The Paddle League moved to San Francisco for the regional event Battle of the Bay.The 8th annual Battle of the Bay, saw elite paddlers race 12 KM around the golden gate bridge in a race that is renown for strong currents and epic scenery. This year the iconic race had a new home after moving to Aquatic Park, San Francisco. Paddlers had the bucket-list chance to race around San Fran’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge. Aussie paddle Micheal Booth set recorded a result which will set up a mouth watering duel in the forth coming Pacific Paddle Games.
Photo Credit: onitpro
Boothy Cruises to Victory
In the elite field, Starboard paddler Michael Booth proved once again that he’s virtually unbeatable in a pure paddling contest, breaking the field and paddling clear to defend his Battle of the Bay title by over a minute. In the relatively calm conditions, the battle for the minor placings was tight as a strong pack fought for second place. Australia’s highly under-rated dark horse Ty Judson (NSP) put in one of the performances of the event, paddling clear from the pack to snag second spot on the podium ahead of a hectic sprint finish for third.
Photo Credit: onitpro The Tahitian duo of Enzo Bennett and Georges Cronsteadt (both racing for Team 425 Pro) managed to keep number one seed Connor Baxter out of the top spots by recording a 3rd and 4th place finish. Incredibly Connor was just half a second behind.
Boothy put in another dominant win in a distance race, the Starboard paddler raised his hand for favouritism at next weekend’s season-ending showdown, the Pacific Paddle Games, which will include both a distance race (where he was victorious last year) and a surf race in potential great waves! The current ratings leader simply needs to stop fellow Aussie Lincoln Dews from winning in order to clinch the inaugural Paddle League World Title.
Photo Credit: onitpro
The womens race had a small but highly-talented women’s field featuring three of the top four ranked women in New Rogue SUP recruit Olivia Piana, Starboard’s Fiona Wylde and SIC paddler Seychelle. Despite carrying the highest ranking and being the pre-race favorite Olivia struggled to find her rhythm on a borrowed board and lost touch with the pack mid-race.
Photo Credit: onitpro
Following her epic comeback victory at the SUP 11 City Tour three weeks ago, Seychelle showed why she’s considered one of the strongest distance paddlers on the planet, pulling away from Fiona and April Zilg in the second half of the contest.
Photo Credit: onitpro It was a 1-2 finish for Team SIC after the very impressive Jade Howson managed to stick with Seychelle all the way to the finish, settling for a solid second-place and showing she’ll be an overall contender if her beloved waves are firing at the PPGs next weekend. April Zilg’s fourth-place finish moves her into the top 10 on the world rankings as the season draws to a close.
Photo Credit: onitpro
TOP 10 MEN 1st: Michael Booth (1:06:14) Starboard/Australia 2nd: Ty Judson (1:07:07) NSP/Australia 3rd: Enzo Bennett (1:07:23) 425/Tahiti 4th: Georges Cronsteadt (1:07:24) 425/Tahiti 5th: Connor Baxter (1:07:25) Starboard/Hawaii 6th: Josh Riccio (1:08:44) F-One/USA 7th: Itzel Delgado (1:08:45) Infinity/Peru 8th: Ryan Funk (1:10:34) Starboard/USA 9th: Matt Nottage (1:10:43) Starboard/Australia 10th: Davide Ionico (1:11:19) Fanatic/Italy
ELITE WOMEN 1st: Seychelle (1:10:49) SIC/USA 2nd: Jade Howson (1:10:54) SIC/USA 3rd: Fiona Wylde (1:11:43) Starboard/USA 4th: April Zilg (1:11:44) USA 5th: Olivia Piana (1:13:57) France 6th: Jenn Lee (1:14:49) NSP/Hawaii 7th: Adel Umannova (1:23:54) 425/Czech Rep.
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