There’s two new paddlers who can officially add “World Champion” to their SUP resumé.
Arthur Arutkin and Shae Foudy had a weekend to remember at the Paris SUP Open, where each turned in strong performances to claim their first APP World Titles.
While the atmosphere in the streets of Paris was fraught with political protests, paddlers had to block out the distractions to compete with a championship on line. Arutkin came into his home race in good shape thanks to a big win at the New York SUP Open and a second place overall result at the London SUP Open. As for Foudy, she came to Paris locked into a razor-close battle with her Infinity teammate and training partner, Candice Appleby. While Foudy had won both the sprint and distance races in London, Appleby responded in New York with a distance race win.
With the stage set for a world-class battle, the indoor SUP sprints provided paddlers with a chance to compete in elimination-style, head-to-head races. Arutkin came into each heat with focused determination, dispatching each challenger with relative ease. The Frenchman would advance to a final round match against Denmark’s Casper Steinfath, but this one would be tougher.
Once the horn sounded, neither paddler surrendered an inch throughout the entire battle and the race finished in an absolute photo finish. After the finish was reviewed, Arutkin would claim both the race victory and the World Title by the slimmest of margins: 0.06 seconds.
The Women’s title would take longer to decide. With Foudy and Appleby facing off in the semi-final round of the sprint races, all eyes were on the marquee battle. As expected, the race was tight but Foudy was able to edge out a hard-fought victory. However, she would fall to Hawaii’s Annie Reickert in the final round, ensuring the championship would be decided during the eight-mile distance race on the River Seine. It would not be an easy affair.
In addition to battling each other, the competitors would face 15-knot headwinds and chilly temperatures dipping into the 40s. Not surprisingly, the championship rivals were locked together throughout the entire race. And while Japan’s Yuka Sato managed to run away with the lead, Appleby and Foudy settled into a heated battled for third place, and more importantly, the championship. But once they crossed the finish line, the protégé had managed to eclipse her mentor.
It was Foudy’s first World Title.
While the APP World Tour has now officially concluded for 2018, the final stop on the APP’s Surfing World Tour will be held later this week in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Stay tuned for full coverage of the exciting SUP surfing action.