Connor Baxter & Fiona Wylde take victory in an epic first day in Japan
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 13 May, 2016 - For an Opening Day of the World Championship season, the Victoria Cup Japan really gave us everything we could have asked for, and then some: flawless blue skies, an unparalleled view of Mount Fuji and fiercely contest racing at its very best, as the newly introduced Super Lap format proved a resounding success and provided an extremely interesting new dynamic to World Championship Racing.
Having flown in late last night, Connor Baxter (Starboard) seemed unfazed, as he faced the task at hand and put on an impressive performance in today’s long distance race to take victory on Day 1 of the Victoria Cup. However, it was one of the most competitive races yet, with new faces making their presences felt, and putting the pressure squarely on the favorites at every turn.
Despite the increased pressure and the unknown of the Super Lap, Connor put on an undeniably strong performance and was able to hit the sand just inches ahead of team mate Michael Booth (Starboard) to take the win.
It is not over yet however, with Day 2 to witness the famous World Series Sprints, as the 80+ strong fleet will be wittled down to one winner overall for this all important 1st stop on the 2016 World Championship Series.
Michael Booth puts on a stunning performance, battling to the end with team mate Connor to finish in a close second on Day 1
Michael Booth (Starboard) has been on a tear so far in 2016, making his presence felt in national races across the length and breadth of Australia. Howver, we were anxious to see how he would fare stepping up to do battle on the global stage here at stop #1 of the 2016 Stand Up World Series in Japan……..the answer: he is a major threat and force to be reckoned with, and pushed the eventual winner Connor Baxter right up to the beach to take an incredibly close 2nd place in today’s long distance having set the pace for much of the race along with Connor and 3rd place finisher Casper Steinfath (Naish).
We are now excited to see how Michael fares in the World Series Sprint format tomorrow as we anticipate one of the most competitive year’s yet on the Stand Up World Series and a battle for the World TItle like no other.
Casper Steinfath starts off the year with another solid performance finishing in 3rd place in the long distance here in Japan
Casper Steinfath (Naish) just seems to get stronger, faster and more competitive as time goes by, and once again puts together a stellar performance here on Day 1 of the VIctoria Cup Japan, Stop #1 of the 2016 Stand Up World Series.
Casper finished 2015 up on a high with a 3rd place overall at the end of the season, and now finds himself in a familiar place on Day 1 of the new season, with an impressive 3rd place finish in today’s long distance race.
Casper, Michael Booth (Starboard) and Connor Baxter (Starboard) formed a tight 3 man pack for much of the race, breaking off for their Super Lap at the same point and building a lead for those on their program. However, the other pack that opted for the Super Lap last, led by 2015 World Champion Kai Lenny (Naish) turned the penultimate buoy to find themselves right on the tail of the leading 3 for an exciting closing leg.
The leading 3 however were able to hold their position and secure the top 3 spots, with Casper showing once again that he can not only keep pace with the best of the best, but challenge and beat them.
Notorious for his skill in the World Series Sprint discipline, it will be exciting to see how this incredible 1st stop of the Stand Up World Series will unfold tomorrow as we get underway with the World Series Sprints from 10am Tokyo time.