Thursday 25 April
The Ubatuba Pro Grand Slam will kick off this weekend in the Center of Ubatuba town, at Praia do Centro. Featuring a selection of the World’s leading paddlers matching up against Brazil’s very best, this weekend’s World Series Racing promises to be some of the most exciting and fiercely contested yet on the World Series.
The event will also feature an open division for both women and men, as well as an U16 class, all with a shorter course for the long distance racing and different board divisions starting on Saturday morning and continuing through Sunday.
The starting line will feature many of the world’s very best and fastest racers as we embark on Stop 2 of the 2013 Stand Up World Series.
Wearing the yellow Jersey after his win at the Aragas Magallanes Paddle Challenge in Chile last month, Connor Baxter (Starboard) will be looking to consolidate on his Series lead.
Meanwhile, 2012 World Champion Kai Lenny (Naish) will be looking to get one back on Connor coming into this second South American stop of the 2013 Series, after the battle to the end last month in Chile.
From the Viking Casper Steinfath (Naish) from Denmark who seems to be on staggering form this year, finishing in 3rd in Chile behind Connor and Kai, but also winning the beach race in Peru, to the ever impressive Maui crew in the form of Kody Kerbox (Naish) and Zane Schweitzer (Starboard), our Mexican representative Fernando Stalla (Rogue) and Italian Ambassador Leonard Nika (Starboard), the battle is on this weekend in Ubatuba, so be prepared for some of the most exciting racing of the season.
The other factor to take into consideration is the wealth of Brazilian talent that will be stepping up to take on the greats: from Vinicius Martins who put on a great show in Chile, to Bruno Pitanga and Luiz Carlo, so stay tuned to www.standupworldtour.com, the main home base for this Grand Slam event, but also www.standupworldseries.com and our facebook pages.
Once the weekend of racing is over, the will be a couple of lay days on Monday and Tuesday for the riders to recuperate and prepare to get back into action for Stop two of the 2013 Stand Up World Tour and 4th consecutive year here in Brazil: the Ubatuba Pro at the magnificent Itamambuca Beach.
With a stacked field of the World’s best Stand up paddlesurfers, the battle will be fiercer than ever this year at Itamambuca Beach, as all athletes have stepped up their game and are battling it out for not only the event win, but the prestigious 2013 Title.
The Opening evening of the event on Tuesday 30th April will also celebrate Santos born athlete Leco Salazar’s 2012 World Title at home in Brazil with the presentation of the perpetual World Championship Tour Trophy brought all the way from its home, at Turtle Bay on Oahu’s Fabled North Shore.
After Leco’s name is added to Kai Lenny’s (Naish), this hand crafted Ulu Wood (from the Hawaiian bread fruit tree) board built and provided by the legendary Tom ‘Pohaku’ Stone will be returning to Hawaii to be put on display in the all new Watershed in Turtle Bay for all the world to see.
The action is destined to be through the roof at this year’s Ubatuba Pro, with youth phenom Mo Freitas (Body Glove/Focus SUP) returning to try and repeat his groundbreaking win here in 2012. In order to do this, Mo will once again have to fend of Current World Champion Leco Salazar, 2x World Champion Kai Lenny (Naish) and 2012 World Title Contender Sean Poynter (Starboard), not to mention the entire fleet featuring the very best in the world
Indeed, the list of talent at this year’s Ubatuba Pro is staggering: from Abu Dhabi All Star Zane Schweitzer (Starboard), fresh of his impressive win in the UAE, Kody Kerbox (Naish) after his 3rd places in the UAE and Sunset and Robin Johnston (Mistral) who started the year of with a 2nd at Sunset, to Australia’s Justin Holland (Starboard), Beau Nixon (Naish) and Keahi de Aboitiz (JP Australia), the battle will be intense.
Of course the Vaz brothers (Art in Surf), Ian and Caio will be leading characters to watch out for here in Ubatuba, both posting incredible performances in the past 6 months, from the Location X Finals in the BVI, to earlier this month in ABu Dhabi. However, the dark horses will also be extremely dangerous for the visiting international athletes as they look to stand out and make their impression felt on their home turf.
From Renato Wanderley, Carlos Bahia and Alexandre Magrinho, to Luis Saraiva, Wallace Morris and many others, the Brazilians are always strong at home and will doubtless create some surprises here in Ubatuba.
Also to watch out for is Remi Quique, resident here in Brazil, but of French origin, having done well here back in 2010 in Ibiraquera and then storming back onto the scene earlier this month in Abu Dhabi at thbe All Stars event.
So make sure to tune in live to the broadcast from the Ubatuba Pro Grand Slam at www.standupworldtour.com (full live broadcast schedule to be posted later today on facebook and at this site), as history is once again made here in the region of Ubatuba, Brazil for Stop 2 of both the Stand Up World Racing World Series and World Surfing Tour.