2015 Stand Up World Series
Event # 1
28 June 2015
Baxter puts on "stunning performance" at SUP World Series Event # 1 in Spain
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 29 June, 2015 - Barcelona, Spain - If there was any question as to whether the 2014 World Champion could continue his momentum into the new season, it was answered loud and clear this weekend in Barcelona, as Connor Baxter (Starboard) put on a clinic of strategic and high performance racing to take the win in both the long distance and sprint racing divisions in this first stop on the 2015 World Series.
After a dominant performance yesterday in the long distance racing, Connor cruised his way through the opening rounds, doing enough to make it through to the rounds that counted, but not too much to use up much need energy for the final rounds when the event victory is on the line.
But when the pressure turned on, Connor switched it up a notch, with an impressive semi final performance, leading to an even more impressive final where the young Champion stepped up his performance to a whole new level to take a comfortable win amidst a stacked field of the World's best paddlers.
Kai Lenny © Waterman League
As expected, there was a huge amount of hype coming into this first event of the season and anticipation of the showdown between the 2014 World Champion Connor Baxter (Starboard) and arch rival and 2x World Champion (2012/13) Kai Lenny (Naish). To everyone's surprise, the first day of competition proved less fruitful for Lenny, as he ended up in an uncharacteristic 7th place in the Long Distance Race.
However, as Connor himself said, you can never count Kai out, and you had better expect for him to come back stronger than ever as one of the fiercest competitors in the sport. And that he did, making it through to the Final and with a strong start, Kai made his intentions clear, as he powered around the course, unable to overtake the yellow jersey and arch rival Connor, but nonetheless finishing in an extremely credible 2nd place.
This 2nd place combined with his 7th place in the long distance, put him in a tie in terms of points with Arthur, a tie that was broken in favor of the athlete with the best result out of the two, so Kai's 2nd place was enough to secure him a well deserved 2nd overall.
So coming out of stop #1 of the 2015 Stand Up World Series, it is a familiar ranking scenario, with Connor Baxter leading the pack, followed by Kai, close on his heals in 2nd. However, one thing is for sure, the field is more stacked than ever, so watch out for what is destined to be the most competitive year yet on the Stand UYp World Series, as history will once again be made, and Champions crowned at the culmination of the 2015 season.