The US Open of SUP at Santa Monica Pier kicks off the Championship Tour his weekend! Here’s just a taste of all the things we can’t wait to watch: the homecoming of the APP to Southern California after 7-years; the return of Mo Freitas; dramatic surf racing and an iconic distance race that will launch the six-month sprint towards the World Title.
The calibre of athletes in attendance at the US Open of SUP will make for an unpredictable start to the season. Namely, the local Cali crew will be looking to prove themselves on home soil, including veteran champion Danny Ching and ‘Queen of SUP’ Candice Appleby. The men’s field consists of plenty of heavyweights too including World Champions Casper Steinfath, Connor Baxter and Arthur Arutkin along with the impressively well-rounded Mo Freitas, who is making a much-welcomed comeback to professional competition. Watch out for the up-and-coming 16 y.o. Shuri Araki a.k.a. Shrimpy who has had some top results on the international scenes this year already.
Despite the packed field of seasoned professionals, new talent is waiting in the wings for their first win. Keep a close eye on international wildcard Shuri Araki who first made his mark on the APP scene last year in North Carolina, where he beat out some major names in the sprints to a spot in the semi-final. Spain’s Esperanza Barreras will also be making her APP-debut in Santa Monica after dominating the women’s competition in Europe.
With Seychelle out of the title race this year, could it be April Zilg’s moment to take over the top spot? Or will the newcomer Barreras be her successor? Can Casper Steinfath defend his title against the rise of young talent? Which will prevail? The old generation or new generation of racers?
APP’S RETURN TO CALIFORNIA
After a seven-year hiatus, the APP World Tour is returning to SoCal for stop #1 of the racing World Tour. California has been the setting for some of the APP’s greatest races over the years and has always provided dramatic action and competition. If you have forgotten, check out the highlights from our last event there in 2015.
For 2022, Santa Monica Pier will be the backdrop for all the World Tour action. On Saturday 25th June, the Pier will be a great spot to watch our sprint surf races which will take place in the SoCal waves below. The live stream will commence from 2pm onwards.
The distance race will start at 11am on Sunday 26th June. The race will feature a water start right off the iconic Malibu Pier, from where the athletes will head downwind to Santa Monica Pier. With typical wind conditions prevailing, this will be a predominantly downwind course, providing exciting racing and a fast course, with the final buoy turn positioned right off Santa Monica Pier for the last stretch through the surf and onto the sand for a beach finish.
This course is also special given its historical significance: back in the 50’s, a man of African American and Hispanic decent would paddle the course in reverse to go up and surf his favourite break in Malibu and then back following the course laid out to Santa Monica due to beach segregation that was in place at the time. This race is a great opportunity to honour Nick Gabaldon and his contribution as an important role model in the Santa Monica community.
WHERE TO WATCH
The APP WORLD TOUR will be live streaming the Sprint heats from 2 pm onwards on Saturday 25th June and will be streaming the distance race from 11 am on Sunday 26th June.
The live stream will be available here on the TotalSUP website as well as on our Facebook page.
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