Nixon and Rice take ocean racing season opener in Lanzarote

South Africa’s Sean Rice and Hayley Nixon have won the opening ICF Ocean Racing event for the 2019 season, the Atlantic Ocean Surf Ski Open off Lanzarote in the Canary Islands.

Nixon, the reigning ICF ocean racing world champion, and Rice, the 2013 world champion, beat a quality field in good conditions. Lanzarote will host the 2021 ICF Ocean Racing World Championships.

29-year-old Rice finished just over one minute ahead of Germany’s Gordan Harbrecht, with Spain’s Esteban Medina a further five minutes back in third place.

In the women’s event, Nixon paddled a strong even race but had to call on all her experience to hold off the challenge of Spain’s Judit Verges, who finished just over two minutes behind the world champion.

France’s Angie Le Roux finished less than a minute behind Verges in third place.

The competition was divided into three stages, with the overall winners decided after adding all the results during the day. The first part and longest stage of the race ran 17 kilometres between Olaya de la Garita and Playa de las Cucharas.

The 10-kilometre second stage was held between Playa de las Cuchars and Playa de las Reducto, while the 13-kilometre final stage was between Playa de las Reducto and Playa Grande.

Rice won two of the three stages in the men's competition, with a gutsy Harbrecht winning the final leg, while Nixon won all three stages of the women's competition.

Full medalists from the weekend’s racing, including in junior and U23 categories, can be found here.

Full results can be found here.

 

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