsen 7th, Sofia Coelho 8th, Rachel Cawthorn 9th and Krisztina Fazekas 10th.

The mens race was tight with Jasper Mocke 1st, Dawid Mocke 2nd and Sean Rice 3rd.

After the race we had a party of all parties, Nelo know how to organize a race but they are also do damn good parties.

The next day we had a sprint knock out tournament, not my strong point, but so much fun :)

Sprints

Start of the final in the Sprint knock out. Just over 2mins of pure burn!!

This race is a must, the organisation of it and the way we were looked after was incredible. I am not sure when Andre sleeps as he was the first on the beach every morning and the last man standing every night! Thanks to Andre, Marisa and their team for a great time in Portugal!!

Our Transport

Thanks Marisa for arranging our transport and driver back to the airport – see you next year :)

Pasteis de nata

Great little treat with a coffee!!

Next up is the Ohana Mana Cup in Sardinia – Italy at the end of the month.

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2012 in Uncategorized

 
 
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