Dream Team rider Micheal Booth heads to the Big Apple to take on the World’s best SUP Racers at the 2018 APP New York SUP Open. The Men’s Pro Race was stacked with the greatest field of talent the sport of SUP has seen in quite some time. The Men’s Pro race quickly developed into a charge by Boothy and France’s Arthur Arutkin.
The two pulled away from the pack in a battle that promised to be a dramatic finish between the two. Booth, hot off of his win in London, set the pace as the boys rounded Lady Liberty with Arutkin hot on his tail.
The two exchanged places and in the final crossings of the Hudson, Boothie began to lose ground allowing Arutkin to take a solid hold on the lead.
Threading their way through ferry traffic, dodging the Circle Line and a Jetski training camp, the men powered to the shore just under the Freedom Tower and began the final grind to the finish.
Fellow Aussie SUP racer, Travis Grant, made his move and pushed past Boothie into second place. Connor Baxter began to make his presence known and looked like he might overtake Booth in those final yards, but Booth’s conditioning and overall stamina held the World Champ off.
We caught up with Michael Booth as he reflects on 2018 APP New York SUP Open;
“After a week of hard-charging, challenging conditions, the athletes who came to race can rest. From the wicked waters of crossing the Hudson River to stormy swell here in Long Beach, these athletes have shown the world that this sport is made of grit and talent beyond compare.
“Coming into the weekend I knew it was going to be a tough one. Travelling 12 time zones and two days of travel is never easy just before an event and I was hoping I’d done it the right way. We spent the week doing clinics in Dubai and Annapolis and was great to share the stoke with so many different paddlers. I always find it rewarding to teach people and when I do it’s exciting to see an improvement.
Race day in NYC came around fast and it was pretty surreal just knowing we were about to race on one of the most famous stretches of water in the world. I got away well and got to the front early but I just didn’t feel as strong as I normally do. When Arthur caught me before the statue I quickly knew that it may not be my day. It was then a battle between the two of us before we got a bit confused as to which way to go. Travis was on the right line and passed us on the inside. I didn’t have the fight that day to come over the top and overall I’m happy to still have finished on the podium despite not having my best race. I used the 14×21.5 sprint in this race, I think I underestimated the Manhattan traffic a little as it was very messy out there. Maybe an Ace would’ve been a better option in hindsight.
On Tuesday in the sprints, I actually felt really good and strong. It was crazy conditions that were thrown at us with storms, lightning, rain and thunder! I had the perfect heat to start the day that I won and went straight to the final which was a huge thing for me as I’ve never done that before. Unfortunately, I picked a bad alley at the start in the final and was basically playing catch-up from there. I felt super strong and paddled myself back into contention with the top 6. I turned 4th at the last can and actually caught the wave for second but on the northern end it just turned into nothing and I had to settle for 6th. I went for the super stable 14×24.5 All Star and it was ideal in the unstable messy conditions that remnants of Hurricane Florence threw up for us!
Overall it wasn’t my best weekend this year but I definitely learnt a lot about my abilities and I’m coming away from it very confident for the coming weeks. They say you win or you learn!”
– Micheal Booth
Pic Credits: John Carter/ APP World Tour
The APP New York SUP Open is not over yet – stay tuned for more SUP Surfing action from the Big Apple through this week!