Beach Talks | Mário Santos

Monday, 15-Apr-13 11:11:07 UTC
Mário Santos

Mário Santos is the Portuguese Canoe Federation chairman and was the leader for the Portuguese Olympic Mission for London 2012 where Portugal won its first Olympic medal in canoeing.
A paddler himself, Mário Santos never loses a chance to race and has entered in all the previous Nelo Summer Challenges.

1. What does the Portuguese Canoe Federation (PCF) intends in doing to promote Ocean Racing in Portugal?
The organization of events in this discipline with an competitive edge as well as a playful one, considering that we already have on our national calendar this discipline in the National championships.
The implementation of this discipline as a branch of kayaking with a huge potential for massive practice, harnessing the excellent weather and geography of the country.

2. How many events are there in the national calendar?
Right now the championship has scoring 5 events, and the range can go up to 10 races.

3. What is the strategic importance of OR in the panorama of national canoeing?
It’s a great opportunity for canoeing win new audiences and paddlers in different places of those who are now its core. It can enable the practice of canoeing in places and populations that are now distant from the sport. The excellent conditions to practice this sport competitively put Portugal on the map internationally, and hopefully that reality will be strengthened.

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Beach Talks | Michele Eray

Tuesday, 19-Feb-13 13:38:43 UTC
Michele Eray

Name: Michele Janine Eray
Age: 33
Location: Between Plett & The World

When and how did you started surfskiing?
I started back in my school days as part of the life saving movement here in SA. As you move up from the Junior (Nipper) to Senior you need to be able to paddle a surf ski to be able to take part in the Ironwoman event. Canoeing was a also a school sport, so I did that in the winter.

Has your season already started? How’s it going so far?
I took a break after the 50km cape Point Challenge in December, and have started training again. No races this year yet, just trying to build some base fitness.

You’ve won the all the Summer Challenges you’ve entered. Do you feel it’s lucky charm event for you?
Lucky charm? Ha-ha, I believe you create your own “luck”, but yes, I think momentum is important, and I have always had so much fun when I come to Porto, so I am always in a good head space. I love the event, and the venue, so I can’t wait to race there again.

As a South African and being RZA a major surfski center, do you think that Portugal (and the Nelo Summer Challenge) was a good choice for hosting the 1st World Championships?
I think Portugal is the perfect place for the 1st ever World Champs! It has great downwind conditions, is easily accessible by most countries, and the event has a great tradition of awesome organisation, so I think you guys will set the bar nice and high for the rest of the world, for future World Championships events.

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Epic Kayaks joins the event as an official provider

Friday, 15-Feb-13 10:10:16 UTC

EPIC KAYAKS and PADDLES have always promoted the surfski sport. Our products are designed by World Champions using innovative solutions, engineering excellence, integrity, original thought and real paddling experience in every ocean in world. Members of the EPIC team have been developing the surfski education curriculum and building world class international events since the beginning of the sport.

In the last few years EPIC has seen the surfski community grow and gain popularity and as a result the manufacturer list has expanded dramatically. After running the Molokai World Championships event in Hawaii for many years, we have learnt how much work goes into making an event like this happen. It is very important for the manufacturers to come together to make it a success.

We are thrilled to confirm our support to the ICF Open Water World Championships in Portugal in 2013 and are happy to be associated with NELO, who are the main organizer of the event. It took few weeks to sort out all the details and EPIC is now officially on board and we will be providing rental surfskis, surfski clinics and technical support in Portugal this summer.

We look forward to seeing you in Villa Do Conde this July!

Greg Barton, Oscar Chalupsky and EPIC KAYAKS EUROPE Team.

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Beach Talks | Billy Harker

Tuesday, 29-Jan-13 17:27:15 UTC

Beach talks is space where we interview some of the main players on the Ocean Racing world. We start with major surfski enthusiast Billy Harker.

Name: William “Billy” Harker
Age: 43
Location: Durban, South Africa

Surfski paddling experience
I first paddled surfski in 1996 where I participated as a compete novice in the Bateman Borland Surfski Series in Durban. 1996 was the 1st year that the Surfski series was staged. In 1997 I moved to Cape Town on a Job Transfer and landed up participating in races there for fun. I enjoy casual surfski paddling and racing but love the social/lifestyle elements just as much.

In 1998 I started a series of Surfski Paddling races in Cape Town which emulated the series that was running at home in Durban. After doing this for 18 Months for fun, I decided to resign from my Job and see if I could make a living organizing Surfski Paddling Races. I consider myself to be incredibly blessed to have been able to convert my passion and love for organizing surfski paddling into my full time vocation for the last 15 years! Long may it last……

2012 was your first time in the Nelo Summer Challenge. How was it for you?
Nelo Summer Challenge 2012 was an amazing Tour. Most importantly the paddling was world class in terms of Downwind Surfski Paddling. Everything else was perfect and an added bonus. The Hotel Santana was fantastic value, with great food, awesome rooms, service and centrally located. What stood out the most was the assistance from the team at Nelo who collected us from the airport, helped us with our Ski’s, collected us after downwinds and were exceptionally friendly. Team Nelo does however need assistance with their skills on the Dance floor. Did I mention that the After-Party was LEGENDARY. Right out the TOP DRAW! Noddy from Nelo must be commended for his Yellow Jersey in the Jolling(Partying) stakes, followed closely by his Facebook Friend Marisa Magalhães.

Was Portugal a good choice for the the 1st ICF Surfski Ocean Racing World Championship?
I believe that Porto, Portugal is a good choice for the 1st ICF Surfski Ocean Racing World Championships for the following reasons:

1) There is excellent potential for a proper Downwind race on the open ocean. The race Course is ideal as you start on a beach protected by a harbor wall which means there are no waves to negotiate at the start. After paddling only a few hundred meters in protected waters, you then paddle directly into the open ocean and immediately into the runs. The runs on offer are world class because the West coast of Portugal is exposed to open ocean which does not require extreme wind to generate good runs. The Finish of the race is also Ideal because you paddle around a Harbour Wall and finish on a beach without having to negotiate heavy waves.

2) Europe is Centrally located in terms of Travel

3) I think that Staging the 1st ICF Surfski Ocean Racing World Championships in Europe will help generate interest in Surfski paddling in the massive European paddling Market. Surfski paddling has always been seen as a “Fun” alternative to the more serious Sprint Kayaking and Marathon Kayak options. With the ICF World Championship Status, Surfski paddling will now be taken more seriously in Europe.

Personal goals for this year’s edition?
As Team manager of The SA Surfski Team, my goal is to assist Team SA Surfski achieve a record number of Medals at an ICF World Championship event. Canoe South Africa is Selecting a FULL SA Surfski Team in All Age Group Categories IE U18, U23, Open and all the Masters Categories starting at 35yrs old in 5 year age groups.

On a Personal level I would like to get into the Top 5 in the 40-44 Age Category and beat Luis Ventura Varino, Pablo “Big Dong” Fernandes, Richard Philps and Anton Fouche AND all the Women. If I beat all the Chicks, then I have had a good race.

Lastly I will Teach Nuno Ramos how to cook a decent Beef Espatada on the Open Fire.

Expect selling much of your clothes line?

My Wife Tracy makes the Funkiest Paddling shorts you have ever seen. The Bonus is that they are arguably the most comfortable paddling shorts you will ever wear. We will be bringing a Limited Edition specifically for the World Championships and hope that the contestants will enjoy them. We pose the Question: If you are serious about wearing a pair of Lycra Tights, then why not get yourself a Funky Fun pair.

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Registrations for SUP and OC1

Thursday, 24-Jan-13 16:14:10 UTC
SUP and OC1

Parallel to the Surfski Ocean Racing event, there will be competitions for Stand Up Paddle and Outrigger Canoe.
This will be the third year for the SUP, an event already sanctioned by IOSUP and counting for the World Ranking.
The OC1 had a trial last year and we hope this year will be even grater showcase for the sport.

More info

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