Catching up with Kenny Rice

We caught up with Kenny after his fantastic win of the 25th FENN Cape Point Challenge. It was an incredible race with the weather gods delivering the ideal conditions for the event. The morning dawned with a light to moderate 10knt South Easterly wind that was set to drop off during the early part of the morning and then pick up as we approached lunch time.

It was setting up to be a gigantic battle between the new and old guard of this race with three long-time campaigners lining up on the start line. On the starting line was Hank McGregor who had won this race seven times and remained undefeated since 2011. Next to him was Jasper Mocké who had come second in 2015 and 2016. The big question here was: is he finally going to take the win that had eluded him for the last two years. Just to their right was Kenny Rice who had steadily been working his way up the ladder from 11th in 2012 to 3rd in 2016 – could this be his year.

The speculation was rife! With KZN having taken home the spoils for the last six years could the Western Cape finally keep the cup at home? On the Atlantic side it was too close to call as the leaders came past us.

We were delighted to hear that in the men’s race it was 1st Kenny Rice, 2nd Hank McGregor, 3rd Nicholas Notten, 4th Jasper Mocké. So we went off to chat to Kenny and find out a little about his awesome year.

TPM When did you decide to start racing competitively?
KR Well I guess that I started paddling when I was nine in the vlei and lasted about two years doing sprints but found it a bit boring. I then moved onto other sports like rugby and hockey. It was only when I was 14 that my older brother, Sean Rice, suggested that I should come down to Fish Hoek Surf Lifesaving Club and try paddle during the winter. I remember watching the older boys from the pool table room because I was too scared to go in to the T.V. room where they all were.
Slowly I started Sunday training which then included Saturday and then Friday afternoon training. Suddenly I was coming home from school, grabbing my kit, jumping on the 16:15 train to Fish Hoek in order to do a session and spend as much time as possible at the beach every day. I then started training with Nikki Mocké and attending her Monday, Wednesday and Thursday training groups. From there I joined the Orka training squad under Pete Cole and started paddling on Zandvlei. In 2007 Sean (Rice) did his first Cape Point Challenge (CPC) and that really inspired me to want to do it once I was old enough. I did my first Cape Point Challenge in 2010 with Justin Maddock – He really dragged me around the point ha ha.

TPM What about your training programme do you have a specific race lead up or do you follow a more general programme?
KR The beginning of the year was intentionally quite slow with being unsure of what I wanted to do and really just wanting to focus on having fun after a bit of a demoralising 2016 in terms of the results that I had expected of myself. Just before CPC 2016 Jasper also came back for his 2016 tour in a similar mind frame and we started knocking out a few Millers Run together and these really ignited my spark again. With his motivation and positive outlook it really changed my frame of mind and allowed me to get into a good, positive and productive space leading into July…..

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