Rice, who hit international headlines earlier in the year when he won the Mayors Cup surfski race in New York, was part of a fast five boat breakaway group that led the 14km race from the Oceana Powerboat Club on the Waterfront to Barkers Rock off Camps Bay and back to the Waterfront, starting with the tough leg into the wind and swell.
And they're off...
At the turn the front pack had shrugged off Jasper Mocke and veteran Paul Marais, and the trio Rice, van Gyssen and the evergreen Graeme Solomon eager to exploit the big runs on the return leg. However Solomon took an unscheduled swim after Rice collided with his ski after "dropping in" on a big run.
With the lead changing hands regularly, it was Van Gyssen who gambled big and caught two sizeable waves on the inside on the dice into the finish at Oceana, and seemed to be on course for an upset victory.
However he didn't reckon on Rice's power and tenacity, and his lead was white-anted by the charging Rice, who surged clear to win by two seconds.
"The pace at the start was frenetic as Simon (Van Gyssen) took the front bunch of five paddlers around Thermopylae-wreck into the steady south-westerly breeze," said Rice.
"But as we turned at the Clifton's Barkers Rock, I ‘T-boned’ Graeme Solomon’s boat badly surfing down a big wave and knocked him flying into the washing-machine surf, and thought I’d killed him as he lay face-down in the churning surf," Rice said.
What happened?! Graeme Solomon recovers after being T-boned by Sean Rice
"Thank goodness he recovered and once I was happy that he was all right, we worked together and reeled Simon in, 50minutes into the race and had just enough in me to pip him at the post.”
Solomon raced home alone to claim third ahead of Jasper Mocke, whose older brother Dawid was sidelined by a dose of flu, just days before he jets out to contest the Hong Kong Dragon Run and Dubai Shamaal titles.
Teenager Dominic Notten excelled by easily winning the junior category, and making it into the top ten overall.
Bruce Neil and Theo van Dyk round Barker Rock - dominating the doubles category
The women's race saw unexpected Eastern Cape visitor Michele Eray claiming line honors, downing a tired Nikki Mocke after an intriguing tussles in the downwind swells, with Bianca Beavitt third.
Michele Eray won the women's race by over three minutes
The race also saw more than fifteen Stand Up Paddle boarders taking part in the 7km short course race, led from the front by big-wave doyenne Chris Bertish.
The Discovery Sunglass Hut surfski series spotlight shifts to the two-day Peninsula marathon next weekend. More information can be found at www.surfski.co.za
DISCOVERY OCEANA RACE - DISCOVERY SUNGLASS SURFSKI SERIES RACE SIX
- Sean Rice 1:00:13
- Simon van Gyssen 1:00:20
- Graeme Solomon 1:01:50
- Jasper Mockè 1:02:48
- Paul Marais 1:05:45
- Peter Cole 1:06:03
- Steve Farrell 1:06:23
- Justin Maddock 1:06:40
- Ian Trautman 1:07:05
- Dominique Notten 1:07:26
- Michelle Eray 1:08:37
- Nikki Mocke 1:11:53
- Bianca Beavitt 1:16:20
Junior Men Singleski
- Dominique Notten 1:07:26
- Kenny Rice 1:11:13
- Anthony Lake 1:17:51
Junior Women Singleski
- Anna Notten 1:25:52
- Kirstin Flanagan 1:27:33
- Bruce Neill / Theo van Dyk 1:00:12
- Daantjie Malan / Rynhardt Marais 1:06:47
- Mark Torrington / Fred Cresswell 1:07:10
- Billy and Tracey Harker 1:09:05
- Kim Brugmann/Kerry-Lee Anderson 1:13:57
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
- Race 7 & 8 - 27 & 28 Nov - Peninsula Marathon
- Race 9 - 4 Dec - Peter Creese Lighthouse Race
- Race 10 - 18 Dec - FENN Cape Point Challenge