2016 ISA World Championship Day 5 Extreme Temps and Grueling Conditions

Women Face Extreme Temps and Grueling Conditions in Distance Course

2016 ISA World Championship
Women’s SUP & Paddleboard Distance Races – Day #5

Women Face Extreme Temps and Grueling Conditions in Distance Course

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The Women’s SUP and Paddleboard Distance races were held to hot & grueling conditions, the course had to be changed twice due to excessively low tides, but the women’s 18K distance Final in the 2016 ISA World SUP & Paddleboard Championships did not disappoint. At the start line, some of the best athletes in Women’s SUP and Paddleboard racing today, lined up at Cloudbreak first and eyed the Gold 18 kilometers away at Musket Cove.

Racers charge toward Tavarua at the start of the Women's SUP Distance Race | Photo by Tavarua SUP Sean Evans
Racers charge toward Tavarua at the start of the Women’s SUP Distance Race | Photo by Tavarua SUP Sean Evans

Team Hawaii’s team manager, Matthew Schweitzer described today’s distance course by saying, “Conditions were not on the racer’s side. With the hottest temperatures we have experienced all week, and not a breath of air in the sky or any swell in the water, athletes were forced to race a grueling 18km flat water race only using the current to either help or hinder their performance.”

In the Women’s SUP race, defending champion, USA’s Candice Appleby quickly jumped to the front of the pack at the start and by the time she reached the island of Namotu, she had built a 100 metre lead on her closest competitor, France’s Olivia Piana. Appleby’s dominant lead only continued to grow; however, she nearly made a critical error as she lost track of the last buoy before Musket Cove. A seasoned competitor and one that keeps a cool head in the heat of battle, as she realized her error, she redirected her course and rounded the final buoy crossing the finish line in 2:02:2.54 and earning her second Gold medal.

Appleby defends her World Title despite intense heat and strong competition
Appleby defends her World Title despite intense heat and strong competition | Photo by Ben Reed

It’s amazing to win gold for the second time in the distance race,” said Appleby. “It was a really hot course out there today with challenging conditions.

Matty Schweitzer concurred by saying, “Most athletes ran out of water and needed assistance, while a handful of athletes on both days were in great need of oxygen and an IV once crossing the finish line. I myself, am completely blown away by these athletes determination, strength and pure willpower to push through such grueling conditions.”
Grueling indeed, as the girls charged up the Cove and France’s dominant force Olivia Piana crossed the finish line behind Appleby at 2:04.32 and earning her country’s Silver medal. Spaniard Laura Quetglas claimed bronze in a time of 2:07.02.

Strong and steady, Olivia Piana stayed the course to bring France another Silver medal
Strong and steady, Olivia Piana stayed the course to bring France another Silver medal | Photo by Ben Reed

The Women’s Paddleboard Distance Race took off from Cloudbreak 1 minute after the SUP racers and a two-woman race quickly developed.

Australia’s Harriet Brown, already a Gold Medal winner in the Technical Race, and New Zealand’s Dannielle McKenzie, who had earned the Silver in that same race, jumped out ahead of the pack at a blistering pace. Both riders remained neck and neck the whole way to the final sprint towards the finish at Musket Cove, bypassing almost the whole field of SUP racers despite starting the race a minute after them.

Australia's Brown and McKenzie dominate the lead
Australia’s Brown and McKenzie dominate the lead

During the intense final 100 meters sprint, Australia’s Harriet Brown managed to build less than a board length lead to cross the line first and win the Gold Medal ahead of Danielle McKenzie who took the Silver. Minutes off the leaders, Bronze Medalist earned by France’s Flora Manciet crossed the finish line in an impressive final.
“Danielle McKenzie and I are really good friends,” said Brown after the race. “We decided that we would pull away from the pack together. We worked in unison, but on that second to last buoy we stopped talking and knew it was going to be a sprint to the finish.”

Brown & McKenzie pulling together until the last 200m sprint
Caption: Brown & McKenzie pulling together until the last 200m sprint

Team Hawaii’s team captain was impressed by this and the overall sportsmanship of the entire event. Matthew Schweitzer offered great kudos to ALL the competitors saying, “Once again, the comradery between not just teammates, but all Nations together was a true test image of sportsmanship and professionalism. On both days of men’s and women’s racing, Nations from around the world came together to cheer on and paddle the last stretch of the race with the final finishers.”

Ben Reed

The 2016 ISA’s World SUP and Paddleboard Championship event is quickly setting the standard moving forward. Challenging conditions, strong surf conditions and national team spirits make THIS a championship to remember!

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Evelyn O’Doherty
Evelyn O'Doherty, owner & publisher of the new Standup Journal 2.0, worked her way up the ranks in the world of stand up paddling. A former surfer gone rogue, Evelyn stepped onto a SUP for the first time in 2009 when a plaguing neck injury kept her out of the water from surfing. Discovering the core benefits and expanded perspective on the water that stand up paddling brings, Ev immediately was hooked. She became a strong SUP racer in the North East and a year-round SUP surfer, gathering multiple top brand sponsorships including becoming a team rider for Starboard SUP and a national ambassador for Kialoa, as well as celebrating all aspects of the sport with additional brand ambassadorships including lululemon athletica, Clif Bar, Cobian, Kaenon & Indo Board. Her love of watersports and commitment to advocacy in preserving our marine environments led to a short film made with The Nature Conservancy as part of their Clean Water initiatives on Long Island, NY, called "A New Perspective". Evelyn just keeps paddling. Today, she's stepped up to take over the helm at Standup Journal after having worked for the magazine for 2 years as senior online editor. Her dedication and belief in the power of print to immerse readers in the watersports they love even if they don't have access to the water in a daily existence plus a powerful desire to spotlight the amazing people doing rad sh*t on the water is what drives her vision for Standup Journal 2.0. Evelyn welcomes the conversation about how to make the magazine benefit as many people as possible and encourages feedback, letters to the editor and communication at editor@standupjournal.com . Now, as owner/publisher for Standup Journal., Evelyn continues to live in East Hampton NY where she has daily access to the water. When the swell is working, you can find her in Montauk rattling around in her Ford Ranger surfboards hanging out the back headed for points East.