Connor Baxter puts on a doiminant performance in Fiji
18 year old Connor Baxter puts on a legendary performance here in Fiji to win the epic long distance from Natadola Beach to Namotu Island ahead of a stellar fleet of athletes. Taking an early lead out of the gate, Connor navigated his way successfuly down the 22 mile course to win the first leg of the first stop on the 2012 Stand Up World Series. In Connor’s words:
“The course was long and hard, but definitely worth it. Super stoked on the win and thank you to Starboard for their support and Namotu Island for their incredible welcome.”
2 x Stand Up Paddlesurfing World Champion Kai Lenny once again proves that his expertise is not limited to surfing, with a phenomenal performance in the challenging 22 mile race. Chasing fellow Mauian Connor from the outset, Kai solidified his second place, but could not catch Baxter. In Lenny’s words:
“That was the longest paddle that I have ever done in my life – it was gruelling but a great experience and I am stoked for Connor, he is such an amazing paddler and reads the ocean so well”
Proving that age and experience certainly plays a strong role in challenging distance paddle races such as this, Jeremy Stephenson gets the best of young Australian Jake Jensen, Oahu’s Noa Ginella and Maui resident Slater Trout to take 3rd place, and then the others, 4th, 5th and 6th respectively.
Congratulations to all the paddlers for an incredible race that has been a great first step for the Stand Up World Series in a race that was verging on an endurance race of the likes of the Moloka’i to Oahu, but with all paddlers racing on a 12’6.
Annabel Anderson represents women paddlers worldwide
Annabel Anderson finished in a phenonenal 10th place overall and 1st and only woman in an incredibly fast time. Annabel was excited to represent the women here in Fiji, and added to Kai and Connor’s comments on the extreme nature of the race that challenged both physical and mental limits of the athletes. What a great performance from this leading female athlete from New Zealand.
Top 10 positions at the Namotu World Paddle Challenge
1. Connor Baxter (HI)
2. Kai Lenny (HI)
3. Jeremy Stephenson (NZ)
4. Jake Jensen (AUS)
5. Noa Ginella (HI)
6. Slater Trout (US)
7. Andrew Davies (AUS)
8. Zane Schweitzer (HI)
9. Greg Barfoot (NZ)
10. Annabel Anderson (NZ)