2015 ISA Worlds || Day 3 || Men’s Long Distance SUP Race
Yesterday morning, humidity and tension hung duly thick in the equatorial air of Sayulita, Mexico, as 44 of the world’s best male SUP racers gathered on the sandy shores for the prestigious 20 kilometer Men’s Distance Race at the 2015 ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championships. By mid-afternoon, the humidity and tension was replaced by the cheers of proud locals as hometown hero Javier “Bicho” Jimenez took runner-up behind American favorite, Danny Ching.
Sun shades, scaffolding, sponsorship booths and speaker towers adorned the beach with the colorful presence of an international SUP event, flags of 27 different nations flew among the crowd.
This year’s attendees delivered the most competitive and exhilarating race in the event’s four-year history.
From the get-go, 15 odd racers broke ahead of the mass and led the chase in a tightly-knit pack for the first three laps. By the fourth lap, an elite group of racers including Connor Baxter (HI), Casper Steinfath (DEN), Titouan Puyo (FRA), George Cronsteadt (TAH), Zane Schweitzer (HI), Danny Ching (US) and Sayulita’s Bicho Jimenez (MEX) pulled ahead in a draft train that gradually placed insurmountable distance between the top-finishers and their pursuers.
The pack held tight until together they rounded the buoy into the final lap. That’s when Ching—the American favorite—lost his balance and fell in the drink, nearly wiping out Hawaiian champion Connor Baxter, and local boy Bicho Jimenez capitalized on the fumble to gain a substantial lead. The crowd of Sayulita locals erupted furiously as Bicho skipped across the course on the home stretch, but the infamous power of seven-time BOP champion Danny Ching was too much for Bicho to hold off. As the duo neared the beach, Ching caught a small wave and surfed it out in front of Bicho before dismounting his board and sprinting up the sand to victory.
Since both the men’s and women’s races ended in the American’s favor, today’s SUP surfing competition remains the final opportunity for other nations to display dominance. —MF
Watch the SUP Surfing competition LIVE today, Friday May 13!
|16||Tamas Buday Jr||CAN||1:45:46||413||5.16|
|33||Bart de Zwart||HOL||1:54:15||320||1.46|
|35||Martijn van Deth||HOL||1:56:45||310||1.29|