SUWS: Baxter, Augaitis Win World Cup in Germany
Maui's Connor Baxter and Canada's Lina Augaitis added new titles to their name with last weekend's Standup World Series wins in Germany, at the Camp David World Cup of SUP. The recent wins secure the two competitors' leads in the World Rankings as the World Series looks toward the European Cup Finals and Stop 4 of the 2014 tour, this coming weekend in Rome.
After leading the Sprints on Saturday, Baxter took an incredibly close second to rival Kai Lenny, who edged ahead in the final moments of the race to take the win in an intense battle to the finish. Baxter wasn't going to let the weekend pass without a win to his name, showing up for Sunday's Long Distance Race ready to leave the competition behind. And, Baxter did just that, taking the win despite hairy conditions with 25km winds howling throughout the day, forcing event directors to adjust the course to include downwind and upwind legs. Australian Jake Jensen took second place for the men, after digging deep in a battle with third place paddler Zane Schweitzer. The previous day's Sprints Champ, Kai Lenny, took fourth, surprisingly missing the podium after losing ground to the top three paddlers during the difficult upwind leg. France's Eric Terrien took a solid fifth, while Denmark's Casper Steinfath took sixth.
With his fourth place finish in the Sprints, Lenny took second place overall at the Camp David World Cup of SUP, and remains in second overall in the World Rankings. Jensen took third overall in the event, while Schweitzer took fourth, ending his winning streak in the European Cup, where he posted a string of three wins from Spain, France and Finland. Jensen's third place result closes the gap between his and Schweitzer's World Rankings, where Schweitzer sits in third and Jensen in a close fourth, only 500 points behind.
On the women's side, Augaitis proved her dominance with another title win after taking both the Sprints and Long Distance race. The title win moves Augaitis into the lead in the World Rankings over Australian Angie Jackson, who now sits in second. France's Olivia Piana also moved up in the World Rankings after this weekend's strong performances in both the Sprints and the Long Distance, where she took second, to give her a solid second place event finish over third place Dutch paddler Carla Schellert, who finished third in the Long Distance and fifth in the Sprints.
With only one event remaining in the European Cup and three events in the Standup World Series, the competition is intensifying. Next up are the European Cup Finals in Rome, July 25 - 27, 2014.