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Kai Lenny claims the Chicago World Paddle Challenge

Kai Lenny © Stand Up World Tour


Chicago World Paddle Challenge

Kai Lenny edges out Connor Baxter to win the 2012 Chicago World Paddle Challenge

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 3 July, 2012 : - - After an epic long distance race that hugged the shoreline in front of the famous Chicago Skyline, Kai Lenny (Naish) came in victorious in just over 43 minutes and just seconds ahead of Sprint winner Connor Baxter (Starboard). However, the event was not won at this point, as the two young Champions were tied. In a dramatic final showdown between these two phenomenal athletes, run to break the tie and determine the overall winner, Kai Lenny dug deep and found what it took to edge ahead of his now arch rival and fellow Mauian, Connor Baxter.

Connor Baxter (Starboard) has proved himself over and over again over the past few years, but here at Pacifico's Chicago World Paddle Challenge, preented by Starboard, embarked on a battle of epic proportions. Having won the sprints and led the long distance for the best part of the race, Connor narrowly missed out on the win in the long distance, bested by Kai Lenny's impressive performance here in Chicago. The tie break demanded every last shred of energy from these two athletes, with Kai being able to find the stamina and drive to take the overall win here in Chicago.
Ryan Helm secures 3rd place overall, after a strong finish in the long distance where he finished in 4th place, which combined with his 3rd place in the sprints puts him in medal position here at Pacifico's Chicago World Paddle Challenge, presented by Starboard. A great performance by this athlete representing Punta Sayulita, Mexico here in Chicago, along with fellow Sayulita Local, Fernando Stalla (Rogue), who finished in 7th place overall.
After a disappointing final for Slater Trout in the Sprint Course, where he fell dropping from 2nd to 6th, Slater found his rhythm in the long distance to finish in a very close 3rd place behind Kai and Connor. However, there would be a tie break between him and Eric Terrien (Bic SUP) from France for 4th place overall, with Slater powering his way across the finish line to finish ahead of Eric.
With man on man formats for both tie breakers (Kai Lenny vs Connor Baxter for 1st and Slater Trout vs Eric Terrien for 4th) these dynamic courses provided some of the most exciting racing of the event, as the phenomenal athletes matched up to provide a spectacular display of racing here in Chicago.



Finalists with the Pacifico Beer Girls © Stand Up World Tour


Annabel Anderson (Starboard) from New Zealand secured another win here in Chicago following on from her incredible performance in France last week.
Finishing well up there in the men's long distance and reaching the semi finals in the sprint course, Annabel has once again shown that she is a force to be recked with and that she means business as she establishes herself at the top of the Stand Up World Series rankings. There is no doubt that there is a great deal more to come from this incredible athlete.
The leading local finishers from the Chicago area were celebrated on the conclusion of the event, as they lead the growing community that is still very much in its infancy here in Chicago. Finishing in 1st, Matt Lennert showed great form in both sprint and long distance races, followed by Basil Tydings and Ian Jacobson from Great Lakes Board Company, our on the ground partner in Chicago.
1. Kai Lenny (Naish) HI
2. Connor Baxter (Starboard) HI
3. Ryan Helm, MEX
4. Slater Trout, HI
5. Eric Terrien (Bic SUP) FR
6. Jake Jenson (Naish) AUS

1. Connor Baxter (Starboard) HI
2. Kai Lenny (Naish) HI
3. Ryan Helm, MEX
4. Eric Terrien (Bic SUP) FR
5. Jake Jenson (Naish) AUS
6. Slater Trout, US

Long Distance:
1. Kai Lenny (Naish) HI
2. Connor Baxter (Starboard) HI
3. Slater Trout, HI
4. Ryan Helm, MEX
5. Eric Terrien (Bic SUP) FR
6. Jake Jenson (Naish) AUS

Women's overall:
1. Annabel Anderson (Starboard) NZ
2. Jen Scully, Abu Dhabi
There is no doubt that Chicago is a world class racing and SUP venue, having hosted this historic showdown that saw some of the best in the world battle it out in front of its unmistakable skyline. However, the surface has only just been scratched - the potential for growth in this region is phenomenal and we are excited to come back for the 2013 edition of Pacifico's Chicago World Paddle Challenge presented by Starboard.

From the craziest weather we have ever witnessed at any event around the world, to some of the most competitive racing yet on the Stand Up World Series, not to mention the clear start of an ongoing rivalry that will only intensify between Connor Baxter and Kai Lenny, this year's edition of Pacifico's Chicago World Paddle Challenge has been history in the making and has laid the foundations for the future.
A big thank you to our sponsors Pacifico, Starboard, Maui Jim, the W Hotel Lakeshore, Great Lakes Board Company and to Red Bull for providing animation from their DJ truck led by Turtle Bay's very own Rocky Cannon. Next up, the Betsafe Paddle Challenge in Varberg, Sweden.

Source: Waterman League

Tags: Waterman League, SUP, World Stand Up Series, Chicago, Pacifico Beer, Kai Lenny

SUP: Surfersvillage


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