With the APP World Title looming and only 1 event left, each of the top 5 mens riders were looking to cease their opportunity to put their name in SUP history as the 2018 APP World Tour Overall Champion.
The Paris SUP sprints lived up to the hype with the defending World Champion Casper Steinfath making it to finals to face the top contender and points leader Arthur Arutkin in a showdown that had everyone on their toes in anticipation.
Casper went into the final round holding the fastest time of the day and though he was sitting 4th in the points going into the Paris races, he was favored to come away with the victory.
Arthur had an amazing opportunity to win in front of his home crowd and seal the APP World Title with a first place win.
As the race started Casper and Arthur both got great jumps onto their boards but Casper took a slight lead with short aggressive paddles and a smaller board. Arthur made up the difference with longer power strokes after the first buoy turn and evened things out. Going into the final buoy turn both riders went in aggressive knowing the race would be lost with any small mishap, but both took the risk and made the turn with success. With a stretch to the finish line Arthur and Casper were dead even when passing each other midway through the pool.
Would this end as close as Shae and Annie’s race? No. It ended closer. There was no visual advantage of a win at the end of the race. The cheering crowd looked around waiting to hear if their hometown finalist Arthur Arutkin would take the victory and the APP World Tour Title or if his opportunity had just slipped through his fingers to defending World Champ Casper Steinfath?
The results were in, and the margin of victory proved closer than Annie’s win in the women’s finals (0.26 seconds). Arthur wins by a mear 0.06 seconds! Yes, 0.06! Arthur secured the APP World Title going into Sunday’s distance race and put his name in the books for one of the most exciting head to head races in SUP history.
Congratulations to Arthur Arutkin your NEW 2018 APP WORLD TOUR CHAMPION!