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Storm Chasers

“The FENN Cape Point Challenge is globally rated as the world’s toughest surfski race”.

01 Calling all Heroes The Shot: Paddlers of all ages and abilities took to the water at dawn to face the ‘Cape of Storms’ along the gruelling 50km FENN Cape Point Challenge route. This was a grab shot with my long lens, and once again made me appreciate the excellent high-ISO quality of the SONY full-frame sensors. The Specifications: 1/800th sec @ f5.6; SONY SLT-A99 + 70-400mm zoom lens; ISO 3200; WB Setting (Shadow); AE Setting (0 EV); no flash; Lightroom Blue Polaroid filter More Information: www.capetownsurfski. com

www.jaquesmarais.co.za / SONY

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he annual FENN Cape Point Challenge Ultra, organised by Cape

Town Surfski and the crew from Mocke Paddling, saw a strong field of surf skiers from around the world face off against the ‘Cape of Storms’ at its elemental best. Story and Photographs ~ Jacques Marais

www.jaquesmarais.co.za / SONY 2

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Battle of The Bay The Shot: The early batches set off in the pre-dawn light against the backdrop of SA Navy destroyers in the Simonstown harbour. Excellent Dynamic Range Optimisation allows ample detail in both high-light and shadows. The Specifications: 1/500th sec @ f5.6; SONY SLT-A99 + 70-400mm lens; ISO 1600; WB Setting (Shadow); No flash used; AE Setting (0 EV); Filter in Adobe Lightroom More Information: www.sony.co.za

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Extreme sea conditions forced a change of route to the False Bay side, with heavy swells

seeing the paddlers hug the shoreline from a 05h30 start at Simonstown. From my position on land, conditions looked harrowing as I chased A Batch battening down the hatches as they battled head winds and cross-swells en route to Cape Point.

At times, swirling mist completely obscured the race, but at Buffels Bay buoy, it was Mocke

and McGregor, neck and neck. The turn-around at the Namakura navy warship anchored off Cape Point saw the paddlers hooking into the swell as they surged back towards Fish Hoek.

www.jaquesmarais.co.za / SONY 4

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athletes. The gauntlet – thrown down earlier last week when Jasper Mocke beat Hank McGregor to the finish line during the CAPE TOWN DOWNWIND – was picked up by McGregor, and a warfare, not only between the compettitanic struggle ensued between the itors and elements, but also between two paddlers as they duked it out over the two of the world’s premier aqua the 50km route.

This wasn’t just another paddle race. It was more like full-scale

03 Shark’s Eye View The Shot: Shooting from in the water at the start of Batch B offers an excellent perspective of the paddlers about to leave the safety of Long Beach. The OUTEX Housing allows me to shoot from in the water, with a modicum of control over camera settings. The Specifications: 1/250th sec @ f5.6; SONY SLT-A99 + 16-35mm Carl Zeiss lens; ISO 400; WB Setting (Auto); No off-camera flash; AE Setting (0 EV); Levels in Adobe Lightroom More Information: www.facebook.com/outexSA

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Start Bunch

The Shot: Hank McGregor and Jasper Mocke fire up there blades in the lead bunch as the first rays of the sun stream in over False Bay. A vantage point along a rocky pier wall allowed me to capture this closecropped image of A Batch setting off. The Specifications: 1/1250th sec @ f5.6; SONY SLT-A99 + 80400mm telephoto zoom; ISO 800; WB Setting (Auto); AE Setting (0 EV); No flash utilised; No post-processing More Information: www.fennkayaks.co.za

www.jaquesmarais.co.za / SONY 6

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cGregor tapped into his endless experience to pull away from the field over the final stretch, and was ecstatic to claim his 4th CAPE POINT CHALLENGE win, with Jasper Mocke just over a minute off the pace. Sean Rice put down the hammer to claim a welldeserved third position overall, just beating 18yr-old Junior Surfski World

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Costa del Jol The Shot: A high-angle view from the cliffs of Rooikrants shows the tiny surf skis navigating the rugged False Bay coast line. The weather towards the point turned dramatically, making for testing paddling (and photographic) conditions. The Specifications: 1/400th sec @ f6.3; SONY SLT-A99 + 70-400mm lens; ISO 250; WB Setting (Sunny); No flash; AE Setting (0 EV); No postprocessing More Information: www.jacquesmarais.co.za

www.jaquesmarais.co.za / SONY 8

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ikki Mocke once again strong-armed herself to the front of the Women’s field, with

her 54th position overall once again underscoring her exceptional current form. A close race onto the beach saw Bianca Beavitt just pip Michele Eray for 2nd position. In the doubles, it was Steve Farrell and Shaun Rubenstein who took the honours, Kenlea Murray and Wayne Wilson (2nd) trumping Dawid Mocke and Lewis Pugh in a hard-fought race.

www.jaquesmarais.co.za / SONY 10

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06 Invincible Nikki The Shot: Shooting from in the surf break positioned me perfectly to capture this shot of leading lady Nikki Mocke powering in towards the beach. Shooting against the sun and with no flash meant I had to reclaim a huge amount of shadow detail in Lightroom, once again testament to the SONY RAW imaging capabilities. The Specifications: 1/650th sec @ f9; SONY SLT-A99 + 16-35mm lens; ISO 250; WB Setting (Auto); No flash; AE Setting (0 EV); Postproduction in Adobe Lightroom More Information: www.vodacom.co.za

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www.jaquesmarais.co.za / SONY 12

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Riders of The Storm The Shot: A partial underwater perspective adds to the drama of this image as a paddler negotiating the surf break at Fish Hoek beach. The advantage of the OUTEX Housing is that – unlike a rigid housing – it allows you to continue to hold and use the camera grip instinctively. The Specifications: 1/1100th sec @ f2.8; SONY SLT-A99 + 16-35mm lens; ISO 250; WB Setting (Auto); AE Setting (0 EV); No flash; Postproduction in Adobe Lightroom More Information: www.adobe.com

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XM // STORM CHASERS  

The annual FENN Cape Point Challenge Ultra, organised by Cape Town Surfski and the crew from Mocke Paddling, saw a strong field of surf skie...

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