France World Series Event – Recap by Connor Baxter

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Connor Wins Oleron Event.
His 3rd Straight win in the World Series giving him a 100% winning record this year!

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ReCap of 2013 Standup World Series Event By Connor Baxter:

Stop 3 for the World Series in Oleron France was an amazing event. This was a two-day event and like always we had both a long distance and sprint races. The first day we kicked it off with the distance and it was about 6.5km. Last-minute a storm came through and they had to change it from 30km to 6.5km. It was still a good battle and we all had to work very hard because the conditions were challenging. It was a beach start and the wind was cranking, making it very difficult for us to run down the beach. But we all lined up, crammed at the start and all of a sudden randomly the announcer said go. I was a little caught off guard, but still managed to get a decent start. As we made it out to the first mark it was straight into the wind. We all paddled as hard as we could and I was in first place with Kai, Casper, Leonardo and bunch of other top athletes right behind me. I knew once I got to the outside mark I had to do a perfect buoy turn so I could get away from the pack. When I got to the outside mark I lost my balance, but stayed on the board and made it around the buoy. I got into the bumps and started catching a few, but Kai and I were side-by-side. On the way down there were a bunch of boats driving back-and-forth looking out for other competitors and filming us. This made a lot of side chop and wake for us to try to navigate as well. All of a sudden Kai got a nice bump, which got him a couple board lengths in front of me. I knew it wasn’t over because I could just catch one good swell and catch right back up. And then all of a sudden the boat noticed Kai pulling away and zoomed forward almost hitting me and making me fall into the water. This gave Kai a huge advantage and distance in-between us. After this there was no chance of catching up no matter how hard I tried, but I knew I had to stay in second – so for the Sprint racing I could tie or even take the overall win. I kept my head down and tried my hardest to catch him up but I couldn’t make the distance up between us. So I ended up taking second place for the distance and now I knew what I had to do for the next day. I prepared my gear and got a good dinner in me and went to bed.

I woke up well rested and ready for battle. I walked down to the beach and checked the conditions out. I knew that I had to beat Kai and hopefully put someone else was in-between us – for the overall win. The first two heats of the sprint where fairly easy, but I still had to paddle and break a sweat. Once I made it to the semifinals that’s when all went down and we had some of the fastest guys already in the same heat. I lined up at the starting line and had a perfect start and I turned the first buoy in 1st place. I maintained my speed and kept a steady pace up so I knew I would for sure make it into the finals. As I turned the last buoy and headed to the finish line, I crossed in first place. There were a few heats before the men’s finals so I got ready and stayed warm on the beach. The finals were stacked. We had Eric, Kai, Casper, Jake, Leonardo, Chase, Beau and myself. So I knew that I had to use everything I had in the tank and never give up. So that’s what I did. When the guy said go I sprinted off the beach into the water and didn’t look back. My fellow Starboard teammate Beau was right next to me when we got to the first buoy. I turned first then Beau and we were off to the next mark. There were little bumps so I used it to my advantage and made a little gap. Coming into the second mark I hit the buoy and fell in but luckily I had a good distance on second place that I had time to get on my board and keep going and stay in first. I had two more buoys to go and I just kept my head down and on full throttle. I pretty much had it in the bag after I turned the third buoy and the last buoy but I didn’t let up just in case. I caught a bunch of little swells on the way in and secured my first place. Casper came in second then my Starboard teammate Beau in third. This put me first overall in the event and I kept my lead in the Standup World Series. It was such a fun event – super stoked on my results and can’t wait for next year.

I want to thank my sponsors for all their support – Starboard, Maui Jim Sunglasses, Rainbow Sandals, Futures Fins, Dakine, GoPro, OnIt Pro, Waterman’s Sunscreen, Igloo Coolers, Sunrite Maui, Hammer Nutrition, iDcard, EFX and Hi-Tech Sports.

Also a big Mahalo to all the event organizers and volunteers.

Aloha,
Connor Baxter

02 Beach Start

03 Start line up

04 Starboard Teammates – Bart, Connor, Zane

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