Osaka, Japan, 22nd September 2019: Seychelle Webster has just won both the distance race today, but also the overall event Title after a hard fought out weekend of intense competition at the Osaka SUP Open presented by Remax Japan.
It was not an easy road, and while Seychelle has exhibited formidable form throughout the season so far, the line up in the sprints was as tough as ever and Seychelle fell short of a finals berth, putting her in a precarious position for the overall event title, especially given the competition.
However grit determination and a patience game played off for Seychelle, as she bode her time through the race and made her move at the right time, allowing her to take the lead in the final stages, and keep it through to the finish line to take victory in the distance race.
Despite a tie with fellow American and friend, April Zilg, Seychelle came out on top, as did Michael Booth, thanks to the weighting towards the distance over the sprints in Osaka.
Another strong finish for Seychelle in Osaka further solidifies her lead in the overall World Rankings after stop #3, as she continues to set her sight firmly on a maiden World Title in 2019. However, the year is far from over yet, with Red Bull Heavy Water still to come, and of course the final race of the year in Paris, where April in particular could be extremely dangerous to Seychelle's quest for the Title, and she is now well within reach.
Stay tuned for this more on this intensifying Title Race and check out replays, full results, highlights and photos from a specatcular Racing stop #3 for the APP World Tour at www.appworldtour.com and @appworldtour
2016 World Champion Fiona Wylde from Oregon in the USA has still got it: despite missing out on the Finals in the Sprint Racing spectacle on Saturday, Fiona came out of the gates all guns blazing today, keeping pace with the very fastest Women in the sport and like Seychelle, biding her time before making a move in the distance race.
The moment came as Seychelle made her break, as Fiona chased Seychelle all the way to the finish line, unable to overcome the formidable World #1 in this race, but pushing her to her very limits to take a very worthy second place finish.
Fiona ends up in 4th overall for the event here in Japan, but moves up to 3rd overall on the APP World Tour following this all important stop #3 of the season.
Fiona's renowned comfort in bigger surf, and her very complete skill set in all forms of water conditions make her a real favorite for Red Bull Heavy Water coming up next month, as she will be looking to use this wildcard event as a replacement for worse results earlier in the year in what could be Fiona's moment to really capitalize on solid form and momentum coming into the backend of the year.
Yuka Sato is always smiling, but on the water, she is a fierce competitor, and driven to strive for the top with every event, day and stroke. With an impressive track record of distance results over the past few years on the APP World Tour, it was no surprise to see Yuka right up there in the mix in the lead pack coming into the final stages of the distance race.
Making a break with Fiona and Seychelle, she was able to follow on from the two leaders to secure 3rd position in the distance race, a well deserved result for this phenomenal ambassador for Japanese stand up paddling, and in front of her home crowd.
While for Yuka, it was a disappointing sprint racing performance at this year's Osaka SUP Open presented by Remax Japan, it was enough to secure 5th place for her overall in the event, and establishing her as 5th overall on the APP World Tour after Stop #3.
With Paris ahead of us, an event where we saw a breakout performance from Yuka last year, there is every chance that Yuka will take advantage of momentum coming into the final event of the year. Meanwhile, she is readying herself to take on the dramatic Red Bull Heavy Water, coming up next month in San Francisco, an event that can provide a very unique launch pad into the final event of the year in paris from a ratings perspective.
April Zilg is fast becoming one of the most dominant performers on the 2019 APP World Tour, after her distance and overall win in New York, followed by an impressive performance in some of the most competitive sprint racing yet on the APP World Tour yesterday in Osaka.
While she looked as though she might have been a little depleted after yesterday's sprints, April still did enough to take 5th in the distance, tying for points with the eventual event winner and World #1, Seychelle Webster.
However, with the weighting in favor of the distance racing in Osaka, the result went in Seychelle's favor, making it 2:1 for Seychelle out of the 3 events so far this year and establishing April as a real Title Contender, now sitting within striking distance of Seychelle in 2nd place overall after Osaka.
Watch out for more from April on the APP World Tour and check out the broadcast replays, highlights, photos and full results from the Osaka SUP Open presented by Remax at appworldtour.com and @appworldtour
It seems as though Annie Reickert from Maui has been on the scene for quite some time, and so it is hard to believe that she is still only just 18 years old. Indeed her performance over the past few days demonstrated anything but immaturity, as she held her cool and put together an impressive performance at the Osaka SUP Open, with a 2nd place in the sprint racing yesterday and 4th place in the distance today, putting her in 3rd place overall for the event.
This is quite an achievement for the young talent from Maui and is certainly a sign of things to come as we expect great things from Annie over the coming years on the APP World Tour. Now sitting in 4th overall in the Rankings after Stop #3 in Osaka, it is all to play for for Annie, and, like Fiona, she is perhaps one of the real favorites for the upcoming Red Bull Heavy Water event, being that she is no stranger to big surf and has the talent and physical conditioning to match.
Watch out for more from Annie on the APP World Tour and check out the replays, highlights, photos and much more from the Osaka SUP Open presented by Remax Japan at www.appworldtour.com and @appworldtour
The Osaka SUP Open presented by Remax Japan saw some formidable competition this past weekend, with the World's best on the APP World Tour stepping up to do battle like never before.
Outside of the above contenders, Lina Augaitis from Canada put on a great perfomance all the way through the sprint elimination this weekend. She also led the entire course in the distance, setting the standard for the pack for the Women's division for the entirety of the race, that is until Seychelle Webster, Annie Reickert and Yuka Sato were able to take advantage and make a break for it in the last 1km of the race.
Also making her presence felt in the Sprint Racing was Jade Howson from California - still at school, Jade is already a major threat on Tour, posting solid performances, particularly in the sprint racing division as we are excited to see how she evolves as a competitor on the APP World Championship Tour over the years to come. While her distance race was to let her down comparatively, the shot across the bows has been sent as we anticipate great things from this young talent from California.
Arriving in Osaka on Wednesday, just 3 days prior to the event, it was hard not to be scared of the prevailing forecast at that time, indicating a weekend full of rain and high winds in store for the APP World Tour this weekend.
However, as we headed into the weekend, the forecast evolved, and we were to be blessed with an incredible weekend that saw both epic sprint racing and dramatic distance racing without rain or too much wind other than a shower prior to the awards after the racing on the final day.
Outside of the competitive action, the APP Pool provided non stop entertainment as always, from youth clinics brought to you by Lil' RIppas, to SUP Yoga and water safety clinics providing fun and engagement for all. This programming in the pool was well complemented by music and entertainment, making for a dynamic mix of participation and entertainment for all the family, regardless of physical condition, age or gender.
The APP World Tour is so thankful to both the Prefecture and the City of Osaka for opening its arms to the Tour and its athletes this past weekend, as we look forward to the continuation of a great legacy for Osaka and the sport as a whole for years to come.
Next up, Red Bull Heavy Water: join us next month for the World's most extreme SUP Race and the next stop on the 2019 APP World Tour, with a holding period from the 15th October - 7th November. In the meantime, please see Osaka SUP Open Overall results for the Women below:
OSAKA SUP OPEN PRESENTED BY REMAX JAPAN: RESULTS