2018 DisChem Pete Marlin Surfski Race champion Jasper Mocké will return in 2021 hoping to regain his singles title against what is expected to be a stacked field of paddlers for the race set to take place over the weekend of 30-31 October.
Mocké teamed up with Frenchman Cyrille Carré for the recent Fish River Canoe Marathon and finished second overall which indicates that the Euro Steel/Mocké Paddling star is in good form going into the Pete Marlin.
Heading into the Eastern Cape classic at the end of the month, Mocké is excited to be back racing in a race that he enjoys competing in every year and is looking forward to being back after last year’s cancellation.
“For its kind, a 20-odd kilometre downwind, I think it’s the premier race in the country,” Mocké said. “We don’t have many of these sorts of races in the country and for me personally it’s my preferred distance.
“Taking on the ultra-distance surfski races is not for me and I look forward to races like this because I am much better suited to them.”
The Pete Marlin is set to serve up another exciting downwind experience over two days of racing, but Mocké says the closing stages always decide who ends up on the top step of the podium.
“I think that the finishes at either end is always tricky and it’s so important that you negotiate that well if you want to win.
“You have never won the Pete Marlin until you are on the beach and it’s won and lost coming into the beach.
“You always want to be at the front of the race but I think if you can be second coming into the finish you are also still in a very good spot,” Mocké added.
With such an intense race with a world-class field, making sure you are in touch with the leaders is vital throughout and Mocké’s tactics going in are pretty straight forward.
“You just need to get in front and stay there!” he explained.
“It’s always pretty simple for me that I need to either be in front or right with the guys at the front because it’s so fast.
“But with a downwind you don’t want to focus too much on other paddlers so it’s important that you still concentrate on your own race.
“It’s important that you get yourself into your own rhythm early on and that’s what I am going to be trying to do.”
Mocké will team up with his brother Dawid for the doubles race which will happen over the same weekend as the singles. Despite the competitive nature of the paddlers, Mocké knows there’s a fine line when it comes to prioritising the singles over the doubles.
“If the doubles race happens before the singles you know it’s going to be in tougher, flatter conditions so you need to make sure you don’t murder yourself!
“But you want to win every race you paddle in so it’s important that we make sure we find that balance.
“My boet and I gel together well in a boat and we have a similar competitive mind-set when we race together,” Mocké mentioned.