All Photos: John Carter / APP World Tour
Paris, France 10th December 2019: Casper Steinfath knew what he had to do coming into the Final event of the season and sitting in pole position: stay ahead of Arthur Arutkin and Michael Booth at all costs. Recovering from the flu, his pre-event build up had not gone completely to plan, but with a wealth of support from a strong Danish contingent of fans present to witness history in the making in Paris, Casper looked calm, cool and collected, ready to take on the biggest test of his career.
A win in the sprints on Day 1 would be enough to secure the World Title in advance of his weaker discipline, the distance race on Day two, and as the sprint rounds progressed on Day 1 in the Pool, it looked as though Casper was on target to do just that.
However, having made it all the way to the Final, an on form Connor Baxter proved an unsurmountable opponent in the final showdown, with the multiple times World Champion taking victory on Day 1. This left the Title conversation open until Day 2, although Michael Booth had slipped out of this with a disappointing sprint result, and leaving 2018 World Champion Arthur Arutkin with the unenviable task of winning the Seine distance Race in order to retain the Title.
Unfortunately for Arthur, it wasn't to be, as despite a strong start, through the backend of the distance race, Arthur seemed to hit a wall, falling back through the pack and allowing Casper to cruise to his maiden World Championship Title, much to the delight of the raucus Danish fans on the RIver bank at the Finish.
It has been an incredible year for Casper, proving himself dominant in the sprint racing discipline to take the Overall Sprint Title for 2019 with two wins and a 2nd place his 3 counting results. He then took advantage of the extreme Red Bull Heavy Water distance race to swing the Title conversation in his favor, as he was able to win in dramatic fashion (repeating his 2017 feat), making all the difference to his Title bid.
His subsequent performance across the remaining long distances was enough for him to secure the coveted 2019 Racing World Title.
While the APP World Tour is wrapping its tenth year in 2019, the Racing discipline was launched in late 2011, as we are now crowning Racing World Champions for the 8th consecutive season. Incredibly, out of the 8 seasons, there have been just 4 Champions: Kai Lenny and Connor Baxter, both from Maui, share 3 a piece, with Arthur last year's World TItle, breaking the stranglehold the two Maui athletes had for 6 straight years and bringing it over to Europe.
Here is the Top 10 Overall for 2019:
Casper now continues the European theme with this victory and is in good company with these celebrated World Champions on the APP World Tour.
So congratulations go out to Casper Steinfath on a phenomenal season in 2019. Make sure to check out the highlights, galleries, full recaps and much more by going to appworldtour.com and @appworldtour
Casper Steinfath has established himself as the most dominant sprinter in the World over the past few years, winning more in this discipline than any other athlete on Tour. However, in 2019, there is no doubt that this challenge is getting tougher than ever and competition is intensifying at each and every stop.
Previously known more for his downwind skill above all else, 3 times World Champion Connor Baxter from Maui once again showed that he continues to be one of the most dangerous athletes in the World, finishing in a close 2nd in 2019 and finishing on a high with one of the most impressive performances of the year in the Pool in Paris.
Noic Garioud from New Caledonia, also known more for his downwind prowess, proved another dominant force in 2019, kicking off with a win in the sprints in London, and following that up with consistent performances through the year to secure 3rd overall in this discipline.
Also of note was Danny Ching, the American paddling legend who is clearly well disposed to this racing format, posting a second and a third in 2019, as well as Claudio Nika from Italy, increasingly a real threat in the sprints and not forgetting, the 2018 World Champion Arthur Arutkin whose consistency had him finish in 4th overall in the sprints.
Here are the final sprint standings for the 2019 Season:
Michael Booth from Australia has long been regarded as one of the most powerful and fastest distance racers in the World, and 2019 only strengthened that reputation with a truly dominant performance across the 2019 APP World Tour.
With 3 bullet wins counting towards his overall Distance Results in 2019, Michael solidified his grip over the distance races on Tour and ensured a podium finish for the overall on the strength of these results despite weaker finishes for the Australian Champion in the sprint racing. The polar opposite to the Sprint Racing Champion Casper Steinfath in approach, Michael is improving at each and every stop in the sprint racing, and continues to be a major contender for the overall World Title as we look ahead to 2020 and beyond.
2018 World Champion Arthur Arutkin from France is one of the most well rounded athletes on Tour, but his results certainly favor distance racing as he finishes second overall for this in 2019, with a win in New York, 2nd in Red Bull Heavy Water, and 3rd in Osaka. Arthur continues to be the major Title Contender as we look ahead to 2020, narrowly missing out on the Title this year.
In 3rd, Lincoln Dews from Australia put on some great performances in 2019, most notably his battle with Michael Booth for the distance win in Paris, that finished at the finish line by a matter of feet. Lincoln is without doubt one of the most promising Title Contenders on Tour, with a well rounded game that bodes well for his Title hopes in 2020 - he will definitely be one to watch out for next season.
Here is the Top 10 standings for distance racing at the end of the 2019 season:
The holding period for the Gran Canaria Pro-Am is now open with a great forecast in place for what promises to be a specatcular close to the 2019 APP World Tour Surfing Season.
After a dynamic 3rd stop of the Tour in Barbados last month, all eyes are now on the North Shore of Gran Canaria, specifically Las Palmas for a week of intense action and the crowning of the 2019 APP World Surfing Champions.
With Poenaiki Raioha in pole position, the contenders, Luiz Diniz, Leco Salazar and Sean Poynter are all still in there with a chance at the Title this season, as we anticipate fireworks coming up this weekend with a large, long period swell hitting on cue.
Meanwhile in the women, it is a battle for second, as Fiona Wylde, Shakira Westdorp and Vania Torres all battle for positioning at this all important final stop of the season.