All Photos: John Carter / APP World Tour
2016 World Champion Fiona Wylde has put together an impressively consistent season in 2019, with a couple of 2nds (New York and Osaka distance Races and a 3rd in London). However, until this final event in Paris, she had yet to secure a race victory amidst one of the most competitive Women fields ever on the APP World Tour.
Following a 5th place finish in the sprints, Fiona had her eyes set on the prize in what is one of the most iconic distance races in the World (alongside New York and London), biding her time to make a move, and working with the lead pack to stay in the mix and above all, in contention.
Coming into the final stretch past the Eiffel Tower, Fiona saw her window of opportunity, as she put her head down to power her way past Seychelle, Lina Augaitis and April Zilg to make it across the finish line in 1st.
It was a gutsy performance by the versatile talent from Hood River, Oregon, and one that saw her complete an impressive scorecard across the APP World Tour distance races, with a 1st, two 2nds and a 3rd, propelling her into 3rd place overall for the 2019 season.
Fiona will now be heading onto Las Palmas de Gran Canaria for the final stop of the APP World Surfing Tour to wrap what has been another impressive year.
Coming into the Final Day of the Paris SUP Open a newly crowned World Champion, the pressure was off for Seychelle, as she had already made history at this 10th edition of this unique, Paris event.
However, this did not stop her from powering her way down the majestic course on the River Seine, to battle it out with Fiona Wylde all the way to the finish line, just falling short of the win to settle for 2nd place. This combined with her sprint win in Paris completes what has been an incredibly dominant year for Seychelle, finishing 5 out of her 6 counting races in 1st and the last counting race in 2nd!
This is unpredented, as it also means that she won both distance and sprint titles, making a major statement here in 2019 regarding her skill, commitment, drive and well rounded approach to all forms of SUP Racing.
There is no doubt that Seychelle will be the one to beat in 2020, as we anticipate an even more exciting and action packed year ahead. Check out the highlights, broadcast replays, galleries and full recap at www.appworldtour.com and @appworldtour
It was exciting to see 2014 World Champion Lina Augaitis back in action in 2019 after a few years break and the arrival of two children, as she clearly showed that she has not skipped a beat, and is every bit as competitive and dangerous on the race course as she always has been, particularly when it comes to distance racing.
Despite a disappointing finish in the sprints on Day 1, Lina's gutsy performance and come back from behind on Day 2's distance race was nothing short of impressive, as she was able to secure 3rd place amidst an incredibly talented field of the World's very best paddlers.
While there was rumors of her taking a step back from racing as we look ahead into 2020 and beyond, we hope that Lina decides to return to do battle once again on the APP World Tour in 2020, as she is clearly a force to be reckoned with (2nd in the distance in London, 3rd in the sprints in Osaka and then 3rd in the distance here in Paris) and is still every bit as competitive as she has always been.
April Zilg's energy and enthusiasm through the 2019 season has been unparalled, and her performances across all the events on Tour have been nothing short of excellent, as she battled with friend, fellow American and newly crowned World Champion SeyChelle for the Title throughout the 2019 season and right up until the finat heat of the 2019 APP World Tour Sprints in Paris.
While it was not enough to secure the Title in 2019, there is no doubt that April is and will continue to be a major threat on Tour and a real Title Contender, not to mention an inspiration for paddlers from all over the World.
April finished in 2nd place Overall for the year, as well as 2nd place overall in the Sprints, and her consistency across both disciplines was undeniable. We can't wait to see April back in the mix in 2019 as the all new season will deliver even more dynamic and dramatic action on the 2020 APP World Tour.
Overall Paris SUP Results: