Durban - The South African team dominated Wednesday’s ICF Ocean Racing World Championships as they walked away with seven medals, three of which were gold across the six age categories.
In benign conditions off the west coast of France paddlers set off on the 22km route and the racing was furious throughout in the flat seas.
The senior men’s race followed the senior ladies off the start line, and it was 2015 world champion Sean Rice, who has been based in the United Kingdom but was happy to don the green and gold racing kit of his home country, who showed his out-and-out skill to win the world title.
In a first for a surf ski world championship, it was a sibling one-two as Kenny Rice claimed the silver medal while Australian Cory Hill finished third.
Talking about his race afterwards Rice did have to change tactics slightly.
"It went according to plan somewhat," he said. "At about ten kays everyone came together and I knew it was going to be a big one so I closed my mind off and put in the hardest five kays I have ever done and I am so overwhelmed.
"To have Kenny (Rice) on the podium too is just amazing!
"I won in 2013 and I have had a lot of ups and downs and so much has changed in my life; today is pretty emotional."
The senior women’s showdown was also an exciting tussle as New Zealander Daniella Mackenzie came away with the world title ahead South Africa’s 2017 world champion Hayley Nixon while the Kiwi's wrapped up two spots on the podium with Teneale Hatton finishing third.
South Africa picked up four medals across the the under 23 and junior age categories, as Uli Hart won the junior title and Under 23 men’s title went to Josh Fenn.
Kyeta Purchase claimed a silver medal in the under 23 women’s race and Josh’s brother Matt Fenn claimed bronze in the junior men’s race.
The Masters are the focus of Thursday’s racing.
SUMMARY OF RESULTS - ICF OCEAN RACING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 2019
1.Sean Rice (RSA) 01:34:15
2.Kenny Rice (RSA) 01:34:53
3.Cory Hill (AUS) 01:35:07
4.Hank McGregor (RSA) 01:35:36
5.Nick Notten (RSA) 01:35:54
1.Danielle Mackenzie (NZL) 01:43:48
2.Hayley Nixon (RSA) 01:45:08
3.Teneale Hatton (NZL) 01:45:30
4.Angie le Roux (FRA) 01:46:08
5.Bianca Beavitt (RSA) 01:48:43
Under 23 Men
1.Josh Fenn (RSA) 01:39:05
2.Hector Henot (FRA) 01:40:21
3.Noah Havard (AUS) 01:42:05
Under 23 Women
1.Jemma Smith (AUS) 01:46:59
2.Brianna Massie (AUS) 01:50:21
3.Kyeta Purchase (RSA) 01:52:22
1.Uli Hart (RSA) 01:40:36
2.Jorge Gutierrez Enrique (ESP) 01:55:54
3.Matt Fenn (RSA) 01:45:11
1.Katriana Swetish (USA) 01:57:13
2.Jazmin Shipway-Carr 02:02:22
3.Claire Dewaste (FRA) 02:02:48