Canoeing South Africa Media Release

 No: CSA1729 18 Nov 2017

 Embargo : None

Written by: Nick Tatham

Nixon tops success for SA women at Surfski Worlds

Hong Kong - Hayley Nixon became South Africa's newest world champion when she conquered tough conditions and a very strong field to win the ICF Ocean Racing World Championships on a day that saw Team SA scoop five medals.

Nixon (Euro Steel/Carbonology Sport) led home a team charge that yielded four in the top six senior women, a silver in the Under 23 women and two junior medals, with Sabina Lawrie becoming the new junior world champion.

Nixon, who came to canoeing and surfski racing from a rowing background, finally realised a lifelong dream of becoming a world champion, after having won the Surfski World Series title.

“World champion – I think I’m going to cry," she said on the finish line. "I’ve been waiting to hear that all my life. It just feels like I have ticked this massive box!”

“I couldn’t be more proud. I’ve finished next to a previous world champion (in New Zealand's Teneale Hatton), and Michelle Burn, who was almost a world champion. I couldn’t be prouder, but I’m exhausted.”

Nixon said that the tough flat and windless conditions combined with the very humid weather had made the race particularly taxing, which played into her hands.

“I’m really efficient when it’s long and hard. For me, the harder the better. That’s where I really get to thrive.”

“I think a lot of these girls come from surf lifesaving and big wave backgrounds, so they’re really lethal in the runs. That’s where they’re efficient.

Amanzimtoti downwind star Michele Burn claimed the silver medal for South Africa, with London Olympics bronze medallist Bridget Hartley fourth and Nikki Russell taking sixth place.

In the junior race Sabina Lawrie was all smiles as she climbed to the top step of the podium after winning the U18 Girls title, ahead of Australian schoolgirl Georgia Sinclair, with fellow South African Zara Wood claiming the bronze medal.

"The race was very hectic. There was absolutely no wind so it was a solid grind from start to finish," said Lawrie.

"It was stressful being behind the first girl until the last two kays, but I am very stoked to win," she added.

Team SA scooped a fifth medal when Durbanite Kyeta Purchase finished second in the Under 23 race won by Swede Linnea Stensils.

1. Hayley Nixon (RSA) 1:55:25
2. Michelle Burn (RSA) 1:55:41
3. Teneale Hatton (NZL) 1:56:16

1. Linnea Stensils (SWE) 2:00:51
2. Kyeta Purchase (RSA) 2:04:17
3. Laury Marie-Sainte (FRA) 2:09:04

1. Sabina Lawrie (RSA) 2:05:25
2. Georgia Sinclair (AUS) 2:06:13
3. Zara Wood (RSA) 2:18:29

More information can be found at


Photo Caption Photographer Click to download the hi-res pic
Canoeing South Africa Logo (GIF).  

Hayley Nixon led home a five medal haul for Team SA when she won the senior women's crown a the ICF Ocean Racing World Championships in Hong Kong on Saturday. Anthony Grote/
Gameplan Media


Conditions of usage of photographs: All photographs supplied and hyperlinked herewith may be used free of charge, with full credit to the photographer and agency as provided. The photographs may not be modified or retouched in any way, but may be cropped to suit the layout requirements of the publications. The photographs provided may be used exclusively for editorial purposes, and may be reprinted in any newspaper, magazine, television programme or on any website. These photographs may not be used for any commercial or promotional purpose, including but not limited to posters, advertisements, commercials, promotional email correspondence, point-of-sale material or any retail promotion. Should such usage be desired, please contact us at the details below.
Is this of no value to you?
This media release is intended for use by media professionals covering this specific activity or sport. Should this release not be relevant you, please advise us immediately and we will be glad to remove your name from this particular database. It would be useful to us if you could advise us which subjects you would like to continue receiving releases on.
For any further information, or if you cannot access the images, please contact:
Gameplan Media
(031) 764 3017