South Africans have once again shown their dominance of ocean racing, with Sean Rice and Hayley Nixon winning the men’s and women’s World Cup events in Portugal on Saturday.

Rice finished in 1:21:52:88, more than two minutes ahead of his closest rival, Spain’s Walter Bouzan, with Australia’s Mackenzie Hynard in third place.

Rice led from start to finish, making this his third win at the Nelo Summer Challenge.

The battle for second place was very tight, with Hynard, Germany’s Gordan Harbrecht and South Africa’s Jasper Mocke side-by-side for most of the race. In the final five kilometres, while Mocke started to drop behind, Spain’s Bouzan came from behind and took second place, just ahead of Hynard.

Similarly in the women’s, Nixon was too strong for her rivals, winning in 1:34:54:53. New Zealand’s Teneale Hatton was two minutes 28 seconds behind Nixon in second place, with France’s Angie Le Roux finishing third.

Nixon took an early lead from the start, while behind her fellow South African Jenna Ward, Le Roux and Hatton battled for second place.

The pursuers pushed hard to catch Nixon, but in the end it was a battle for second, with Hatton overtaking Le Roux on the final sprint.

The Juniors were won by Spain’s Jorge Enriquez, followed by Portugal’s Bernardo Santos and Dupuits Maxime of France.

In the women’s, Lucia Serralta finished first with Maria Vaello and Sandra Casamayor making it a Spanish trifecta.

In the U23, Lisa Gras from France won from Catarina Santos of Portugal, while in the men Australia’s Mackenzie Hynard got one more podium by winning his category, followed by Fábio Cameira of Portugal and Spain’s Ignacio Soler.

The 20 kilometre downwind race between Viana do Castelo and Esposende in the north of Portugal attracted more than 250 paddlers from 20 countries.

Canoe Ocean Racing