Kai Lenny secures the Finals win, Zane Schweitzer the Sprints, and Connor Baxter the 2014 World Title
Kai Lenny (Naish) secures a well deserved win at the World Series Finals presented by Turtle Bay, taking 1st place in the long distance and 2nd place by a matter of inches in the sprint racing, giving him his second win of the season and securing 2nd place overall for the year on the World Series Ranking. While the 2x Racing World Champion was disappointed not to retain his Title (with Connor Baxter (Starboard) securing the deal at Huntington last month), Kai was committed to finishing year on a high, at home in Hawaii.
The widely anticipated World Series Sprints saw spectacular action, every bit as exciting as last year, as the World’s best put it all on the line for the glory here on the Final day of racing at the World Series Finals at Turtle Bay presented by Naish.
With solid surf in the region of 10+ foot faces on the sets, the scene was set for some dramatic battles, as we saw some incredible action all day long, culminating in a star studded, 2 lap final, that saw half the 8 man heat surfing the same wave into the inside buoy and a dramatic battle to the finish line as Kai and Zane Schweitzer (Starboard), surfed a set to the inside and then went stroke for stroke for a phenomenal photo finish.
In the end, it was Zane who got the nod on video replay, with his board crossing the line just inches in front of Kai. The result made little difference to Kai, as a second place was enough for him to secure the overall event win as he lifted another World Series Trophy above his head at the Awards Ceremony on the Lawn in Kuilima Cove.
An incredible finish once again here at Turtle Bay as history is once again made and another season wrapped here on the Stand Up World Series.
Zane Schweitzer (Starboard) came into the World Series Finals injured, for an event that there is no doubt his skill set is so ideally suited to. As a result, he took the decision to brave it and battle it out one last time on his race board for the 2014 season, venturing down the coast on the first day from Turtle Bay to Haleiwa, then out for the sprints yesterday in the epic surf.
Despite a disappointing first day of action, there is no doubt that Zane was on point for the second day, as one of the most agile athletes on the Series. It all came down to the Final heat once again, as Kai Lenny (Naish) and Zane battled it out through the first lap and into the second, both taking off on the same wave for a battle to the line for the two Maui stars, as Zane was just able to maintain positioning crossing the line to secure the well deserved sprints win.
A great way to end what has been a great season for Zane in 2014, winning the European Cup, and then sitting in the Top 5 all year, rising to 3rd at the mid point, but having to settle for 5th overall for the season – an impressive performance from Zane who is one of the exciting breed of highly talented multi discipline athletes from Hawaii that are leading the cutting edge of the sport.
Make sure to watch the highlights from this incredible World Series Final by going to: www.watermanleague.com
Mo Freitas (Focus SUP) from Haleiwa right here on Oahu’s North Shore just keeps getting better, stronger, faster and even more of a fierce competitor and contender on both the Stand Up World Tour and Series.
Mo put on a stellar performance on Day 1 for the distance race, finishing in 3rd place on a course that literally ends in his backyard, and with the surf playing a major role and suiting Mo’s skill set perfectly.
On day 2, the conditions once again ideally matched Mo’s surf style, as he was a major force throughout the day, securing another 3rd place finish behind Zane (Starboard) and Kai (Naish).
The two 3rd place finishes secure 2nd place overall for Mo Freitas, the second consecutive 2nd place finish for this young Champion in the making here on the Stand Up World Series, as he clearly revels in the open ocean conditions that the tail end of the Series has provided.
This also means that Mo shoots up the rankings to finish in 3rd overall behind World Champion Connor Baxter (Starboard) and Kai Lenny (Naish), an incredible achievement from this North Shore talent who clearly has an amazing career ahead of him at just 17 years old.
Make sure to watch the hightlights online now www.watermanleague.com
Jake Jensen (Fanatic) has proved himself over and over again this year, as one of the leading lights of the 2014 Stand Up World Series. Building momentum throughout the year, Jake excels in the tougher open ocean conditions (having won the World Series Finals in 2013) and this year was no different.
Having led the Long Distance Race for over half the course, he had to settle for 4th, and then in the World Series Sprints, Jake put on a solid performance once again, posting another 4th, to finish in 3rd place overall for the event. While it is not the win he was looking for, given the caliber of competition, it is still an impressive result.
Jake finishes the year in 4th place on the World Series, as he will now go home to regroup for the 2015 season as a real TItle Contender and with the knowledge that he does have what it takes.
Watch out for highlights of Jake and all the guys this weekend now online at www.watermanleague.com.
Riggs Napoleon (Naish) was always destined to be a leading figure in some form of Ocean Sports, given the incredible Napoleon family legacy, but he hasn’t seen the results he perhaps could over the past few years, as the young Champion has been coming of age.
In someway, this World Series Finals was his graduation, as at just 17 years old, Riggs put on a performance to remember, battling for the win in the long distance with Kai Lenny (Naish), finishing in a close 2nd, and then excelling in the sprints, just narrowly missing out on his place in the Finals.
These two results combined put him in 5th place overall for the event – an impressive performance given the attendance of the World’s best, and clearly a sign of things to come from the latest edition of ‘Napoleon Waterman’
Watch the highlights from the sprint and long distance action at: watermanleague.com
Connor Baxter (Starboard) came into the World Series Finals at Turtle Bay relaxed and happy, with all the pressure off having already secured the World Title in the penultimate event of the year in Huntington Beach California.
Deciding not to take part in the long distance, he did step up for the sprints, looking one of the fastest off the starts in every heat. He made it in the final, in the end finishing in 6th place.
Connor has been on the brink of a Title these past few years, just falling short against arch rival Kai Lenny (Naish) in 2012 and 13. However, this year, he was not takling any chances, methodically working his way through the year and securing enough event wins to secure the Title in advance of the Finals. In the end, it was an incredibly close affair, with Kai having two wins and Connor 3, but, Connor did do it in style, closing the door in Huntington Beach and finally able to secure the well deserved Title in 2014
A big congratulations go out to Connor as his name goes down in history here at Turtle Bay and the world over. Stay tuned for a World Title Special feature on Connor coming shortly at www.watermanleague.com
In line with our mission of creating a bright future for Ocean Sports and the sport of Stand Up Paddling, our continued partnership with Na Kama Kai saw a wonderful Na Kama Kai Challenge in Kuilima Cove at Turtle Bay yesterday morning, as kids as young as 5 took to the water on Naish ONE’s to battle it out for the prestigious Title of Na Kama Kai Champion.
We had Boy and Girl divisions, with Jeffrey Spencer taking the win in the boys division and Annie Rauckert in the girls. A great performance by all our youth athletes as we are excited to watch these future Champions in the making putting it all on the line here at Turtle Bay.
A big Mahalo to Na Kama Kai, Chance’em, Turtle Bay and all our volunteers for making this such a special morning and stay tuned for highlights from the Na Kama Kai events at www.watermanleague.com
Turtle Bay once again was the real star of the show, providing the ultimate spectator experience both on site and online as the World’s best battled it out like gladiators in dramatic surf at the 2014 World Series Finals presented by Naish.
Day 1 saw a spectacular and fiercely fought out Long distance from Turtle Bay to Haleiwa in giant surf which combined with the strong easterly trades providing the perfect ingredients for a challenging and dramatic race.
Day 2 saw the Point wave at Turtle Bay come to life with full size surf on tap, providing one of the most exciting and competitive battles yet, as the season wrapped in spectacular fashion, right here at Turtle Bay.
A big Mahalo to all our sponsors: Turtle Bay, Naish, Oakley, Mountain Dew KickStart, Pacifico, Deuce, Surf’nSea, Chanc’em and of course our non profit partner, Na Kama Kai.
Check out the highlights, galleries, results and much more at www.watermanleague.com