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Freedom paddle race to Robben Island to mark Freedom Day

26 April 2019 9:54 AM
World surfski paddle champion Dawid Mocke describes the conditions the record number of 200 entrants will be facing.

Saturday marks 25 years since South Africans went to the polls in our first-ever democratic elections.

One of the special events marking Freedom Day is the annual paddle surfski race to Robben Island.

Four-time world champion Dawid Mocke tells Kieno Kammies how the race originated.

Originally the idea was Nelson Mandela's, being Freedom Day and all, but a group of guys from the Oceana Paddle Club wanted to put together a race around Robben Island. Back in 2004 the first Surfski World Cup was around Robben Island and Richard Kohler wanted to do that again.

Dawid Mocke, World surfski paddle champion

Freedom Day is a special day in South African history and these guys wanted something significant to celebrate it, so they put together the Freedom Paddle.

Dawid Mocke, World surfski paddle champion

Mocke says it's not an easy race, as the Robben Island route presents specific challenges.

It's the Atlantic, so big swells, big waves, the wind can pick up.

Dawid Mocke, World surfski paddle champion

The race starts at 9 am on Saturday morning, so you can head down to Granger Bay to see the 200 boats set off.

Race organisers have also set up live tracking so that spectators can watch the boats progress.

For more about the race, take a listen:


26 April 2019 9:54 AM