Local Success in Dubai Shamaal surfski race

Saturday, December 11, 2010, 21:07

Chris Camilleri successfully completed the 2010 Dubai Shamaal kayak race placing 44th in his category out of a total of 170 world-wide kayakers. This is indeed a prestigious position especially when one considers that the first 20 places were taken by Australian and South Afrian kayakers.

The race was held over an L shaped route starting off from the beach some 20KM from Palm Island and heading straight out to a 4km offshore marker, then taking a 120 degree left hand turn to paddle a further 20km along the coast. In what was one of the hottest days ( and not much wind) the event promised to be a tough one.

The strongly contested start the Australians and South Africans take the lead which South African Hank McGregor being first round in a tightly knit pack, with Aussie Ben Allen hot on his heels. Soon after Dawid Mocke (SA) took the lead and from that point on it was a cat and mouse game between him and Allen, only for the latter to take the title in the sprint to the finish. Being his first experience in a surski race, Chris started cautiously keeping a sure but steady pace till the turn around point at 4km. At that point it was absolute mayhem with tens of kayakers converging at the mark which saw many kayakers take the water- amongst them the more fancied Russians. Chris kept his cool and steered out of trouble and once round the mark he got into his rhythm and from there he never looked back – passing many kayakers along the route finishing very strongly in 2hr 15min averaging just over 10KPH.

Following the race he was congratulated by silver medalist Dawid Mocke on his positive performance and considered Chris as “being up there ” . Surely with more competition in surfskis his placings will improve so much so that the race or for next year’s event. Camilleri’s strong finish saw him beat a number of more fancied kayakers, placing Malta 15th out of the 26 nations competing, beating representatives from the Netherlands, USA, Spain, Qatar to mention a few.

This was the last race of what was a long season which started off in July in the Siilian regional Championships where he set a national record in the 1KM event and now, and after a short break, he will start his off-season training in preparation for what promises to be another exciting competitive year in 2011.

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