Lenny and Augaitis Win Overall Abu Dhabi Titles
Reigning World Series champion Kai Lenny put on a winning performance during the sprint races in Abu Dhabi to take the overall men’s title after his close second-place finish to Connor Baxter during yesterday’s long distance race. On the women’s side, Lina Augaitis, after dominating the distance race, took a second place in the sprints to Angie Jackson to secure her the overall World Series win.
After a hard-earned narrow victory over Lenny yesterday, Baxter finished third in the final sprint heat to finish second at Yas Marina, the site of the races.
With this event a familiar story line is reemerging: Lenny and Baxter head-to-head event after event. We can’t think of anything more exciting for standup racing. Both of these guys want to be the best in the world and will do everything they can to achieve it. They’re one-for-one on the season after Baxter’s clean sweep in Brazil. Don’t expect either one to back down--even if they grew up on the same island.
Their fellow Maui resident Zane Schweitzer continues to improve his race game, with a third place finish in the long distance race and second in the sprints for to take third overall. Schweitzer, known for his explosive and progressive surfing, continues to impress us as he makes more podiums. Expect a big win from him this year.
With this win, Augaitis is again making herself known on the women’s race scene. This is her first year competing full-time and boy does she look dangerous. With a past as an adventure racer, mountain biker and skier Augaitis is strong and fit and crushes in flat-water distance races. Her weaknesses lie in technical skills such as buoy turns and bump riding. Don’t think those hold her back for long as she travels the world and practices in more races and more conditions.
Slovenian Manca Notar, 17, is also a new-comer to the international race scene. The Slovenian took second to Augaitis in the distance race and a third in the sprints to come in second overall. Notar is young but is already racing like a seasoned pro. She’ll get stronger and more seasoned as she races more.
Australian powerhouse Angie Jackson missed out on the top three after having to pull out of the distance race in the heat of desert. Jackson dominated the first event of the year in Brazil, taking both the distance and sprint wins. She’ll be hungry at the next event.
Olivia Piana finished third overall.
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