In a dramatic close to the Standup World Series’ Namotu World Paddle Challenge presented by Air Pacific, a final tiebreak was held to decide the final overall results for the event’s 1st and 3rd places.
After a fiercely fought race around the island of Namotu, combining distance paddling with in-and-out through the surf components, Connor Baxter just edged out Kai Lenny in a duel that went back and forth through the entire race and created an intense finale.
In the last 30 yards, Connor and Kai’s boards were touching as they battled to get the position for the final run up the beach. Despite Kai’s best efforts, it was Connor’s day, as he powered the last few feet to victory.
An on-form Slater Trout put together a phenomenal performance for the last race of the Namotu World Paddle Challenge, as he bid his time through the first half, only to power into contention for an impressive finish. As a result, Slater secured third place at the inaugural Namotu World Paddle Challenge--stop 1 on the 2012 Stand Up World Series. “It has been an amazing week here in Fiji; definitely extremely demanding and physically grueling, but I have had a wonderful time on Namotu and can’t wait to come back,” Slater said.
This week, Jake Jensen from Australia proved he’s a force within the racing world. Challenging the best of the best and going back and forth with the lead on the final stretch of the race to Namotu with Slater Trout, Jake also finished in an impressive 4th place in the Long Distance race from Natadola Beach to Namotu.
Overall Results for the Namotu World Paddle Challenge:
1. Connor Baxter (HI)
2. Kai Lenny (HI)
3. Slater Trout (US/HI)
4. Jake Jensen (Australia)
5. Noa Ginella (HI)
6. Zane Schweitzer (HI)
The Namotu World Paddle Challenge saw a few days of small surf as well as an excited and stellar crew on hand to make the most of the conditions. After a series of surf sessions at Cloudbreak, Wilkes (seen below) and Despo’s, Kai Lenny is awarded the Fiji Tourism ‘Move of the Week’ award, despite a couple of impressive maneuvers throughout the week by close runner-up Zane Schweitzer.