Canoeing South Africa Media Release

 No: CSA1822 06 July 2018

 Embargo : None

Written by: Nick Tatham

SA female paddlers shine in gsport Awards nominations

Durban – The upcoming gsport Awards has announced their nominees with a plethora of South Africa’s female paddling stars in line for an award with Hayley Nixon leading the charge with the nomination for Athlete of the Year.

Nixon, who defended her ICF Ocean Racing World Championships crown in Hong Kong last year, is up against the best female athletes in the country with 800 metre queen Caster Semenya, Comrades Marathon winner Ann Ashworth and national netball captain Bongi Msomi also amongst the 34 nominees.

Euro Steel/Carbonology’s Nixon had a highly impressive 2017 with the surfski star making the shift to flatwater marathon racing where she teamed up with Michelle Burn to finish in fifth at the ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships in Pietermaritzburg.

Following Nixon into the nominations is Christie Mackenzie. The Under 23 paddler provided one of the moments of the 2017 ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships when she claimed bronze in the Junior Girls K1 race.

Euro Steel’s Mackenzie has been nominated in the Emerging Star of the Year category and her list of accomplishments is starting to grow into an impressive resume.

In 2017, Mackenzie paddled to second in the women’s race at the FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon and then in 2018 she followed that up with a second place with Bridgitte Hartley in the K2 race earlier this year.

There has also been a nomination in the Team of the Year category for the ladies contingent that took part in the ICF Ocean Racing Championships in Hong Kong last year.

In the women’s category at the event South Africa accounted for both the women’s and the junior girls world champions with Nixon and Sabina Lawrie winning the titles.

Michelle Burn finished second in the senior women’s race, Kyeta Purchase came home in second in the Under 23 women’s race and Zara Wood finished third in the Junior Girls race.

Of the nine medals that were on offer for the ladies, South African paddlers won five of them.

Outside of the medals, Bridgitte Hartley finished in fourth while Nikki Birkett (nee Russell) came home in sixth and Jenna Ward ended in eighth.

This coming weekend sees a strong South African contingent in Mauritius for the Investec Mauritius Ocean Classic.

There will be three ladies representing South Africa in the island paradise with Nixon, Hartley and Purchase the three women fighting it out with the best in the world for the title.

There will be a handful of the nation’s best male paddlers in Mauritius too this weekend with Hank McGregor leading the charge.

He is joined by David Mocké, Matt Bouman and Barry Lewin.

The race to look out for in the men’s showdown will be the tussle between Euro Steel/Fenn Kayaks’ McGregor and his Australian counterpart Corey Hill.

Hill nudged McGregor out of the gold medal spot at the World Championships in 2017 and the most decorated paddler in South African padding will be eyeing a win over his competition from Down Under.

More information can be found at


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

Euro Steel/Carbonology's Hayley Nixon leads an impressive list of South African paddlers in the nominations for the G Sports Awards where she is nominated in the Athlete of the Year category. TopFoto/
Gameplan Media

Young Euro Steel athlete Christie Mackenzie has been nominated in the Emerging Star of the Year category at the upcoming G Sports Awards following her stellar 2017 that saw her win a bronze in the Junior Girls K1 race at the Marathon World Championships and a silver at the FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon. 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