Nic Notten winning gold in surfski at the World Championships in Australia. Photo: Supplied
The General Tire Lifesaving South Africa National Championships take place in Port Elizabeth in the last week of March. Mark Keohane, in a build-up series of articles, focuses on the athletes expected to dominate.

Nicholas Notten is the world’s best in surfski. He dominated at last year’s World Championships in Adelaide, Australia, winning gold.

But when I think of the Nottens I think of the Nottens. There’s more than just Nic when it comes to lifesaving in South Africa. There’s also Dominic.

The Nottens remind me of Australia’s cricketing legends Steve and Mark Waugh. When one of them was ranked the best cricketing all-rounder in the world, the South African-born cricket commentator and former England Test cricketer Tony Greig famously said one of the brothers was the best all-rounder in the world. To which, Bill Lawry, co-commentator and former Australian captain, responded: ‘I don’t know about that Tony I don’t think he is the best allrounder in his family.’

Cue the Nottens.

There would be an ongoing debate at to who is the best. Nic will tell you it’s Dominic and his older brother’s response would be it’s Nic.

Regardless, South African lifesaving is blessed because of this brotherly rivalry and the respect each brother has for the other and the sport.

Nic says that as the younger brother he was always awed by the brilliance of his older brother. Dominic would say he always celebrated his brother’s talent and knew that when they matured sibling rivalry would be secondary to talent in the water.

Nic Notten’s World Championship gold came in his favoured surfski event, although he will compete in the board, surf swim and the ironman at the nationals in Port Elizabeth.

Dominic Notten has dominated in South Africa and abroad. He won the U19 surfski at the Australian nationals in 2013. Lifesaving has always been in his DNA. He started as a nipper and inspired brother Nic to being the world’s best.

Both brothers talk fondly of their mother and her appetite for life through her healthy lifestyle and passion. “If I trained as much and ate like her I would probably be much better,” says Dominic.

Fish Hoek lifesaving has always benefited from the two brothers. Crucially, so has South African and world lifesaving.

The General Tire LSA National Championships take place between March 24 and 30.

In 2018, 1669 competitors from 41 national clubs competed in 528 events over an eight-day period.

This year’s schedule: March 24: Masters Surf and Opening Ceremony. March 25-27: Nippers Surf; Masters, Juniors and Seniors Pool. March 28-30: Seniors and Juniors Surf; Nippers Pool.

Surf Boats are back again with eight crew competing. Surf Boating is making a comeback in SA.

General Tire is into its third year of sponsorship of Lifesaving South Africa.


Weekend Argus

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