Posted by: ADOW | October 5, 2011

Abu Dhabi Surfski Series

Fellow paddlers,

The Abu Dhabi Sailing & Yacht Club in conjunction with Abu Dhabi Ocean Warriors are hosting the 2011 Abu Dhabi Surf Ski championship series. The series will be held over 4 races hosted on October 7th, October 8th, November 18th and November 19th in front of the Abu Dhabi Corniche.

The meeting area will be at ADIMSC (opposite Marina Mall), we will meet down on the beach infront of Havanna Cafe where you can register for the race. It will be helpful if entry forms are completed at home and brought with you to registration.

Paddlers will paddle in a group from this beach to the start of the race . Park cars in the ADIMSC car park and then carry surf skis down to the beach.

Spectators can cross over the road from the parking and watch the race from near the flagpole.

Please read the rules and note:
Lifejackets are mandatory.
You need to bring along a copy of your passport to register.


Dates and schedule;

October 7th 2011
13:30 – Registration starts
15:00 – Race 1 (13 km)
October 8th 2011
08:00 – Registration starts
09:00 – Race 2 (9 km)
12:00 – Prize Giving at Havana Cafe

November 17th 2011
09:30 – Registration starts
11:00 – Race 3 (13 km)
November 18th 2011
09:30 – Registration starts
11:00 – Race 4 (9 km)

See attachments for trophies, prize money etc… below

–> Race Course
–> entry form
–> Abu Dhabi Surf Ski Series Notice of Race

Posted by: ADOW | September 19, 2011

Welcome to the ADOW 2011 / 2012 Surfski Season !!

Posted by: Thea van der Westhuizen | August 5, 2011


ADOW/ DSKC members dominated the womens race in the 54th Discovery Scottburgh to Brighton Surfski Marathon. The 46.6km women’s race was won by Thea van der Westhuizen (5:15)  in her first attempt (actually the only woman in the singles race). Becky Mehew & Nico Smith (5:33) were the only mixed doubles who pulled it through.  The men’s race was dominated by Dawid Mocke, Sean Rice and Jasper Mocke. (Credits to Lynne Hauptfleich for great pics)

Winners 54th Scottburgh 2 Brighton "Probably the only time EVER that I will be in the same frame as legend Daw!"


His Harkerness (aka series organiser Billy Harker) described the race as:

Since 1958 ocean watermen have gathered before first light on the South Coast of Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa. They meet at Scottburgh main beach which is 60km’s South of South Africa’s winter playground, Durban. They carry with them ocean spears, Surf Ski’s and sustenance for the 46.5km journey from Scottburgh, North to Brighton Beach. All in attendance share a common cause, get out beyond backline without damaging the craft, push on to the check point at Toti 30km’s North and then race for the finish at Brighton. The Discovery Scottburgh to Brighton Surf Ski race is built on the tradition laid down by the hard men who first pushed out to sea in ’58, there is no talk of turning to go downwind. The race is from Scottburgh to Brighton, come what may.

Waking up at 4am - race starts at first light

Leading up to the Annual Discovery Scottburgh to Brighton, talk revolves around weather and Surf conditions and the 3rd element, the Annual sardine run, which brings with it the entire ocean food chain. Dolphins short their regular territories, every sea bird worth his salt, whales, game fish and sharks all gather on the South coast to gorge themselves on the greatest shoal on earth.

Paddlers entered in the Discovery Scottburgh to Brighton spend evenings offering silent prayers requesting the SW wind to blow at their backs and maybe even howl through to attempt to break the current course record of 3hr 4Min and 25 seconds, set by Brett Pengelly back in 1998. The prevailing weather conditions in early July in Kwa-Zulu Natal are a light early morning off shore breeze set in motion by a Low pressure over the warm sea and a higher pressure over the cold land mass. This offshore breeze out of the NW, can pick up to around 20km/hr, but normally reaches its max around 9am at like 10km/hr. After 9am the NW Offshore tends to die off and a still calm ensues till around 9:30/10:00am when a NE (headwind) begins to push.

Sure Billy referred rather to the PADDLE when speaking about " gathering sea spears" ! Credits to Anthony Grote

These conditions translate to paddling on a calm sea with a light wind coming over your left shoulder. The smart money is to stay close inshore to Toti. The NE Headwind does not normally push before one gets to Toti. Paddlers can expect to get to Toti at around 9:30am and then to the finish at around 11am, That’s if the NE doesn’t get up strong.

There is a point, 6km from the finish, called “The Cutting” where “THE CUTTING SEA MONSTER” lives. Paddlers have been racing hard for 3 to 4 hours and can taste the Bracingly crisp Hansa washing down their throats, they can feel that warm sense of achievement at having dominated the Discovery Scottburgh to Brighton…AAhhhhhh NOT!! The Cutting Sea Monster reaches out and grabs hold of your rudder and ties 2 shopping plastic bags as well as a bungee cable with 3 tennis balls on it to test your mettle! ARE U UP to it?  I spit on the cutting sea monster… Bring it on Chine!

Becky & Thea: the only two ladies who made it to the finish line were from ADOW/ DSKC


Training around the cans in Abu Dhabi or paddling around Dubai’s Palm Jumairah cannot EXACTLY prepare one for this race. It requires specific skills in the surf as well as good downwind abilities. Here is Thea’s story:

The conditions prior race day was perfect and Daw, Sean, Jasper and I went to the halfway stop in Toti to catch some waves. I couldn’t have asked for a more experienced group of paddlers to guide me around the best options.  Jasper patiently made me practice paddling out and back till I felt confident (thanx guys!)

4 Surfskis 1 Volkswagen - Jasper and Sean were polpuar with local car guards

On race day, conditions radically differ from the day before. Good timing between sets (and some luck!!) helped me to paddle out of Scottburgh without getting my hair wet.

Scottburgh's start was way different than Abu Dhabi or Dubai

How NOT to launch in Scottburgh

I stayed close to the backline and patiently hoped for morning gusts to blow though. Not far into the race, I saw Sean Rice powering by … realizing his batch started about 45min after mine! Reaching Toti, I got wiped by the back break, but luckily managed to retrieve my ski, and paddled in without further drama. On the beach, I couldn’t find the bloke who was my seconds and had my juice/ gel refill! Billy’s brother Dave Harker offered some of his juice and syphened it into my juicebag. I’m allergic to caffeine but at that moment I couldn’t care less what was in the juice –  caffeine or no caffeine: as long as it was wet and kept me hydrated during the second half!

Going out at Toti was TOUGH. Shredded surfski debris floated on the water and paddlers were swimming everywhere. I waited a long time to find a gap in the back break, but it was too poundering and forceful. After an unsuccessful attempt to break though, I was sitting legs-out…waiting… A doubles ski with two guys built like He-Man landed next to me. I thought “paddling behind this is much more fun than checking out the back break’s inside a second time!” With sheer perseverance I popped over 😉 It wasn’t long before I lost sight of the He-Man team, but an awesome little downwind started to blow and made up for the rest.

Surfski debris @ Toti

Unlucky paddler @ Toti

The front paddling batch missed out on the wind from Toti, since they were already standing at Brighton with a Nando’s in the hand! Keeping all the warnings in mind about The Cutting Monster – I knew the end was close and kept a steady pace. Reaching Brighton, I could hear the music and smell the braai, except that I needed to manage in throughout huge surf again. The real monster was waiting in the back break and rolled thunder to the beach. I decided to sneak in just behind a Big One, hoping to make it to the mid section before being caught. Unfortunately the Big One’s twin was just behind me, and forced me to become well acquainted with marine life and the ocean’s bottom. I didn’t exactly exit “en femme”  but made it to the finish line with ski and paddle in one piece.

" I tried to sneak in behind this monster, but it's twin ate me"

It was an awesome event and a fantastic race. Tons of respect to paddlers like Custom Kayak’s Mark Lewin who completed it over 30 times (and often category winner).  Hats off to Becks Mehew and Nico Smit who also made it across the finish line.  ADOW & DSKC paddlers completing this race is a significant accomplishment, taking into account that we live in the desert and train in flat conditions, often soaring 30°C-52°C .

Awesome event and fantastic people. Many thanx to series oganisers His & Her Harkerness

Posted by: ADOW | June 14, 2011

ADOW YE Dinner 2011

Thank you to all who participated in the ADOW 2010 – 2011 surfski season!!

–  *  –  *  –

Top Male Paddler – Stephen Jackson

Top Female Paddler – Thea van der Westhuizen

Most Improved Paddler – Chris Hirst

–  *  –  *  –

Adrian Nichol – In recognition of commitment to the Friday Morning Time Trial

Ben Neverson-Molloy – In recognition for being one of the members who paddled the least this season.

Brayton Johnson – For being one of the paddlers who paddled the least this season.

Cassian Drew – In recognition for his technical knowledge and research into surf ski paddling.

David Beau – In recognition of commitment to the Friday Morning Time Trial and outstanding paddling

Garry Lyttle – In recognition of being the club member who has swum the most this season.

Gavin Dickenson – In recognition of the outstanding achievement of completing the Southern Shamaal.

Jonathan Hale – For being the first “newbie” paddler to make it around the 4km marker and home.

Mark Bruyns – In recognition of commitment to the Friday Morning Time Trial

Nazih – In recognition of commitment to the Friday morning club paddle.

Stephen Jackson – In recognition of commitment to the Friday Morning Time Trial

Thea van der Westhuizen – In recognition of commitment to the Friday Morning Time Trial

–  *  –  *  –  *  –  *  –  *  –  *  –  *  –  *  –  *  –  *  –  *  –  *  –  *  –  *  –  *  –  *  –
background track by Thievery Corporation
–  *  –  *  –  *  –  *  –  *  –  *  –  *  –  *  –  *  –  *  –  *  –  *  –  *  –  *  –  *  –  *  –

Posted by: Thea van der Westhuizen | May 19, 2011


Saturday 4 June Abu Dhabi @ the Flagpole, Marina Mall. 7:30am for 8:00am start

Hi there fellow ADOW Paddling friends!  It’s time to Paddle for the Planet and your help is needed.


Saturday 4 June Abu Dhabi @ the Flagpole, Marina Mall. 7:30am for 8:00am start. Surfski Paddlers will paddle from club to front side of Flagpole to meet up with SUP’s at their regular spot.  We will do a few short loops on the corniche.  To celebrate World Environment Day, we all will meet up for cofee and breakfast afterwards @ Starbucks, Marina Mall.  Anybody with a paddle is welcome: Dragon boats, SUP’s, surfskis, OC’s, traditional boats.

Send email to: if you need more info or shower facilities after the paddle.

First things first: What is Paddle for the Planet?

P4P is a Shamaal Group initiative steered by legendary David Mocke who introduced it to the UAE with Wayne Randall at the Dubai Shamaal in 2010.

It is an idea to raise awareness about the terrible things that is happening in the Ocean we use daily.  All paddlers should be aware of what’s going on in our oceans and this is an opportunity to make a difference.  All paddlers are given the opportunity to help.

David Mocke describes Paddle for the Planet’s aim “to support Marine conservation.  As it grows we  endevour to support all kinds of Marine Conservation but for this year and the next we are going to raise funds for a marine reserve in Raja Ampat, Indonesia and keep it protected.  Each year we want to grow this idea branching out further and further as more paddlers get involved keeping more and more waters protected.”

Wayne Randall from the Shamaal Group announced that “Dubai based Colombian Singer/Songwriter Fatiniza has teamed up with Marine Conservation organization PADDLE FOR THE PLANET to raise awareness for the marine environment. P4P is an initiative by the Shamaal group which unites paddlers around the world for a one day global relay event in an effort to give something …back to our oceans.  When asked how she felt that her song titled ‘Today’ had been chosen to be the theme for Paddle for the Planet, Fatiniza said “My objective is complete. I wrote ‘Today’ specifically with awareness for environment in mind, hoping that an organization could use it to reach out to the public and encourage them to take action today. I have planted my seed and I am so happy that I can help make a difference in the world through my music”.
“Paddle for the Planet has generated interest all around the globe and 52 counties will take part in the inaugural event on Sunday June 5th” Wayne Randall added. “In Dubai where the project was born, the launch will take place in Jumeirah on Saturday June 4th with hundreds of paddlers heading out around Jumeirah beach Hotel, Burj Al Arab and Madinat Jumeirah.”
‘Today” by Fatiniza can be heard and downloaded from the website Donations are accepted on the site to download the track and all proceeds will go towards funding the marine reserve in Raja Ampat in Indonesia which is the first location for the project.

Some things for you to be aware of:

  • Each year, three times as much rubbish is dumped into the world’s oceans as the weight of fish caught. (
  • 32% of the world’s fisheries are overexploited, depleted or recovering, which threatens the health, economy, and livelihoods of communities all over the world. The global fishing fleet is estimated to be 250% larger than needed to catch what the ocean can sustainably produce. (
  • Every year tens of millions of sharks die a slow death because of finning. Finning is the inhumane practice of hacking off the shark’s fins and throwing its still living body back into the sea. The sharks either starve to death, are eaten alive by other fish, or drown (if they are not in constant movement their gills cannot extract oxygen from the water). Shark fins are being “harvested” in ever greater numbers to feed the growing demand for shark fin soup, an Asian “delicacy”. (

Dawid Mocke ends his plead to paddlers all over the world by stating “OK, so right now, spread the word, email your friends, paddling connections and get the word out there! Let’s be the change!”

Posted by: Thea van der Westhuizen | December 9, 2010

Adow members Gavin & Chris – Competing in World’s Toughest Races This Week

At ADOW we might not have a “Hot Squad”  or a “Slow Squad”  but we definitely have a CHEERLEADING SQUAD.

Gavin “Tough-As-Nails” Dickenson has already started to compete solo in the toughest four-day surfski event in the world – the 250km Southern Shamaal Port Elizabeth to East London Challenge. Gavin is in fine form after several months of paddling 30km at 5am each  morning around Lulu with only the coast guard around him and a disco light on his head.
(Thanks Rob Mousley for great article and Owen Middelton for pic)

Chris ‘I’m-supposed-to-be-resting-that’s-why-I-paddle-the Shamaal-in the-familydoubles-category!! Hirst will be showing his super powers from 10-15 Dec in Abu Dhabi Adventure Chalence. It is a multi-sports race in teams of 4, racing over 6 consecutive days in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.


Posted by: ADOW | December 7, 2010

Abu Dhabi Ocean Warriors Christmas Dinner

Date: Friday 10 December
Venue: The British Club – Vista Function Room
Dress Code: Smart Casual
Time: 7pm for 7:30pm

If you would like to attend and have not sent your confirmation through to Steve, please drop an email to ASAP.

MENU (Dhs.150)

Pepper crusted Carpaccio of Tuna and Roast Scottish Langoustine with Tree Tomato and Kumquat Chutney

Barbecue Duck Gyoza and Thai infused Tomato Bouillon

Main Course
Glazed Clove spiced Country Ham with Honey Mustard Gravy
Traditional Christmas Turkey with Sage and Onion Stuffing
Served with Paprika Roasted New Potato
Cheesy Cauliflower, Brussel Sprout, Ginger Carrot Mash
Cranberry Sauce, Bread Sauce, Red Wine Sauce

Vegetarian Option
Vine ripened and Semi Dried Tomato Tart with Goat Cheese and morels in a Balsamic glaze

Traditional Christmas Pudding with Armagnac Custard Sauce
Christmas Chocolate Log and Berries

Coffee or Tea
Tea or Coffee with Festive Mince Pies and whipped Cointreau Cream

Posted by: ADOW | November 27, 2010

FTT Results 26-11-2010

Route: Palace green bouy – green bouy – white bouy
Distance: 10km
Start: 7am
Conditions: Northerly swell, 3 to 4 ft, mild NE wind

1. Steve Jackson (56:53)
2. David Beau (58:19)
3. Roland Lacock (58:20)
4. Chris Hirst (1:00:04)
4. Mark Bruyns (1:00:04)
5. Neill Harvey (1:12:00)

Posted by: Thea van der Westhuizen | November 21, 2010

Hong Kong Dragon Run


Anybody wants to join us 24-27 November in Hong Kong? The event proved itself to be excellent and a few UAE paddlers will be going.  I’m in two minds about this race, and will most probably run with the Chickens instead of the Dragon! But never been to HK and don’t want to miss this brilliant opportunity.


Check out for more info

The Dragon Run

The fourth edition of The Dragon Run will take place in Hong Kong on Saturday November 27, 2010.

Conditions at this time of the year in Hong Kong are great for paddling. The North East monsoon – the prevailing wind at that time of the year in this part of the world – should provide for some excellent down-wind paddling conditions. If the prevailing winds blow, the proposed race course should consist of mainly down-wind paddling. If “normal” conditions prevail, we would expect a steady NE wind and waist/chest high swell through the down-wind sections. Water temperatures will be around 23 degrees Celsius, with air temperature between 18 and 27 degrees. Though last year was unseasonably cold – just during that weekend – so bring something warm to paddle in just in case.

Race start: Clearwater bay beach, Clearwater bay, Kowloon, 10am Saturday November 27. Race Finish: Stanley Main beach, Hong Kong Island. Transport for skis and paddlers from the Stanley Sea School (also the race finish) to the race start will be provided. Details will be confirmed in due course and at Race Registration.

The use of leg leashes and PFD’s will be compulsory.

Andy Orr –
Rene Appel –
James Shortis –

A diagram of the proposed race course is set out below:

Map of Race

Posted by: ADOW | November 7, 2010

FTT Results 05-11-2010

Route: red bouy – green bouy – white bouy
Distance: 10km
Start: 7am
Conditions: Northerly swell, 4 to 6 ft with occasional 8 footer, 10 knots NE wind

1. David Beau (58:20)
2. Steve Jackson (60:00)
3. Roland Lacock (60:01)
4. Chris Hirst (60:14)
5. Damien Pennefather (60:18)

Older Posts »