Monday 18 March
Connor Baxter (Starboard) puts every last shred of energy into a tiebreaker to claim the overall victory here at the Aragas Magallanes Paddle Challenge. With Kai Lenny (Naish) taking the win in the long distance, Connor knew that it was all or nothing on the final day of action here in Puerto Natales, and that he had to put it all on the line to take down arch rival and the reigning World Series Champion.
He went onto win the sprint racing component, forcing a tie-breaker that would prove to be one of the most nail biting yet on the Stand Up World Series. In the end, after a rail and paddle clashing duel, it was to be Connor’s day, just edging ahead of Kai to take the victory and a $9,000 check here at Stop 1 of the 2013 Stand Up World Series.
Although both athletes receive equal points for tying at stop one of the Stand Up World Series, Kai Lenny (Naish) has to settle for 2nd place overall for the event itself. With a dramatic win in the long distance and such a close finish in the sprints and tie breaker, the young Champion has to be happy with his result here at Stop one of the Stand Up World Series.
However it is becoming clear that the Kai / Connor rivalry is only intensifying and that the Title will be to the bitter end this year as these two young Champions will will no doubt push each other to their physical and mental limits to take the Title in 2013
Casper Steinfath put on a stellar performance here in the Aragas Magallanes Paddle Challenge, as he made his way through the fiercely contested heats in the sprints, battling with Kai Lenny, Connor Baxter and Zane Schweitzer for the lead throughout the sprints and coming in an impressive 3rd place. This coupled with his 3rd place in the long distance secured his 3rd overall – a great start to the season for this ever impressive Viking as he is continues to demonstrate staggering form this year.
Zane Schweitzer put on another great performance in the sprint racing in Puerto Natales: with a real strength in this discipline given his acceleration and board turning skills, Zane battled for the top spot, finishing 4th in an incredibly stacked and fast final. This has been a great start to the year for the young talent from Maui and he has demonstrated that he is a force to be reckoned with in the 2013 season in both racing and surfing.
With the World Series Sprint racing course consisting of 3 buoys, set in front of the dramatic landscape that never ceases to amaze here in Magallanes, the sprint racing was both action packed and intense. With plenty of buoy turns and short fast legs on the course that kept the racing right on the shore, the stars rose to the top, but there were strong performances across the fleet.
After a strong finish in the long distance race on Day 1, the young Brazilian had great speed in the sprints, powering off the start lines and challenging the World’s very best. Finishing in 5th place overall, he can feel strong coming into stop 2 of the World Series that will take place at home for him, in Brazil. Also looking strong and battling to the end was Arnaud Frennet, the Belgian / Chilean resident, keeping up with the young crowd and finishing strong in the sprints and the long distance.
The Aragas Magallanes Paddle Challenge presented by Stand Up Latino and powered by Big Foot Adventures brought a whole new kind of ‘adventure race’ to the Stand up World Series: set against one of the most dramatic backdrops imaginable, the racing was only part of the adventure, as the athletes traveled through Magallanes and were able to experience a true taste of this unique region in South Chile.
From intimate mountain lodges in the Glaciers, journeying across country and relaxing and celebrating in the expansive luxury of the Remota Hotel, to traditional Patagonian meals served in a transformed arboretum on a quaint farm in the country, traditional music and dance and exploring uncharted territory, the event was an adventure to remember and has once again demonstrated just how far stand up paddling can go and the diversity of its applications and playing fields. The images from the event will tell a thousand stories and the adventure will remain vivid in the minds of all those who made it to Magallanes. Stay tuned for highlights and more photos of this incredible adventure right here at www.standupworldseries.com.
With a confirmation from the region, the authorities and the Title Sponsor for the next 2 years, it seems as though this incredible adventure will open the World Series each year in dramatic fashion. Details on next year’s Patagonian adventure will follow soon on www.standupworldseries.com.
In the meantime, a big thank you goes out to our Title sponsor, Aragas, our presenting partner Stand up Latino, our logistics partner Big Foot Adventures and our supporting sponsors LAN airlines, Remota Hotel, Sernatur, the City of Puerto Natales, Conaf, FechSurf and the Chilean Navy. We are honored to have held our World Championship Series Opener in this maginificent region in South Chile.
Coming up next, the Abu Dhabi All Stars Invitational presented by the Abu Dhabi Sailing and Yacht Club and UAE SUP, in association with Wadi Adventure will provide a dramatic cultural and landscape contrast to the Glacier event, as a selection of the world’s best will journey to the United Arab Emirates for this invitational event to take place in the wave pool and in front of Abu Dhabi’s striking city skyline.
This event will be live broadcast at www.standupworldtour.com, so stay tuned for the Waterman League’s next dramatic global adventure.