The Long Distance from Turtle Bay to Ali’i Beach Park in Haleiwa was always going to be a defining race: following one of the most famous stretches of coastline in the world, it is a 12.5 mile paddle with plenty of challenges.
For Kai Lenny, the early stages of the race saw him behind the leaders, but the familiar church spire of Waimea Bay proved to be a turning point in the race, as Kai dug deep and found the right line, to take the lead and storm to victory here on the first day of action at the Stand Up World Series Finals at Turtle Bay.Kai finished this 12.5 mile long distance race in a time of 1:35:15
As expected, Connor Baxter (Starboard) got off to a blistering start at Turtle Bay under the trade showers, quickly taking the lead over the star studded pack of athletes as they made their way down the 7 mile miracle.
Coming past Waimea, Connor opted to take the outside line, with Kai hugging the coastline more as they came through the final stages of the race: a decision that allowed Kai to take the lead at this crucial stage of the race. Connor finished in second in a time of 1:36:56, a minute and 41 seconds behind Kai.
With one day down, it all comes down to today, the World Series Sprint Racing to decide the Title here at the Stand Up World Series Finals, with both event and World Title on the line. Connor is still very much within striking distance, but does need a win here on the final day of racing, while Kai is strengthening his position with a win in the long distance and the fact that he is leading the ratings coming into this final event.
Stay tuned today for the live broadcast of the culmination of the event and the year, right here at Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu’s Fabled North Shore: http://finals.standupworldseries.com
Andrew Logreco, a Hawaii lifeguard and exceptional paddler, once again showed that he is a force to be reckoned with amidst the world’s very best paddlers from all over the world. Battling it out with Connor Baxter through much of the race, Andrew had to settle with 3rd in the long distance, right on Connor’s heals.
With the world’s very best in attendance here for this climactic close to the 2012 season, the racing was intense yesterday on the gruelling long distance course, as athletes duelled it out for the event and the World Title rankings. Stand out performances included Jake Jensen (Naish) from Australia in 4th and the North Shore’s very own, Noa Ginella (Naish) in 5th.
In 6th the familiar face of Europe’s leading light, Eric Terrien (Bic SUP) from France, while the other European phenom, Casper Steinfath (Naish) from Denmark showed his worth finishing in 7th.
While in 8th, Punta Sayulita resident Ryan Helm continues his strong form in 2012, with a stand out performance from the young Hawaiian waterman Riggs Napoleon (Rogue), who at just 14 years of age breaks into the top 10 with an impressive 9th place. Following Riggs was another Hawaiian, Kaeo Abbey (Art in Surf), staying right in the mix for a great finish.
Continuing her flawless year on the Stand Up World Series, leading lady Annabel Anderson (Starboard) once again stakes her claim and moves one step closer to a World Title here on Day one of Pacifico’s Stand Up World Series Finals.
However, the win was not without some intense competition, as Honolulu’s Rachel Bruntsch, last year’s winner here in Turtle Bay, once again showcased her local knowledge and skill finishing in a close second.
In 3rd place, the young Halie Harrison stepped up to reach the podium on Day one, looking to continue her great form in 2012.
Stay tuned and watch the action live today from the sprint racing of the Stand Up World Series Finals as the action unolds and the Title is determined at http://finals.standupworldseries.com
Contested on Naish One inflatable race boards, the kids got their chance for glory yesterday at the Stand up World Series Finals, as a Na Kama Kai U15 race took place on the east side of Turtle Bay Resort, in front of Ola’s Restaurant.
A short buoy course provided an exciting platform for the kids to get out there and compete, as the young Alex Mawae stormed to victory at this inaugural Na Kama Kai Race event.
Na Kama Kai (Children of the sea) is a non profit providing unique opportunities for kids with its goal to empower youth through a mentored introduction to the Ocean, the sports and the responsibility that comes with it. You can see more at www.nakamakai.org
The goal of these youth races for the World Series (and for the World Tour in surfing) is to showcase the youth and develop the opportunities for them to get a step up in the sport and perhaps even become the next Kai Lenny or Connor Baxter, battling it out for the World Title here at Turtle Bay.
So make sure that you tune into the final day of action here at Pacifico’s Stand Up World Series Finals at Turtle Bay Resort in association with Naish as the Title Race will come to a close and a World Champion crowned today. This final day of action will also provide a spectacle like no other, with a building swell and ideal conditions for a high performance showdown.
The unique arena that Turtle Bay provides will deliver some of the most spectacular racing of the year as tension mounts and the pressure is on….
Join us today at finals.standupworldseries.com for the live action, but also for highlights from yesterday’s intense long distance race from Turtle Bay to Haleiwa.