After an extended search for a paddling partner for the 2021 Fish River Canoe Marathon, defending K2 champion Jasper Mocké has roped in French marathon ace and former Fish runner-up Cyrille Carre for this year’s race starting on Friday.
Carre has recently represented France at the ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships in Romania and finished third in the senior men’s K2 race on Sunday and will be landing in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday to link up with Mocké.
The Frenchman is no stranger to the Fish River Canoe Marathon having finished second with Stuart Maclaren in 2017 behind winners Andy Birkett and Greg Louw. Despite a four year absence from the race Mocké is confident that he will fall back in seamlessly.
“French paddlers are tough and they are often brought up paddling in adverse conditions,” Mocké said.
“They usually start from a surfski or a wild water background and then branch out to sprints and marathons so I am sure that Cyrille has got a lot of experience in river paddling.
“River paddling is nothing new to him and we have a couple days in Cradock to get familiar with the river again before the race so I hope that we can have a clean race and I can do my part.”
The pair finalised their partnership a few weeks ago which meant that Mocké went through and paddled the Pre-Fish as a gauge of his fitness levels. He and Philip Smith finished third overall which indicates he’s in solid form going into this weekend’s highly competitive SA K2 Championships.
“I think this is the most competitive field I’ve ever seen at the Fish,” Mocké stated.
“You look at the crews and you say it’s going to be an incredible achievement to just finish in the top five!
“You’ve got both crews that were at World Marathon Championships and Andy Birkett and Nick Notten.
“I think they have to be favourites. Andy and Nick were at Pre-Fish and looked really strong and the motivation and focus is definitely there!
“We just want to have a good, clean race and see how we go but it’s going to be a really exciting race with so many top crews out there!”