Notten and Segal star in SA Schools champs

Wynberg Boys’ High (Cape Town) youngster Dom Notten narrowly held off a courageous fight by Jordan Zeelie (Grey High, PE) to claim the coveted SA Schools title. The second edition of the Varsity College SA Schools Surfski Champs saw 22 boys and girls from around the country take to the water, eager to test their skills against the best paddlers from within our junior ranks.

Pre-race favourite Notten was made to work exceptionally hard and after a neck and neck sprint over the last lap with and Jordan Zeelie, eventually decided in a short sprint up the beach which separated these two young talents.

“It was really tiring out there tonight. The runs weren’t too much help and I found it a little different to racing back at home,” said Notten, who won a R40 000 bursary to Varsity College for his efforts.

“Jordan (Zeelie) pulled on the first lap and then I took over on the second and when he came at me towards the end I was adamant I wasn’t going to let him past. He pushed really hard though and I really had to work hard to stay ahead,” he added.

“It’s been great to have been given the opportunity to come up here and race against everyone,” said second place Zeelie. “Most of us only get to paddle against the others a once or twice a year so to be able to come here and see how we fair against the best in the country is awesome!”

“Obviously I’m a little disappointed but it was so much fun out there tonight and we’re (Notten and Zeelie) both in Grade 11 so already I’m super keen to come back again next year and give it another go!” he added.

Third overall and also dominating the U16 Catagory was young Kenny Rice from Bergvliet High in Cape Town, with 2nd going to Gene Prato.

Local lass Kerry Segal of Kingsway High demolished the rest of the ladies field as she led from start to finish en route successfully defending her Girls’ title with young Kirsten Flanagan taking second and Kylie Winterburn third.

“I usually paddle in a double but everything went really well and I felt really good tonight. I’m obviously really happy to have been able to have defended my title, especially with it being on home turf,” said Segal.

Kirsten Flanagan from Springfield Convent in Cape Town was not only 2nd to Kerry but also dominated the U16 catagory to win that convincingly.

Despite the arrival late in the afternoon of the strong South Easterly wind, the race course based at Marine SLC was sheltered by the Bluff and offered the paddlers fast flat and almost surf-less racing conditions for the 4km short course and 8km long course races.

SA Schools Champs
U18 Boys
1.Dominic Notten 31.38
2.Jordan Zeelie 31.40
3.Kenny Rice 32.24 ( 1st U16)

U18 Girls
1.Kerry Segal 37.51
2.Kirsten Flanagan 38.51 (1st U16)
3.Kylie Winterburn 41.43