Ching and Augaitis Win Paddle Royal
Ching won a hard-fought title on the men’s side, barely edging out European strongman Eric Terrien and Australian upstart Jake Jensen. The event totals were based on the results from two heats each of course racing and sprint racing, plus the distance race counted twice. Ching came into the final 200-meter sprint race in third, needing to take the win and have Jensen take third. And that’s just what happened. Though their point totals were equal, Ching had more first place finishes, giving him the title for the second year running.
On the women’s side Canadian Lina Augaitis dominated, winning the brutal distance race (the elite ladies started a minute after the men) and all of her course and sprint race heats but one. Brandi Baksic took a strong second.
The race of the weekend was Saturday’s distance battle. It was a battle of the elements as much as competitors: The wind was howling 30-plus knots which, for part of the course, meant a nice downwinder. For the return it meant a four-kilometer slog that destroyed the paddlers. This was after the buoy turn at the edge of the wild ocean, where the elite leaders of the pack took a giant outside set through their ranks, sifted the crew and left Terrien, Jensen and Ching to finish respectively in the top three.
The event also featured the first BIC Wing One Design World Championships.
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