Connor Baxter wins the tie break in a dramatic close to the Namotu World Paddle Challenge

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Friday 18 November

Connor Baxter battles to the end here at the Namotu World Paddle Challenge presented by Air Pacific

In a dramatic close to the Namotu World Paddle Challenge presented by Air Pacific, a final tie break was held to decide the final overall results for the event for both 1st and 3rd places.

After a fiercely fought race around the island of Namotu, combining distance paddling with in and out through the surf components, Connor Baxter just edged ahead of Kai Lenny in a duel that went back and forth through the whole race and created a tension filled close to the event.

In the last 30 yards, Connor and Kai’s boards were touching as they battled to get the position for the final run up the beach –  despite Kai’s best efforts, it was to be Connor’s day, as he powered the last few feet to victory here in Fiji. Congratulations to this young Champion!

An on form Slater Trout wins final Race around Namotu

An on form Slater Trout puts together a phenomenal performance for the last race of the Namotu World Paddle Challenge presented by Air Pacific, as he bides his time through the first half, only to power into contention for an impressive finish.

As a result, Slater secures 3rd place at the inaugural Namotu World Paddle Challenge, stop 1 on the 2012 Stand Up World Series. Congratulations on a great performance to Slater. In his words:

“It has been an amazing week here in Fiji: definitely extremely demanding and physically grueling, but I have had a wonderful time on Namotu and can’t wait to come back”

Jake Jensen from Australia: a bright star for the future

Jake Jensen from Australia proved this week that he is a force to be reckoned with in the racing world. Challenging the best of the best and going back and forth with the lead on the final stretch of the Race to Namotu with Slater Trout, Jake also finished in an impressive 4th place in the long distance race from Natadola Beach to Namotu.

Congratulations to Jake for his 4th place overall finish at the Namotu World Paddle Challenge presented by Air Pacific.

Final Standings for the Namotu World Paddle Challenge

So the final overall results for the Namotu World Paddle Challenge are as follows:

  1. Connor Baxter (HI)
  2. Kai Lenny (HI)
  3. Slater Trout (US/HI)
  4. Jake Jensen (Australia)
  5. Noa Ginella (HI)
  6. Zane Schweitzer (HI)

Kai Lenny is awarded Fiji Tourism ‘move of the week’

The Namotu World Paddle Challenge saw a few days of small surf and an excited and stellar crew on hand to make the most of the conditions.

After a series of surf sessions at Cloudbreak, Wilkes and Despo’s, Kai Lenny is awarded the Fiji Tourism ‘Move of the Week’ award, despite a couple of impressive manoeuvres by Zane Schweitzer throughout the week, who was a very close runner up. Here we see Kai taking to the air at Wilkes.

The Vonu Cup sees teams swim, prone paddle and SUP

In an exciting final showdown for the assembled athletes teams were

  • Maui 1: Slater Trout & Kai Lenny
  • Maui 2: Connor Baxter & Zane Schweitzer
  • HI: Noa Ginella & Tristan Boxford
  • Australia 1: Jake Jensen & Andrew Edhouse
  • Australia 2: Phil & Tony Philp
  • Fiji: Isei & Ulai
  • Women: Annabel Anderson & Jennifer Trout

In the end, Team Maui 1 stormed to victory, with Slater and Kai ending a great performance here on Namotu in style!

Namotu Staff Race witnesses intense competition and fun

A total of 6 teams made up of the Namotu Staff Relay event, as the island went wild in a short course showdown to remember. Amidst  the intensity of the competition and the Fijians insatiable enthusiasm, Team Namotu 1 ended up winning, featuring:

  • Sereana
  • Tom
  • Iron Phil
  • Weis
  • Nagasau

It was a wonderful way to close the Namotu World Paddle Challenge as the seed has been sown here in Fiji for a strong Fijian participation in the 2012 edition of the Namotu World Paddle Challenge….Bula from Fiji!

Next up: Hawaii Island Finals, 26th Nov – 4th December

So that’s it from the Namotu World Paddle Challenge presented by Air Pacific for this year, as we now head back to Hawaii for the final stop of the 2011 Stand Up World Tour. Watch out for the highlights coming up at www.standupworldseries.com/namotu.html

Stay tuned as we build up to crown the 2011 World Champion as this vital last event will determine World Rankings for the world’s very best Stand Up Paddlesurfers. Keep an eye on www.standupworldtour.com for the latest news, previews and highlights from the Stand Up World Tour.

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