Chicago sees intense action, storms and sunshine in single day
During a day that started out beautifully, Chicago saw intense action on the water, but also a taste of nature’s raw power as a fast moving storm ravaged North Avenue for over 30 minutes, only to return to a picture perfect finish for the 1st day of Pacifico’s Chicago World Paddle Challenge, presented by Starboard.
What seemed like a war zone for the best part of an hour, turned back to a picture perfect setting that saw the exciting conclusion of the first day of action for this inaugural World Series event in Chicago.

Connor Baxter edges out Kai Lenny in the closing seconds
Connor Baxter secures a worthy victory in the sprint racing of the first day of Pacifico’s Chicago World Paddle Challenge, presented by Starboard. In a star studded final that saw Kai Lenny lead for the majority of the race, Connor dug deep to find what it took to overtake Kai in the final feet of the race, as both athletes sprinted across the finish line after a battle of epic proportions.

Kai Lenny demonstrates speed out of the gate and paddling
Despite finishing in a close second, Kai Lenny demonstrated his skill and paddle power today, even on flat water, as he led the star studded international fleet throughout the heat, only to be surpassed at the post by the ever-impressive Connor Baxter. These two athletes from Maui certainly set the pace here in the sprint course and showcased why they are two of the sport’s most prominent and celebrated figures.

Ryan Helm represents Punta Sayulita here in Chicago
With two representatives from Punta Sayulita, Mexico in attendance at Pacifico’s Chicago World Paddle Challenge, Ryan Helm showed impressive form to finish in 3rd place behind Connor and Kai in the stacked final here in Chicago. Ryan will be looking to consolidate on his performance in the long distance for a strong overall result at this World Series stop.

Annabel Anderson dominates the Pacifico women sprints
Annabel Anderson from New Zealand reaches the semifinals of the sprints and once again showcases her speed and talent here in Chicago to take the win in the women’s division. Following Annabel was another great paddler and resident of Abu Dhabi, Jen Scully, who made it to Chicago for this inaugural showdown in the Windy City.

International representation is secured here in Chicago
The Final saw four nations represented in Chicago, from Hawaii and Mexico to France and Australia. Here are the final standings from the sprint racing on day one of Pacifico’s World Paddle Challenge presented by Starboard and in association with Maui Jim:
Connor Baxter
Kai Lenny
Ryan Helm
Jake Jenson
Eric Terrien
Slater Trout

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