The SUP racing world has a new champion. All eyes were turned to Hawaii on the weekend of September 13th-14th, for the season finals of the 2012 Standup World Series championship races at Turtle Bay Resort. With $15,000 up for grabs, and the prestigious World Title on the line, you could feel the tension in the air.
Naish brought out their top riders from all over the world to compete, but all eyes were on tour leader Kai Lenny. Saturday was the legendary Long Distance race from Turtle Bay to Haleiwa’s Ali’i Beach. With conditions not being their usual self it all came down to the strongest paddler and course tactics. Being in third for half of the race, Kai turned found his extra gear and was able to put over a minute between himself and racing icon Connor Baxter. For Australian Jake Jensen it was the first time paddling on the north shore and he put his skills to good use placing 4th. Jensen was closely followed by local boy Noa Ginella in 5th place. Casper Steinfath, who already impressed at the BOP in CA, was able to put his flat water paddling skills to good use and came in 7th place. So that makes four Naish riders in the the top ten of the long distance race – not a bad start for the first day of the weekend.
Sunday featured the Sprint Races. Paddlers were greeted with a solid pumping swell that produced pretty unpredictable conditions. The crowd could not believe their eyes when Noa Ginella managed to pull into a barrel and make it out on his Javelin 12’6” LE during the warm up session. With the overall title in mind Kai Lenny snatched the first place in a four-way photo finish to make it a double victory this weekend. He was closely followed by Casper Steinfath in 2nd place. Kody Kerbox placed 7th, Jake Jensen 8th and Noa Ginella 9th – once again half of the top ten finishers were Naish riders using their Javelin 12’6″ LE production boards.
The overall results for the event at Turtle bay show Naish riders in 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th.
Kai’s victory both days meant that he took home the inaugural Stand Up World Series Championship title; another World championship trophy to go along with his 2x SUP Surfing World Titles so far.
Congratulations to our entire team – Job well done. We are very proud of you all!