Beach Race: All Photos / APP World Tour
After traveling for an entire day and arriving late at night I actually felt surprisingly good the next morning. The forecast looked promising, so I was super excited to get down to the beach and see perfect glassy waves rolling in at Long Beach.
The course was about 800 meters with a beach start. 2 buoy turns in and out through the waves and a beach run on the beach, and the conditions were perfect for it!
My first heat went great, I was up against good friend and multiple World Champ Casper Steinfath and a strong racer from Puerto Rico, It was a super close race with Casper, and I only finished a couple of seconds behind him.
Only 1 person advance, so I had to go through repechage to advance which went well and I moved on without spending a lot of energy.
Going into the quarter finals I felt nervous, I was up against 3 really strong paddlers - Enzo Bennett (Tahiti), Itzel Delgado (Peru) and Zane Schweitzer (Hawaii).
I didn´t have the best start, but was still able to get on the draft to the first buoy, at the first bouy Itzel fell down which all of a sudden opened the inside line at the buoy. From 4th to 1st in 2 seconds, so I sprinted all out towards the beach, I still had Enzo and Zane right on my side and this waves comes where me and Zane took a line closer to the peak of the wave so we were just able to get on it.
As we came to beach I was rounding the beach run in first, my adrenaline was so high and I sprinted all out to the outside buoy without feeling pain and got a wave in to finish in 1st, luckily the guys behind didn´t catch back up!
Next up was the semi finals, I was really happy to have made it that far, but I knew I could make it to the finals if everything went perfect. I had a great start next to Arthur Arutkin (France), Martin Vitry (France) and Zane Schweitzer (Hawaii). I was up in the front pack and got a wave with Martin and Arthur to the beach and I ran through the beach run in first, unfortunately I had a little slip up on a waves which gave Martin and Arthur the lead.
I was still right on the tail to the last buoy, as soon as we turned that that buoy we all started sprinting and Arthur got a wave in front of us. I knew I still had a chance to advance if I got second and I sprint all out to get on the next wave with Martin, he had the inside to the finish line and I couldn´t out run him up the beach (only 2-3 seconds from making the final). But I was still really stoked to be racing so close with these super fast guys, huge congrats to both Arthur and Martin for taking 1st and 2nd for the overall title!
No time to rest as I still had the consolation final left, I had a good race, but towards the end I could feel the energy starting to slow down. Still very happy to finish in 7th place with all the best athletes in the world.
Really stoked to watch Casper taking the win on his birthday in the final, Congrats!
Top 8 Results
1st Place: Casper Steinfath (Den) 2nd Place: Martin Vitry (Fra) 3rd Place: Arthur Arutkin (Fra) 4th Place: Connor Baxter (Haw) 5th Place: Guilherme Dos Reis (Bra)
6th Place: Michael Booth (Aus)
7th Place: ??? (Den) ;)
8th Place: Zane Schweitzer (Haw)
Next up: Long Distance Through New York City.