Thursday 1st October- Arue, Tahiti
All competitors have arrived here in Tahiti and are now preparing for the 2015 ICF Ocean Racing World Championship which is now into it's 2nd edition with the first edition held in Portugal in 2013.
Vaikobi Race Team member and defending World Champ Sean Rice is very relaxed as he builds up to the Men's race which will be held this Saturday Oct 3rd. His preparation leading up to the Worlds has been meticulous and he is looking forward to enjoying the day.
"The wind is up and everyone is getting amped. I had a great session today and it was cooking!", Sean Rice reports from Tahiti. No doubt everyone is getting pumped with the gathering of talent on this beautiful South Pacific island nation.
The Vaikobi Race Team will be out in force and many will be challenging Sean for the title on race Day.
The usual contenders will all be on the start line including Molokai Champ Cory Hill (AUS), Hank Mcgregor (RSA), Jasper Mocke (RSA) and Clint Robinson (AUS) however here is a list of Vaikobi Race Team members who we know will be ready and charging on Saturday:
1) Murray "Muz" Stewart (AUS) has taken a short break from his K1 Olympic campaign and has hopped back into the Ski to be ready for the Worlds. Each time Murray steps into the Ski, he comes out on top so it will be interesting to see where he is at on Saturday in this world class field.
2) Michael "Boothy" Booth (AUS) has been in solid form in the ski all year and will be somewhere in the mix near the end of the race. Boothy just loves to race so there will be no holding back on Saturday.
3) Sean's "little" brother Kenny Rice (RSA) has been charging through the ranks over the past twelve months and will be looking at this World's as his opportunity to really stamp his position as one of the World's best ocean ski paddlers.
4) Mark "Ando/ Manderson" Anderson (AUS) is one of the most popular blokes in the field and will always be in the mix when the start gun goes. Possibly only Sean Rice and Boothy can claim to match Ando in the number of international races competed in over the past twelve months. If Ando is feeling strong on Saturday, look out!
5) Mackenzie "Macca/ Big Wave Macca!" Hynard (AUS) is one of the other up and coming paddlers who are challenging some of the more established paddlers at the top of the field. Macca has posted some very solid results over the past twelve months and is clearly enjoying his recent move to the Gold Coast. Keep an eye out for Macca on his Think.
6) Joey Hall (AUS) Joey is another young up and coming charger who has been making some serious gains over the past 6 months. No stranger to Tahiti, Joey travelled here last year for the Maraamu where he placed 3rd in what turned out to be a massive long grind fest with no wind. Really character building stuff! Since then, Joey has been training hard with Tim Jacobs in Sydney and has put on 7kgs of muscle. Joey spent the last week of training in Sydney zipping up and down Sydney's Northern Beaches during a very large Southerly wind and wave event. The Manly ferries were stopped, but Joey was out there doing some long downwinders getting ready for what will hopefully be a windy race day in Tahiti.
In the Women's, race day will be tomorrow (Friday Oct 2nd) and defending World Champ Michelle Eray (RSA) will be fighting amongst a large group of young chargers all looking to take her title. Michelle is no stranger to the big stage and will be looking forward to some big conditions tomorrow.
A special shout out to a couple of other competitors who are part of the Vaikobi family- Garth Spencer (NZL) & Bruce Dailey (AUS) We wish you guys all the best for a great race!
Stay tuned to Vaikobi's & Paddlelife's facebook and instagram pages for further updates.