Race

Sean Poynter wins the Mirleft Stand Up Pro In Morocco

Sean Poynter wraps the year on a high with a spectacular victory here in Morocco

Sean Poynter wraps the year on a high with a spectacular victory here in Morocco

It was a picture perfect ending to what has been an amazing event here in Morocco today as the last 4 battled it out in pristine groomed surf that saw the highest scores of the contest posted in these last 4 heats (semis, consolation finals and finals).

In the semis, Sean Poynter (Starboard) went into overdrive in the perfect righthand point break conditions, methodically driving critical turns down the line to post a 9.0, a 9.25 and a 9.85, meaning that he was throwing away a 9.0! This put his oppponent James Casey in a combo situation, allowing him to advance into the Finals.

Once there, Sean found himself up against friend and team mate Zane Schweitzer (Starboard) and once again put on a flawless performance, to post 2 scores in the excellent range securing the well deserved win here at the Location X Special event in Morocco.

After his emotional win in France that secured his 3rd place overall in the World Rankings, capping the year off with a win here in what were without doubt the best conditions we have seen all year on the Stand Up World Tour, Sean Poynter ends his 2014 season on a high and $10k richer.

Zane Schweitzer wraps a phenomenal year with a 2nd place & the Pioneer award

Zane Schweitzer wraps a phenomenal year with a 2nd place & the Pioneer award

It has been an incredible year for the now seasoned Champion from Maui Zane Schweitzer (Starboard): starting it all off with a finals finish in Sunset Beach, Zane then went onto post strong finishes throughout the year, concluding with a 3rd place in France and now a well deserved 2nd place here in Morocco, just falling short of the win to team mate Sean Poynter (Starboard).

Zane showcased real versatility at this event, performing in all forms of conditions, from mellow lefthand beach breaks to pumping right hand point breaks, earning his place in the Finals alongside Sean.

Meanwhile in the Racing Season, he has had an equally outstanding ride, with solid finishes throughout the year on the World Series that had him finish in 5th place overall for the year, and secured the European Cup Title for him this summer with some dominant performances across both Challenger and World Series events.

The final accolade for the year came in the form of the ‘Pioneer Award’, presented to him for his commitment to breaking new ground in the sport across all four corners of the world through his passionate willingness to take it all to new heights. His presence at all the groundbreaking moments for the World Tour & Series, from Patagonia to Abu Dhabi and from the European Cup Racing to the Location X in Morocco, Zane is a consummate ambassador for the sport.

Bernd Roediger finds his rhythm to secure a perfect 10 point ride & 3rd place overall

Bernd Roediger finds his rhythm to secure a perfect 10 point ride & 3rd place overall

Bernd Roediger came into his own here in Morocco, as his smooth and casual style and impeccable wave lecture ideally suited the pristine point break conditions on offer here on Morocco’s wave rich coastline.

Making it through to the semi finals in yesterday’s epic big surf, Bernd re-callibrated, but was unable to find the waves he needed to overcome the onform Schweitzer (Starboard) in their semi final battle.

However, this was far from the case in the Consolation Final, where we saw Bernd turn it on to post the single highest wave score of the event (a perfect 10 point ride), which coupled with his back up score of an 8.4, put him in a pretty untouchable position.

This final victory secured his 3rd place overall for this Location X event, but also solidified his position as a real threat here on the Stand Up World Tour moving forward.

James Casey proves himself in the full size surf, advancing through to the semifinals

James Casey proves himself in the full size surf, advancing through to the semifinals

James Casey (JP Australia) put on another solid display in Morocco today, strengthening his confidence coming into the 2015 season and putting on a performance to be proud of.

He started off strong against Sean Poynter (Starboard) in semi final number 1, posting an 8 point ride off the bat, but then falling victim to Sean’s assault with a string of 9 point rides.

Unfortunately for James, he then came up against a similar situation in the consolation final where he met a fired up Bernd Roediger who proceeded to post the highest single wave score of the event, and then backed it up with an 8.4.

James comes away from Morocco with not only an incredible experience and an impressive 4th place finish, but the knowledge that he is capable of big results on the Stand Up World TOur, as we look forward to seeing him back in action in February at Sunset.

Women are represented in Morocco through World Champ Izzi Gomez & Sophia Bartlow

Women are represented in Morocco through World Champ Izzi Gomez & Sophia Bartlow

While there was no official girls’ competition in Morocco, we were proud to have representatives from the Women’s Stand Up World Tour with us to showcase just how far women’s stand up paddling has come, as both Izzi Gomez (Starboard) and Sophia Bartlow stepped up to do battle with the men here at the 2014 Location X special event.

With a World Title now in her hands and 4 event wins out of 5 on the Stand Up World Tour, Izzi is no doubt destined for great things in 2015.

Meanwhile looking at Sophia’s surge in the final event of the year, the La Torche Pro France where she finished in 3rd place and put on some of the stand out performances of her year, the future is bright on the Stand Up World Tour and we are looking forward to an exciting 2015.

Morocco steps up to be counted, both by hosting the event & through its athletes

Morocco steps up to be counted, both by hosting the event & through its athletes

Morocco not only showcased itself to be a World Class destination for Stand up Paddling by hosting this Location X Special event, but it also allowed its athletes to step up and be counted, as their leading lights made their country proud in both the inaugural national Championships, but also when coming up against full size swell and the very best athletes in the world.

It was an amazing experience for the visiting athletes, but also for the Moroccans, as they were able to exchange on surfing and culture, as new friends were made and a bright future for the sport is now abundantly clear: they have had their first taste of performance stand up paddling at its best and they want more.

I have no doubt that in 2015, both the number and level of Moroccan talent will sky rocket as we look ahead to our next adventure in this beautiful country

Shokran to the country of Morocco, its people, Sidi Ifni, Mirleft & Aglou

Shokran to the country of Morocco, its people, Sidi Ifni, Mirleft & Aglou

It has been a phenomenal week of competition and discovery here in Morocco, as we have immersed ourselves into the Moroccan way of life and stepped away from the confines of traditional competition through the completely roving venue and more of a surf trip vibe.

The athletes were given an unsurpassed welcome, from their stay up in Tagazhout at Paradis Plage, to Aftas Trip down here in Mirleft and from Sidi Ifni to Aglou, outside of the surfing, the place and the people created a magical experience for all concerned.

Meanwhile in terms of surfing, we saw the most spectacular conditions we have seen all year on the Stand up World Tour, with epic, world class surf that provided the ultimate canvas for our World Class athletes.

A big Mahalo or ‘Shokran’ (thank you) to the Region of Souss Masa Draa, the Commune of Mirleft, Audi, Paradis Plage, Aftas Trip and all our local partners for making this event a reality and for laying the foundations for what promises to be an incredible future in the country.

Our hearfelt thanks also to our new friends here in Morocco, as we look forward to many more adventures in this magical country in the years to come.

Make sure to stay tuned for more highlights, a full recap and event specials, but also for news on TV airdates and much more at www.watermanleague.com

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