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Hayley crowned SA surfski champ

Great result for local paddler at the Freedom Paddle.

FOLLOWING her double ski win on Saturday at the Freedom Paddle, uMgeni Park resident, Hayley Nixon won the women’s singles national surfski title at the Strand a day later. She was joined by Hank McGregor who was crowned national men’s champ.

After Saturday’s relatively mild conditions Sunday’s sea off the Strand was completely benign which made the race a slog for the paddlers.

Nixon came out on top following an uncompromising race against a strong ladies field. It was a difficult race for those that hadn’t paddled there before and Nixon managed the challenges the best.

Read also: Trish aims to climb to podium finish

Racing two days in a row for national titles was going to be tough and Saturday’s racing made Sunday’s race that much more difficult.

“Saturday’s race was by no means a chilled paddle and it took it out of me so I got to the start and was quite sore and conscious of the fact that it was going to take a lot to have a good race in my single.”

The ladies race was an interesting one with Nixon and Bianca Beavitt getting away early but they were hunted down by Nikki Birkett and the trio had a dice for the line over the last twelve kilometres.

Read also: Durban North resident hopes to create wave of change after historic swim

“In the final run-in it became a bit of a mind-game,” Nixon mentioned. “I tried to be as conservative as possible but Bianca pushed really hard and Nikki went with her. For a large portion of that final twelve kays I was behind the other girls but I went back to my training and thought that if I could be consistent I should be able to catch them and pass them. I think I got passed the other girls with about four kays to go and it was the best I had felt since we turned for home.”

Nixon was ecstatic that she could back up her Saturday performance with a strong win on Sunday against a good field.

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