France’s Caroline Angibaud claims victory at the Turtle Bay Pro, with Nainoa David and Keola Auwae claiming the youth crowns
Caroline Angibaud has long been a serious threat on the Stand Up World Tour, with her best result to date until this 1st event on the 2015 season being the La Torche Pro France at the end of last year, where she finished runner up to Izzi Gomez (Starboard).
However, today at Turtle Bay, Caroline came into her own, putting on a string of impressive performances throughout the day, culminating in what looked to be a disastrous heat for the talented French surfer, failing to get a notable wave for the first 17 minutes of the heat.
It was at this point, with just 8 minutes to go in the 25 minute final, that Caroline dug deep and posted a 6.77, only to find a worthy back up score in the closing seconds of the final heat to take the well deserved win here at the Turtle Bay Pro, stop 1 of the 2015 Stand Up Wortld Tour.
“I was tired of missing waves and bummed that I hadn’t caught any waves with just eight minutes left on the clock. So I just went for it and I can’t believe I came out with the win”.
Shakira Westdorp (Starboard) is certainly not unknown in the stand up paddle world, having proven herself over the years as an impressive Racer and Surfer. However, the Turtle Bay Pro was her first event on the Stand Up World Tour, and she stepped up to the challenge immaculately, dominating her way through the heats to make it all the way to the Final.
WIth just a minute to go of the Final heat, it seemed as though it was going to be her victory, having led the heat from the outset. However, Caroline’s buzzer beater was enough to surpass Shakira, leaving her to have to settle for 2nd place – an incredible achievement nontheless and a clear sign of things to come from this talented athlete from down under.
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Izzi Gomez (Starboard) has been on one of the most amazing rolls over the past year, as she secured 4 out of 5 wins in 2014 to secure the World Title. However, Turtle Bay has proved to be somewhat of a challenge for Izzi these past two years, as she failed to show the kind of dominance she has elsewhere.
More determined than ever, the newly crowned World Champion took to the water today with focus and drive: the goal, to secure the one win that eluded her in 2013 & 14: the Turtle Bay Pro.
Despite an impressive performance from start to finish that took her all the way to the Finals and saw her post the highest single wave score for the women from today, Izzi was unable to find the scores she needed in the Finals to take the win, having to settle for 3rd place.
Although it wasn’t the victory she was hoping for, there is no doubt that Izzi remains a major threat and the person to beat here on the 2015 Stand Up World Tour.
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This year’s Na Kama Kai Youth Challenge was one of the most exciting yet, as we saw an unprecented pool of young and fearless talent step up to do battle at Turtle Bay.
We had two age groups participate today, with U16 and U13 divisions. In the U16, the Tahitians took over with a mind blowing display of performance surfing, clearly showcasing that there is an exciting new wave of Tahitian talent coming to the fore, led by the Island Nation’s leading light on the Stand Up World Tour, Poenaiki Raioha.
Nainoa David (Naish) posted the single highest wave score of the day, with a 9 pt ride in what were without doubt the most challenging conditions of the day, showcasing his versality and ability to find the right waves and maximize every moment and securing the event win. Meanwhile, right behind him was Mauiki Raioha, who showed that the Raioha family talent is not limited to his brother Poenaiki!
In 3rd place, Jeffrey Spencer (Naish) put on a solid performance, representing the island of Maui in today’s battle and a big congratulations go out to all the incredible youth participants, who really are the future of this wonderful sport.
Watch the highlights from today’s action by going to www.watermanleague.com
Perhaps the most astounding development from this year’s Na Kama Kai Challenge was not only the number of U16 athletes that stepped up to do battle, but the fact that there were more athletes that were 13 and under than anything else, with some as young as 8 years old!
With 2 heats followed by a Final for the U13 division, it was Keola Auwae from the west side that kept the Auwae family legacy alive with some of the most inspired surfing ever witnessed for someone so young. There is no doubt that this young talent will be a major star of the future and we are excited to watch his career develop.
In 2nd place, a Na Kama Kai regular, Dave Allen de Armas once again showcased skill and flair, making his presence felt and putting on a solid performance at this first Na Kama Kai battle of the year. Meanwhile in 3rd place, it was another Spencer making the podium, this time the younger, Finn, at just 11 years old showed experience way beyond his years, posting his first podium here on Oahu’s Fabled North Shore.
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Plenty more action still to come this week, as with giant surf on its way, it is time for the Sunset Beach Pro to kick off, with the holding period running from Tuesday 10th to Wednesday 18th.
Make sure to join us for the build up and watch it all go down LIVE at www.watermanleague.com
For any press and media enquiries regarding the 2015 Sunset Beach Pro and Turtle Bay Women’s Pro, please see the below contacts:
- PR: Stuart Howells: Tel: (949) 531-9075 / Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tristan Boxford: 808 269 4515 / email@example.com
- LIVE Broadcast: www.watermanleague.com