15-year-old Izzi Gomez gets chaired up the beach after claiming her second consecutive world champion title in Huntington Beach. Photo: Greg Panas
Izzi Gomez Crowned 2X World Champion at U.S. Open Of SUP
In 2014, Gomez achieved World Champion status upon her performance at the Surf City event, and after today’s semi-final, where she topped Huntington’s own Sophia Bartlow and watched as her only title rival, Candice Appleby, was ousted by Kauai’s in-form contender, Mariko Strickland, Gomez claimed her second consecutive world title before the final round of competition.
Gomez’s world title comes in the wake of the recently announced cancellation of the remaining two competitions on the Stand Up World Tour—the La Torche Pro France and the Mirleft Pro, Morocco—which shortened the tour, making the U.S. Open of Stand Up Paddle in Huntington Beach the season finale.
On the men’s side, tension remains high for the standing title contenders—Brazil’s Caio Vaz and Hawaii’s Zane Schweitzer—who face heats with the semi-finals and final to come tomorrow. The action starts at 7 a.m. PST, when Vaz takes on American powerhouse Sean Poynter in Heat 1, leaving Schweitzer to face the mighty Tahitian, Poenaiki Raioha, in Heat 2 before a men’s world champion is crowned. The only other man in the running for the title, Hawaii’s Mo Freitas, fell to Poynter in tough conditions during Round 3 this afternoon.
Expect a fierce battle for U.S. Open of SUP champion between Gomez and Strickland in the woman’s final following the men’s rounds tomorrow morning.
Missed the beginning? We got you covered with our early rounds gallery and recap.