Schweitzer’s Heater Continues at Ultimate Waterman Challenge
2 for 2--Maui-boy Zane Schweitzer takes second elite waterman comp this season
We always knew he was special. But after notching his third straight victory at the prestigious multi-discipline Master of the Ocean Challenge last month, and then claiming the overall crown at the second annual Ultimate Waterman Challenge last week, we’ll go ahead and say it: Zane Schweitzer--version 2016--may just be the Maui boy’s magic model.
22-year-old Schweitzer hit every heat full-throttle during last week’s Ultimate Waterman Challenge, delivering mechanical consistency for clutch wins in three of the seven divisions and a third-place finish in the 16 km SUP race, amassing a well-earned overall victory ahead of American runner-up Danny Ching. Not bad, considering Schweitzer wasn’t even expecting to compete in the challenge until he received a last-minute invite.
Put simply: 2016 finds The Schweitzenator (oh yeah, we’re coining it) in tune and on fire, a sentiment clearly seared into the record books after his firestorm performance in the Ultimate Waterman Challenge.
Schweitzer’s spark showed early in the Ultimate Waterman. In the second event of the seven disciplines, he smoked the whole pack for a first-place finish in the 6 km Prone Paddleboard Race at Auckland’s Piha Beach last weekend, Schweitzer continued his competitive heater unconstrained into the SUP surfing division, where he bested 2015 SUP Award Top Male Performer, Caio Vaz and last year’s talented Ultimate Waterman victor, Raglan’s own Daniel Kereopa. SchweHawaiian hell-fire bore relentlessly into the event’s later divisions, burning through the shortboard surfing division with a third-place finish before dousing local title defender Kereopa with Hawaiian high-octane during a dramatic head-to-head duel in the longboard competition at Piha Beach, eventually claiming his third and final event win of the seven discipline event. Rounding out his results, Schweitzer sizzled through the 16 km SUP race for a third-place finish behind the American Danny Ching (2nd) and the first-place race ace, fellow Maui SUP machine, Connor Baxter.
With Schweitzer--version 2016--showing no sign of settling down soon, expect to to see him heating up competition this season in top events in both standup paddle racing and surfing. And don’t be afraid to address him as “The Schweitzenator” when you’re cheering him across the finish.
Highlights from last year’s Ultimate Waterman competition.
Incredible drone footage from last month’s Master of the Ocean event.