The APP World Tour rolled into Long Beach, Long Island just in time for Labor Day weekend to launch the opening ceremonies and competition of the 2019 New York SUP Open. The opening weekend would kick off with the SUP Surfing component of the weekend (holding period was 31st August – 4th September), showcasing the most competitive field the APP World Tour has yet to see. With World TItles on the line, it was a showdown to remember.

Starboard Dream Team riders Shakira Westdorp (Australia), Iballa Moreno (Spain), Benoit Carpentier (France), Fiona Wylde (USA) and Zane Schweitzer (USA) jetted into the Big Apple to take on the worlds best.

 

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Opening Ceremony

The opening ceremonies held at Minnesota’s Long Beach on Friday evening, gathered top racers & surfers from around the globe including Arthur Arutkin, Fiona Wylde, Sean Poynter, Zane Schweitzer, Caio Vaz and Izzi Gomez. Over a plentiful dinner, APP CEO Tristan Boxford welcomed the crowd standing next to the iconic APP World Tour trophy to hoots and hollers from the competitors and friends eager to get into the action of the week ahead. 2018 World Surfing Champion Sean Poynter spoke to being ready and focused for whatever wave action the week holds. “Someone has to win the heat; so, it might as well be me,” he said with a rueful smile.

 

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Day One

Saturday dawned bright and clear.  With light winds and the remainder of a small pulse from the previous week’s low pressure system sitting off the coast made contest coordinators hopeful to start the first round of surfing.  However, as the tide drew out along with the rising run, the swell continued to fade and contest director Anthony Vela made the call for a lay day for the SUP Surfing competition.

 

Day Two

The women started off the day in clean 2-3 foot surf showcasing the tsunami of talent in the women’s world of surfing. In an opening round, the power of Yuuka Horikoshi surprised the crowd and current APP World Champ, Iballa Moreno, as she executed sharp snaps and powerful top turns to edge out the 2018 women’s SUP Surf champion in a dynamic heat forcing Iballa to work her way back through the repecharge rounds in order to protect her title.

 

 

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In another fantastic show of female power and athleticism, Shakira Westdorp turned on her raging talent to edge out current 2019 APP leader, Fiona Wylde, after her massive performance at Sunset. Shak powered through her turns and generated speed down the line to deliver powerful off-the-lip maneuvers in her searing drive for the world title in 2019.

In the men’s heats, the action was electric as the world’s finest came to battle it out in the waves at Long Beach. Current World Champ, Sean Poynter, who missed the first stop on this year’s surfing tour at Sunset Beach in February, has clearly not missed a beat. His surfing is focused and on point.

Benoit Carpentier also brought his mindful focus and incredible A-game to the opening rounds. Even as the wind began to pick up and choosing waves became a critical strategy in these opening rounds from Day 1, Benoit charged multiple waves in every heat, connecting big bottom carves to sharp top turns and bold manuevers. He brought the crowd to attention with an electric performance in every heat. Benoit’s bid is out in the open and he is a driving meteor of talent towards the world title.

 

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Day Three

Day 3 saw some impressive action in challenging, stormy conditions, seeing us all the way through to the Quarterfinals for Men, but forcing us to stop competition mid-way through women’s Round 3 heat #1 due to Lightening!

The day dawned to mild weather and sizable surf as the Women’s Repecharge heats took to the water. Fighting their way back from upsets the day before included 2018 APP World Champion Iballa Moreno and current 2019 rankings leader Fiona Wylde. Both women advanced to Round 3 and back into the Main Event through their strong and steady surfing styles in the Repecharge Rounds.

In the Men’s Rounds and stormy surf, we saw electric performances, giant maneuvers and an exciting drive towards the final rounds. There are so many athletes looking to advance that EVERY round feels like a Final with dreams dashed and hopes curated throughout every heat.

Moving through Round 4, Zane Schweitzer in his furious heat with Leco Salazar, made the stormy surf look like he’d been practising in it with his multiple turns and savvy performance. Zane’s bag of tricks included a helicopter and a beautifully executed arial awarding him an 8.17, a massive score on such a challenging day. Zane wound up edging out Leco’s powerful drive with a heat score of 16.2 to 14.27.

 

 

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Finals Day

On a beautiful finals day here in Long Beach, New York, the action did not disappoint, as the World’s best on the APP World Tour stepped up to battle it out for the Event Crown and the next step towards a World Championship Title.

Beautiful, groomed 3ft surf showed up on cue for the start of the Quarterfinals, as triumphs and upsets saw the many of Starboard riders getting knocked out of the tops spots with the likes of Luiz Diniz from Brazil going on to claim his first-ever APP World Tour Event Win and Izzi Gomez re-taking the Ratings Lead in the women’s.

Aussi team rider Shak surf hard thrug the rounds and secured a solid 3rd place in the Pro Women’s;

“On finals day, Tuesday, it was pretty pumped for most of the day. My round 3 heat and Quarterfinal heats I had some great waves and scores. In fact all 3 heats I surfed I had the highest wave score and heat total across the women’s field.

The semi-final came up and I was feeling confident and ready for another good heat. After finishing my first wave I felt something was not right. In the shore, I flipped my board over and I had snapped a fin out of my board. I screamed to teammate Fiona Wylde to borrow her board (an advantage of production boards as we were on the same model) and she came sprinting down and gave me her board whilst Iballa, Benoit and Justin Holland worked on getting a new fin in the board. After one wave on Fiona’s board, mine was ready and I swapped back.

Another 3rd place, which is another keeper result and was pretty stoked but I felt I was surfing good enough to take the win and my board felt amazing (7’1 x 24 Pro) so couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed. Ready to take on the next one in Barbados!!

 

 

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Meanwhile on the men’s front Benoit Carpentier was sailing through qualifying but found himself getting knocked out in Round 4;

 

“My surfing has been feeling the best ever in this event, feeling great on my equipment and physically, scoring some of the highest scores of the event (highest heat total round 1/3 and longboard semi-final) but had a shocker in round 4 of the main event against the in-form Matheus Salazar who placed 3rd. I only just lost by 0.5 with some good scores, no real mistake, I simply just didn’t find the best waves.”

“It’s hard to lose when you are feeling in form, I was definitely seeing myself on the podium. Still, some work to do, my time will come. Looking forward to that next event in Barbados”

 

 

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