The Doctor and King of the Cut carve up Perth seas
CORY Hill and Danielle McKenzie won the international surf ski race The Doctor on Saturday.
In the biggest field since the event’s inception in 2002, 450 competitors enjoyed perfect conditions as they took off from Rottnest Island and finished 27km later at Sorrento Beach.
This year also saw the event expand into a series of five ocean paddle races – WA Race Week – creating a prize purse of $100,000.
Ocean paddle race series joins The Doctor
For Hill, of Queensland, this was his third consecutive win of The Doctor, clocking in at 1.35.18. He also went on to with three more events in the series.
Finishing second was Nicholas Notten from South Africa with a time of 1.35.50, crossing the line just metres ahead of Sean Rice also from South Africa clocking a time of 1.35.54.
Hill said he was thrilled with the win.
“The conditions in WA are amazing and there was an incredible field of athletes so to come out on top is pretty humbling,” he said.
“If you enjoy what you do, and I was having so much fun, it’s pretty hard to beat that.
“I love coming back to WA year on year.”
In the women’s, McKenzie from New Zealand took the win with a time of 1.47.16, less than a minute ahead of last year’s winner and Queenslander Georgia Laird finishing at 1.48.07, followed Jordan Mercer from Noosa with a time of 1.48.33.
It was the first time McKenzie had competed in The Doctor.
“The field is so hot with the girls at the moment making it really good competition,” she said.
“It’s not just about the prize money; it’s been such a great week with everyone coming together.
“We started on Rottnest Island with the pristine clear water and the wind and the runs picked up as we came through and it was just fun.”
The first West Australian across the line was ICF stand-up paddleboard world champion Michael Booth, of Carine, who competed in a surf ski and finished in sixth place.
“I love surf ski paddling and love competing in Perth,” he said.
“The conditions were amazing, particularly the last 6km. Perth really turned it on.”
This year’s event featured 70 more competitors than last year, coming from across Australia, South Africa, USA, UK, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Porto Rico and France.
The oldest competitor was 85-year-old Paul Chalupsky from Queensland competing in a male double team, and the youngest competitor was 12-year-old Riley Frizelle from Duncraig who had special permission to enter the mixed doubles category with her father Greg.
There were also competitors racing other craft, with Ben Tardrew the fasted on SUP foils and Peter Dorries the fastest in the outrigger canoe category.
Perth world champ looking for new title to add to belt
CARINE elite paddler Michael Booth has won just about everything there is to win on a stand-up paddleboard including the Hong Kong International, Euro Tour, APP World Tour and he is the current ICF world champion.
But he has never won the Stand Up Surf Shop King of the Cut – a 24km race from Dawesville Cut to Secret Harbour Surf Life Saving Club taking place this Saturday.
The eighth edition of the event, considered one of the word’s downwind paddle courses, will see more than 100 international, interstate and local competitors enjoy near-perfect conditions in Mandurah.
Race director Steve Malcolm said the Fremantle Doctor wind made the event so fast.
“The sea breeze creates uninterrupted runners and pushes competitors along like an endless conveyor belt,” he said.
He said the event also continued promote new developments in the sport.
“Last year we introduced foiling SUPs and this year there’s another new division with the inclusion of wing foils as a demonstration class,” he said.
There are also categories for outrigger canoes and prone paddleboards.
This year’s event will also feature a 12km race from Dawesville Cut to Doddies Beach.