Brazil Reclaims World Champion Status in Huntington

caio champ

Caio Vaz, champion of the 2015 Stand Up World Tour. Photo: Greg Panas

Brazil Reclaims World Champion Status in Huntington

It was a noteworthy weekend in Surf City U.S.A. for two of SUP’s most talented surfers—Brazilian powerhouse Caio Vaz and 15-year-old American Izzi Gomez—who claimed world champion titles during the U.S. Open of Stand Up Paddling, the final stop on the 2015 Stand Up World Tour. The surfers found victory in small and challenging conditions during the semi-finals at Huntington Beach, the second stop for the women’s tour and third for the men’s.

Vaz’s victory marks the return of the world championship title to Brazil, which last held it in 2012 when Leco Salazar beat out top American contender Sean Poynter and 4X World Tour champion Kai Lenny. This year, the title race came to a close when Vaz beat Poynter in the semifinals, and the only other title contender, Zane Schweitzer, was knocked out by Tahiti’s rising star, Poenaiki Raioha, in the second heat of the semis.

Vaz went on to surf the final with 2015 World Champion status, which he lost, giving Raioha the prestigious Surf City stop title.

2015 Champs Izzi Gomez and Caio Vaz interview with the Waterman League's Tristan Boxford. Photo: Greg Panas

2015 Champs Izzi Gomez and Caio Vaz interview with the Waterman League’s Tristan Boxford. Photo: Greg Panas

Gomez, who won yesterday in the day’s closing heat during the semis, returned to Surf City this morning to surf the final against Kauai’s Mariko Strickland, which she won to earn herself the title of champion of the U.S. Open of SUP.

Stay tuned for a full event gallery and recap.

Read about Izzi Gomez’s second world championship title.

Missed the beginning? We got you covered on the early rounds.

Caio Vaz, off the top and into the history books. Photo: Aaron Black-Schmidt

Caio Vaz, off the top and into the history books. Photo: Aaron Black-Schmidt