It was an epic final day of action at the New York SUP Open, clear blue skies and perfect conditions greeted the APP World Tour athletes as they assembled in front of Manhattan, one of the most recognizable skylines in the World for the final showdown of stop #2 on the 2019 APP World Tour.
After a spectacular day of Surf Sprint Racing out at Long Beach, NY, the athletes prepared themselves for the long distance race, that included a 13.5 KM circuit around the Statue of Liberty. For many of the amateur athletes this was an opportunity of a lifetime, and for the APP World Tour athletes, this was there second annual expedition on the Hudson River.
The rce wasn’t to disappoint, the athletes went blow for blow in one of the most exciting distance races yet for both Men and Women. France’s Arthur Arutkin found his 2018 form to repeat victory in the men’s division, while April Zilg won her first ever APP World Tour event, and on her birthday.
The Mens race was a tightly contested affair, which saw Australian Michael Booth in control for much of the race, something that has become expected especially with his impressive conditioning and distance tactics, which makes him a distance race favourites on the tour. However, the 2018 World Champ, Arthur kept right with him, challenging him throughout the race, eventually taking advantage of a rare slip up by the Australian powerhouse which allowed him to take the lead, and break away from Michael.
It was this unforced error that cost the race for Booth, despite a late charge to catch Arthur Arutkin, he had to settle for second in the distance and 4th overall for the event. The Aussie paddler holds onto second place overall after stop #2 of the 2019 APP World Tour.
For Arthur, it was an incredible day, as he was able to repeat his 2018 success to take the win despite a stacked field, he not only secured the overall New York SUP Open Title for the second year in a row, but he propelled himself back to the top of the leaderboard of the 2019 APP World Tour. After a slow start in London, we are clearly seeing the talented Frenchman click into gear here as we head into the backend of the year.
In the Women’s race a strong tidal flow generated some playful bumps on the course, this created some exciting battles, particularly from Fiona Wylde who was in her element, however she was up against the formidable might of April Zilg, who seems on a impressive roll on the 2019 APP World Tour.
The lead interchanged between the two throughout the Race, but it was April’s drive and commitment that paid off, as she was able to cross the line in 1st place, 21 seconds a head of Fiona in second. It was an impressive performance from both Ladies, and great to see Fiona Wylde back on the Tour and in form on the APP World Tour in 2019.
A 3rd place overall in New York propels Fiona up to 3rd overall on the APP tour, with Osaka coming up next, followed by Red Bull Heavy Water, sure to be a strong suit for the versatile athlete from Hood River.
Meanwhile, For April Zilg her win in the distance combined with her 3rd place in the sprints brings her closer to the World #1, Seychelle, whose performance in New York, was once again impressive, and enough to keep her in the top spot (she won the sprints, finished 4th in the distance and 2nd overall for the event).
One of the standouts of the weekend of Racing was Martin Vitry from France , certainly not a new face on Tour, but definitely finding his form in this all important second stop of the 2019 APP World Tour Season, clearly showing that he is a force to be reckoned with in both distance and sprint racing.
With a 3rd in the distance race around Liberty and a 2nd place in the Surf Sprints in Long Beach, Martin has firmly put himself in contention in 2019, shooting up to 5th place overall after Stop #2. With a throw out permissible for their overall standings, if Martin can keep up this form through the backend of the season, he will be able to to discard London and have a real shot at the Title.
Meanwhile, it was great to see Racing legend, Georges Cronstadt step up to the plate in the Distance Race around Liberty, finishing in 5th place amidst the very best in the World. Georges is a leading light for the Tahitian crew, that consists of a wealth of talent and potential here on the APP World Tour. We look forward to seeing them all in Osaka in just a couple of weeks.
US paddler Annie Reickert always a threat, and an incredibly versatile athlete, her 2nd place in the Surf Sprint Racing a testament to this, which combined with her 6th place in the distance puts her in 4th overall for the New York SUP Open and 7th overall on the Tour after Stop #2. For such a young athlete, the future is bright for Annie as she looks ahead to Osaka to continue to build on the foundations she has laid.
We also saw the welcomed return of our 2018 World Champion, Shae Foudy, who despite still very much in recovering from her injury from earlier this year, was still competitive and able to finish in 7th overall for the New York SUP Open.
Finally, Yuka Sato continued to keep herself in the mix with a 5th place overall for the event, and keeping her in the mix at 4th overall on the APP World Tour after stop #2. As we ramp up for the next stop in Osaka, Japan in just a couple of weeks, there is no doubt that she will benefit from local knowledge and home town confidence, so watch out for Yuka and her quest to ascend the rankings on the 2019 APP World Tour.
That wraps what has been an incredible 8 days in New York for stop #2 of the APP World Tour. We saw spectacular Surfing with worthy Champions in the form of Luiz Diniz from Brazil and Izzi Gomez from Columbia, while in the Racing, the competition was equally as intense, with Arthur Arutkin from France and April Zilg from the USA coming out on top.
Next up is the Osaka SUP Open, presented by Remax in Japan, taking place from the 20th – 22nd September.