World Series Champ, Dawid Mocke, Confirmed for Port Elizabeth Race

www.MyPE.co.za: World
Series champion Dawid Mocke will defend his surf ski title at the MTN
Nelson Mandela Bay Splash Festival in Port Elizabeth on Friday,
organisers confirmed on Tuesday morning.

Mocke, who beat Durbanites Matt Boumann and Hank McGregor to the shore
in last year’s Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Ski Classic, is excited about
hitting the PE surf again.

“The course is one of the best in the world, especially in the vicinity
of Cape Recife. They’ve got an awesome wave there.”

Mocke, from Fish Hoek in Cape Town, is widely regarded as the favourite
and he’s more than ready to take on the challenge in the 26km event
starting and finishing at Hobie Beach.

“My training has worked out very well, so there’s no reason why things
shouldn’t go the same way as last year. The only thing I can’t control
is how well the other guys are paddling.”

Mocke said he was not taking the event lightly and expected the biggest
push to come from brother Jasper and fellow Capetonian Sean Rice, but
he was not discounting anyone. “We’ve got the best guys in the world
paddling over there, so it’s like racing in a top international race.”

Last year’s winner in the women’s event, Michéle Eray from Plettenberg
Bay in the Southern Cape, will also be returning to defend her title
against stiff competition.

“Hopefully the conditions will be nice. Last year there was a
south-easterly and a bit of surf. I haven’t looked at the predictions
for this week, but it’s always exciting to race there.”

Katie PocockHer biggest
opposition is likely to come from New Zealand’s Katie
Pocock, the reigning world champion who has flown in especially for the
race.

“It sounds like PE has really put on a high-vibe Easter. I’m a bit
nervous about how the body will cope with all the racing, but I’m
stoked to be part of the festival.”

Pocock said she was quietly confident, without taking anything for
granted. “Ocean paddling is all about adapting to the conditions, so I
guess I always expect the unexpected.”

The world champion believed it would be tough to beat the titleholder.
“Michéle has been in outstanding form over the last few months and will
be tough to beat at home.

“I know that she is doing some coaching over here and I’m sure she will
be bringing along some of her protégés, who will undoubtedly be fierce
competitors as well.”

Eray, on her part, was confident of getting the better of Pocock. “I
raced her twice last year and beat her both times.”

She however pointed out that there were a number of “quick” girls in
the field. “Everyone you race is a threat. You can’t underestimate
anyone.”

A prize pool of R45 000 is up for grabs.

The Splash Festival, which takes place
from April 2 to 5, features 72
hours of live entertainment, beach sports, five international
watersports events, kids’ activities, more than 180 stalls and a
lifestyle marquee.

Follow the Splash Festival on Twitter or Facebook.

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