Paris SUP Open is just over 10 days away as we build up to the World Championship Tour Racing Finals
Paris, France, Wednesday 27th November 2019: With just 10 days remaining until the 2019 APP World Tour Racing Finals to be held in Paris, France, tension is mounting as the World's Best prepare to descend upon one of the World's most famous and iconic Cities to join a record breaking 1,000 participants on the River Seine.
It has been an incredible year on the APP World Tour, starting in London with dramatic action and results right out of the gate, as Noic Garioud from New Caledonia and Seychelle Webster from the United States made their presences felt with dominant opening performances for the season and impressive victories.
New York once again saw the return of Arthur Arutkin from France, the current World Champion, taking victory once again amidst one of the most famous backdrops in the World alongside April Zilg from the United States, creating an incredibly tight and exciting battle for the World Title in 2019.
Osaka saw Michael Booth take victory, propelling the powerful Australian to the top of the leaderboard together with the 2nd major victory of the year for Seychelle Webster, but with blistering sprint performances from both Casper Steinfath from Denmark and April Zilg, keeping them right up there and in contention.
Red Bull Heavy Water saw the Viking from Denmark, Casper Steinfath's dominance in sprint racing combine with his unique skill set for tackling the most challenging race in the World, Red Bull Heavy Water, to boost him out into the lead coming into the final event. Meanwhile in the Women, Seychelle remains at the top of the leaderboard with no official results counting from Red Bull Heavy Water.
So the scene is set in Paris for one final showdown for the year and it all to play for among the leading contenders, with the backdrop of some of the world's most famous landmarks (Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame) for the distance, and the unique and fast paced sprint format to be held in the pool, inside the Nautic Salon Nautique amidst some of the biggest crowds of the year.
Make sure to stay tuned for the build up and watch all the action go down LIVE from the 2019 Paris SUP Open, as the last racing showdown of the year goes down on the 7th - 8th December with the whole world watching on, at appworldtour.com and @appworldtour
It is without doubt, one of the most exciting closes to a season yet on the APP World Tour for the Men, with 3 main contenders battling it out for the Title, all within a few points of each other and with it all to play for at this last, all important event of the 2019 season. And what better stadium for such a battle than the magnificent City of Paris, with its stunning River Seine running through the heart of the City, coupled with the unique arena like environment that the Nautic Pool provides right at the heart of the Boat Show.
The 3 principal players can be defined by their strengths:
1) Sprints: Casper Steinfath is a sprint Champion, and has proved himself incredibly difficult to beat in any kind of short course format. Indeed, with two out of 3 sprint wins so far this season and a 3rd in London, his record has been nothing short of dominant. Opposite to Michael, Casper's achilles heal has been his distance racing, unable to match the success he has in the short course format. However, as demonstrated by the crazy Red Bull HEavy Water Race from last month, when the going gets tough, Casper gets going: perhaps the cold in Paris might work to his advantage? Casper is currently the ratings leader coming into Paris
2) Consistency: the home town favorite is without doubt the most consistent athletes on Tour, delivering World beating performances at every stop on Tour, regardless of the conditions. Arthur Arutkin from Wissant, France has proved himself in giant surf, flat water, endurance and sprint racing: he can handle everything and already has a World Title under his belt so knows how to get the job done. With the home crowd behind him, he will certainly be one to watch out for in Paris, not least being the reigning Champion from Paris 2018 as well. Arthur is currently in a very close 2nd place coming into Paris
3) Distance: the powerhouse Michael Booth from down under has proved himself again and again as one of the most dominant figures in the sport, with his specialty being distance / endurance racing, where stamina, power and tenacity are definiing skills that make him the Champion that he is and establishes him as the most successful distance racer in the sport. While Sprint Racing is certainly is weaker suit, he has put a lot of work into in this season, and is within striking distance of a World Title if he can put it all together in Paris. Michael is right behind Arthur in 3rd place coming into Paris.
Outside of this incredible top 3 lies a an impressive roster of talent that could cause havoc as we come into the final event of the year. In particular to watch out for are another Frenchman, Martin Vitry, who has showed moments of brilliance this season, the ever impressive Titouan Puyo from New Caledonia, the multiple times World Champion Connor Baxter from Hawaii and Lincoln Dews from Australia.
Also returning to competition in Paris is the ever talented athlete from the North Shore of Oahu, Mo Freitas, who will be looking to finish on a high at the end of the 2019 season. Then factor in the Tahitian camp led by legend Georges Cronstadt, the Italian crew that includes the Nika brothers and not forgetting one of the sport's leading lights from the past 10 years, Danny Ching from the USA.
Seychelle Webster has had an impressive year so far in 2019 and has proven herself as a well rounded and very complete athlete on the APP World Tour. With two Sprint wins and two distance wins in her overall standings, she has a 4th and a 5th place to discard, so a strong finish for her in Paris would doubtless secure her the Title.
However, right on her tail is April Zilg, who has put together some stellar performances throughout the year, winning the distance in New York and then in a dramatic show in Japan, the sprints. She also put on a valiant performance in Red Bull Heavy Water, as fastest female paddler to reach Ocean Beach.
A big finish in Paris could turn the tide for April and see her outrun her fellow American in the final stretch in the Pool and on the Seine: one thing is for sure, it will be a highly competitive and exciting showdown between the two Americans as they will go blow for blow at the World Championship Tour Finals in Paris.
Outside of these top two, 2016 World Champion Fiona Wylde is sitting in 3rd with plenty of room to move, and also Yuka Sato from Japan, currently sitting in 5th. And let's not forget 2014 World Champion Lina Augaitis from Canada, who put on a stellar performance in the distance racing in London, and will be looking for a strong finish back in familiar surroundings on the River Seine in Paris.
Watch out for the return of the 2018 World Champion Shae Foudy from California who will be looking for redemption after taking the majority of the season out due to injury, but will be looking to finish off strong in advance of an all new 2020 season. However, sadly we won't get to see her team mate and training partner, the 2015 World Champion Candice Appleby in action due to injury, although she will be bringing you the play by play LIVE on the APP World Tour broadcast, adding her insight and experience into the broadcast experience.
Finally, as far as local favorites to look out for, Amandine Chazot could well upset some of the frontrunners in this all important race to the finish.
As the APP World Tour comes to the end of its 10th season in 2019, it also coincides with the 10th edition of Nautic Paddle on the River Seine, as we look forward to 1,000 participants taking to the frigid waters of the River Seine at Day Break on Sunday 8th December for an unforgettable experience.
This is an exciting moment for the sport, as the battle for the World Title combines with this unique mass participation event for an incredible experience for all concerned set to one of the most iconic backdrops in the World.
In addition to the action and fun out on the water, the Nautic Salon Nautique provides one of Europe's most prominent get togethers for the water sports community as a whole, with the APP World Tour Sprint Eliminations providing a dynamic spectacle within the Show, and the spirit of fun and participation integrated once again with the fun team sprints in the pool on Sunday afternoon.
The Paris SUP Open provides the perfect setting for the APP World Tour's prestigious Final event of the season, and it exemplifies the spirit of the APP's City Paddle Festivals concept focused on bringing the sport to the people, from a sporting spectacle by the World's best to participatory experiences for all. If you can't make it to the Show in person, make sure to watch it all go down LIVE at www.appworldtour.com and @appworldtour
It is Finals time of year, as the season for both Racing and Surfing comes to a close here on the APP World Tour. With the Racing Finals coming up next week in Paris, the APP will then head south directly from Paris to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria for the prestigious and dramatic World Championship Tour Finals for SUP Surfing: the Gran Canaria Pro-Am.
After its inaugural edition in 2018 that saw Finals Day action that will be talked about for years to come, excitement is building as we are now 2 weeks from the kick off to the Gran Canaria Pro-Am and we anticipate more of the same: the World's Best SUP Surfers will be met with the incredible surf that the North Shore of Gran Canaria has to offer for what will be another dramatic finish to the season for the APP World Tour.
With Open Trials and youth competition for SUP Surfing, and the all new Inflatable World Games concept being introduced in 2019 in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, coupled with the regional race on the middle weekend of the holding period (13th - 15th December), there is so much more to the Gran Canaria Pro-Am than just the World Championship Tour Finals.
With participation opportunities for all, and a chance for people to enjoy winter sun away and take in one of the greatest shows imaginable: the World Championship Tour Finals for SUP Surfing, the Gran Canaria Pro-Am will have something for everyone. Entries are still open for all divisions, so make sure to secure your spot by going to: www.appworldtour.com/gran-canaria-2019