After dominating his heats and taking 1st in the Surf Competition on Friday, Kai Lenny continued his streak over the weekend by powering through the sprint and long distance races with determination and grace, adding pressure on fellow competitors to step up their game.
In Saturday’s Sprint race, Kai dominated his heats all the way through to the final as clean up sets and pounding surf rifled through the course, providing a major show for the crowds and spectators. Kai clearly benefitted from his surfing and ocean skills, popping up and over the breaking surf and then riding it in to cross the line in first place. Casper Steinfath also joined in on the dramatic sprints, finishing in a well-deserved third place, only strengthening his position coming into the Distance races.
Decent surf greeted Sunday’s 10km Distance race where despite a set rolling through right after the horn blew, the world’s favorites found their way to the front and controlled most of the race.
With the wind increasing and bumps coming into play, the lead switched several times in the final kilometer, adding Naish’s Casper Steinfath and Kody Kerbox to the mix after making strategic moves from further back in the field. As paddlers came in for the final buoy turn among the waves, it was still anyone’s race, until some well timed sets rolled in, introducing the leaders to the finish line one by one. Naish rounded out the podium with Kai Lenny coming home second, Kody Kerbox in a well-fought third, and Casper Steinfath in fourth.
Overall, team Naish was well represented on the podium with standouts Kai Lenny bringing home the title with Casper Steinfath rounding out third for the Huntington Beach Pro Title.
Congratulations Kai & Casper and a job well done to Kody Kerbox!
Photos courtesy of Harry Wiewel