Zane Schweitzer Wins Sapinus Pro

In what was arguably the biggest win of his career, Zane Schweitzer took down the field in glassy—albeit tricky—conditions at Tahiti's Sapinus Pro. Schweitzer defeated Caio Vaz in the final as the Stand Up World Tour returned to Tahiti for the first time since 2012.

“To win here is a dream come true,” Schweitzer said. “Tahiti has always been my favorite place to come for an event. But to have everything come together and have a solid roll of wins from start to finish was insane. I’m so grateful and blessed for all the support and good energy from all my friends and family here in Tahiti and the faith and support from my sponsors.”

While the conditions were calm on the final day, reading the sections took serious experience as it was tough to tell whether the glassy face would wall up and allow for a big maneuver, or if the mean barrel section would run down the line and hold open long enough to make. A mistimed turn meant a serious beating (see video).

“Some waves hit at the top of the reef, and some down at the bowl,” says the SUWT’s Tristan Boxford. “So deciding where to be was a difficult decision and meant the difference between getting the score and not. Those that spent time training there before the event certainly had the advantage, and it shows in the results. The barrel riding definitely favored goofy footers–when (the paddlers) got it right and (made the correct choice), there were epic barrels to be had and sections to hit.”

But Schweitzer was tuned in the whole event, able to make the best reads throughout as he failed to lose a heat on his way to the win, which propelled him into second overall in the point standings. And he made it exciting. In the dying minutes of the final he sniffed out one of the best waves of the day, getting a barrel section that ran up the reef before coming out and cutting back on the open face, scoring a 9.33 and securing the win.

Caio Vaz (Brazil), who also had a solid run through the tournament, climbed into first overall with his second place finish while reigning World Champion Kai Lenny was bumped down to third overall, experiencing a shocker in Tahiti, losing in the opening rounds. Hawaii's Mo Freitas and Australia's Justin Holland rounded out the top 5. The World Tour now moves to Brazil August 14 for the Brazilian Open of Stand Up Paddling, Sao Paulo.

In Tahiti, New Zealand's Daniel Kereopa finished an equal third with Sean Poynter while Mo Freitas, Poenaiki Raioha, Bullet Obra and Justin Holland finished an equal fifth. Kereopa has had a fantastic 2015, winning the Ultimate Waterman's Challenge earlier this year.

But in the end, the day was Schweitzer’s, as he secured the second main event win of his career. His last was at the 2011 Hawaii Island Finals.

Please stay tuned as we update this post.

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 2.02.15 PM Photo: Matt Schweitzer