Oscar's achievements are endless and his decision to embark on the CoachChalupsky Paddle School is based on the aspiration of opening up the sport of kayaking to everyone. Oscar's skills, coupled with some of South Africa's finest ocean and river venues, make the CoachChalupsky Paddling School a unique online attraction. Oscar's experience makes him an ideal instructor to all aspiring paddlers, both those who are trying out the sport for the first time, as well as the seasoned race participant.
Date of birth: 1 March 1963
Family: Wife Clare, Luke 17 and Hannah 14
Weight: 110kg or 242Lbs
Hometown and Country: Durban, South Africa
Best food: As much as possible
Best drink: A cold beer after a race
Best band: Beatles and the Beach Boys
When did you first sit in a ski: Age 14
Night before a race I eat: Anything in moderation
During a race I drink: Cytomax
Most memorable victory: 1st and 11th Molokai; Stella Descent, Spain
Victory you most want: Master seniors golf
|Ohana Mana Cup (Sardinia)|
Oscar Chalulpsky wins
Tuesday, 28 September 2010. Written by Oscar Chalupsky
This article originally appeared on www.surfski.info
[Editor: Oscar Chalupsky made the long trip to Italy to take part in the Ohana Mana Cup event in Sardinia. He found some tough competition and even tougher paddling conditions...]
Credits: Barbara Kossy
It was a big decision to come to the race in Italy again, no prize money and not much downwind! It was 2 years since my last visit to Sardinia; last time the race was in the north and there were more OC1's than surfskis. Flew to Milan where Boyan [Zlatarev – Epic’s European agent] picked me up with the Epic van and 30 surfskis in tow. We drove the 3 hours to Genoa to catch the ferry to Porto Torres then down to the race venue in the Tanka Village, Villasimius.
This hotel is like Mauritius in that it has all the facilities including, yes you will never guess surfskis to rent. The package included all meals and all drinks (that is beer, wine and water!). This place is amazing, and a great venue for a race base.
Deceptively calm conditions before the race!
I gave a clinic the next day in the rain (it never rains in Sardinia). I knew that the next day the wind was going to be very hard. I met some of the racers and most of them didn’t know me and hadn’t raced against me so they were all thinking that the fat old fart has no chance against the speed and fitness of the Italian national team. (Not to mention the top sprinter and white water paddler from Slovenia, Jost Zakarajsek). Another Italian had won a world cup Wild Water race and was in the Italian Wild Water team.
An easy night of beers and a new drink from Sardinia called Mirto which is very similar to Jaegermeister set me up for the race. There was no wind yet but windguru was saying 26kt in the morning.
The next day dawned with the wind howling from the NW - the direction the Mistral winds blow most days in the summer. Race briefing was scheduled for 9.15 am Italian time and ended up at 10.00am. Life jacket and leashes were compulsory - a Good Thing - and the race started on the water.
We eventually started at 10.30am which was fine by me as the wind was getting stronger all the time. As usual the sprinters took off quickly as it was 2km to the 1st turning point, Secca Berni, this was dead downwind but protected so you couldn't catch any runs. Banfano turned the Berni 1st and was trailed by 4 Italian sprinters and the Slovenian. I was around next with Boyan Zlatarev on my tail. As we turned I knew we were in for a very tough race.
The 5 leaders went direct to the next point and I tried to get out of the wind by heading in a bowed course. As I looked across I saw that Bafano had dropped the 4 others and Boyan had dropped off me. I had no clue where I was going till the safety boat came across to me. Once I knew where I had to go I was happy with my line. I still had to make a course deviation as I misunderstood where I had to go, they said keep the rock on my right… but I never worked out which one.
Into the Wind
As we turned out of the shelter of the bay we were met by the teeth of the wind and reflected chop from the waves rebounding off the cliffs. I was level with the Slovenian and just behind Daniel Sanchez Viloria of Spain and the last of the Spanish sprinters with Bafano about 200m ahead. These were super tough conditions - the worst I have paddled in for a while. I caught the 2 guys up and sat with them for a while realizing that I had to go after Bafano if I had any chance of winning.
I wasn't catching him at all but I didn't want to kill myself as I need some energy for the supposed downwind.
We turned around the island and then we were heading back downwind… As I turned the Island there was no downwind only a very rough sideways mess that I had just come through, but after about 2km the wind changed direction and the runs started coming. I didn't make up any time in the mess on Bafano but as the runs started, I started catching him very fast but no quite fast enough.
Incidentally, he was using a paddle length of around 205 which made him fast into the wind. As we turned the last island toward the Secca Berni, I shortened my paddled to 212.5 from 215. I drew up close to Bafano but thought I would have no chance against him on the flat and sideways wind to the finish. I tried to do a bow course to Secca Berni but the safety boat kept making us go straight. I managed to get a few side on runs that gave me a slight gap on Bafano as I turned into the gale I knew it was 2km of hell.
Mariano Bifano sprints up to the finish
I knew that he was fast and I didn't want to look back to show any weakness but had to in order to make sure I still had my lead intact. It was one of the hardest courses I have done and it ended up being only 3km of downwind of a course of 20km. Next time it will be 20km of downwind which will be easily possible.
One ski, no paddler!
There were a few anxious moments for organiser Guido Cali as one of the paddlers ski was found with no paddler… The paddler had abandoned his ski because the rudder had broken then climbed on one of the many islands! They had 5 safety boats for the 55 strong field but about 15 paddler pulled out due to the very tough conditions.
The top 10 line up
First OC to finish: Tina Leone (US) and Lance Roozendaal (NZ)
More photos of the race can be found here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=220592&id=353978683609&page=3
Ohana Mana Cup by Kauna Team Cagliari (Sardinia)
25 settembre 2010 - 20 km race - wind 26/30 west - temperature 25° - 1,50/1,80 max waves