SEAN Rice and Hayley Nixon delivered a double victory for the touring South African paddling team by winning the men’s and women’s titles at the prestigious Nelo Summer Challenge surfski race in Portugal on Friday afternoon.
In a race totally dominated by South Africans paddlers, Rice was locked in a duel with compatriots Hank McGregor, brothers Dawid and Jasper Mocké, his own brother Kenny and Nicky Notten for much of the 19km race.
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Because he lost his GPS tracker overboard, Sean Rice’s charge went largely unnoticed by the audience following the race at the finish venue and the huge global following watching the live streaming, until he snuck into the beach finish ahead of McGregor. McGregor (Euro Steel/Fenn) finished a close second with Nick Notten taking the last spot on the podium from Kenny Rice.
The women’s race was dominated by the reigning world champion Hayley Nixon from Durban.
The Euro Steel/Vaikobi star hit the front the start and gradually opened up a massive five hundred metres to win the title with ease. Kiwi Tenealle Hatton was second, South Africa’s Olympic sprinter Bridgitte Hartley was third, just ahead of ex-pat Michele Eray, racing out of the USA nowadays.
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