Arthur Arutkin (Fanatic SUP) and Shae Foudy (Infinitiy SUP) showcased what it takes to be a World Champion at the Paris SUP Open last weekend. Coming into this final stop on the APP World Tour, both Foudy and Arutkin overcame cold weather and a strong headwind in order to win their respective APP World Tour Titles!
Sunday’s race was cold & windy with 15 knot headwinds greeting the racers and the temperature hovering in the 40’s (10 C) the APP athletes had to show grit, determination and positivity in closing out the 2018 racing season.
Arthur Crowned King of APP Tour 2018
French man Arthur Arthur, long time contender on the APP World Tour, found his stride this year through a season of impressive performances. This weekend, in Paris, he proved to himself and the rest of the World that he is capable of of holding his own among the best in the world and claimed the APP World Championship. Arthur’s run for the World Title included his coming from behind in a show of sheer determination. At the start of the season, his presence in London was felt, especially in the Sprint races, where he fought hard but just could not beat the fiery figure of Hawaii’s Kai Lenny. Arthur’s consistent effort placed him second overall in London behind Aussie powerhouse Michael Booth. This fuelled Arutkin’s commitment to achieving a World Title.
Arriving in New York this past September, Arutkin dominated the distance course on the historic Hudson River and claimed a first place win there. In the sprints, his presence and power made him a lethal threat. Again, he fell just short of his goal as Connor Baxter came on in the stormy seas to surf his way to a first place finish. Arthur’s combined scores and his Overall Win in New York put him firmly in the standings in the race for a World Title. We knew his homecoming to France would be his finest performance yet.
Arriving in Paris, it was clear that Arthur Arutkin would accept nothing less than a World Title. For the Indoor Sprints, his focus was absolute. Moving through the rounds, as the heat timing continued to drop, Arthur answered every call to paddle faster with another gear in his wheel house. The final heat arrived and matched him against Danish Viking and speed champion Casper Steinfath. It was a race to be remembered. A crowd gathered to cheer on the Final Round and, as each man took their places on the start line, the energy was palpable. Race Director Anthony Vela called the start and the men were off! Working at a punishing pace, each racer had his head down and a determined gleam in his eyes. Crossing the finish line together, it was up to Anthony Vela APP Race Director to verify the timing stats. Arutkin won by hundredths of a second and secured his World Championship.
The men’s long distance heat was stacked with some big hitters all out to prove themselves on the River Seine. After winning the pool sprints Frenchman Arthur was on course to pick up the title of the tour. As the race got underway it was clear that the top 4 paddlers were going to control the race. Aussie paddler Michael Booth dominated the race and resisted attempts from Connor Baxter to take over. After zig zagging the river to find the perfect line and currents, plus to dodge the other paddlers the Starboard rider arrived in 1st place, followed by Connor Baxter and Leonard Nika, Arthur Arutkin came home in 4th place after feeling the affects of the upwind slog. His position allowed him to be crowned APP World Tour Champion.
Shae Foudy lifts the Title!
After a dominant race in London, 19-year-old American paddler Shae Foudy demonstrated that she had come of age and was ready to take down the best of the best on the APP World Championship Tour. Shae’s skills & determination in the Thames River race, London afforded her a second place finish to Japan’s Yuka Sato. And then, in both the Sprints and Long Distance races along London’s Royal Docks, Shae’s star began to rise as she bested a stacked field of seasoned competitors including team mate and mentor, Candice Appleby.
Later in the season, at the New York SUP Open, Candice responded by claiming the Distance Course win. Then, in the Sprints, Shae struggled in the surf where she fell to third place behind Candice and Australia’s Terrene Black. Only 1,000 points separated the team mates in the overall rankings as we arrived in Paris with Shae just ahead of Candice. We knew it would be a test of personalities to determine who would win the final races in Paris: the Sprints in the pool and the Distance on the River Seine to determine the 2018 APP World Racing Champion.
In the Women’s long distance race, five elite paddlers lined up. All Shae Foudy had to do was stay out in front. One placement ahead of fellow Infinity team mate Candice would be enough to secure her world title. Working together in a train, the girls of SUP worked their way up the river. Wind and cold in their faces, neither woman could afford to give in to the elements. Spain’s Susak Molinero, Australia’s Terrene Black and Japan’s Yuka Sato were all a part of the lead pack. Candice pulled, then Yuka.
Eventually, Yuka broke away to establish a clear lead and Shae forged out in front of her mentor, Candice. Going stroke for stroke with Molinero in their midst, the two paddlers had their eyes only on each other. Shae’s time had come. Her resolve, unshakable. Yuka crossed the finish line first with a clear win. Then came Spanish paddler Susak Molinero. Shae lunged at the finish line to secure third place and to claim her first World Title. Candice fourth and Terrene a close fifth. A true race showing each woman’s strength of character.
In Shae’s Semi Final for the Sprints, she faced her mentor across the pool. In a massive performance, Shae edged out in front and won the race to move on to the Finals, eventually placing second to Annie Reickert froom Maui. The final race on the Seine would be the determining factor for Shae’s first World Title.
Top 3 Men: 2018 APP World Tour
1st place – Arthur Arutkin (FRA)
2nd place – Michael Booth ( AUS)
3rd place – Connor Baxter (USA)
Top 3 Overall Women: APP World Tour
1st place – Shae Foudy (USA)
2nd place – Candice Appleby (USA)
3rd place – Terrene Black (AUS)
The APP World Tour wraps up its 2018 season with the final stop on the Surfing World Tour in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria this week. Athletes are arriving and the surf competition is likely to start as early as Wednesday morning, December 12th . Stay tuned into the action while the event is broadcast LIVE at www.appworldtour.com and @appworldtour.
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