Congrats to Denmark’s Viking rider Casper Steinfath and Australia’s Terrene Black for taking home the wins in the sprint divisions for Day One of the Maui Pro AM.
Sup Sprint Races at Maui Pro AM
In a great first day of racing, the APP World Tour delivers excitement, upset and dynamic wins in the Sprint division of the Maui Pro AM. The event kicked off under flawless conditions for the sprint races at Ho’okipa Beach Park on the island. Standup paddling’s top athletes battled out two lap heats through head high surf in order to establish the pecking order in the sprints.
In the opening round, current world champion Connor Baxter of Starboard swept the opening heat and advanced directly to the Semi-Final round along with Bernd Roediger of team Naish. Also finishing at the top in their respective heats included F-ONE new, dynamic team rider Josh Riccio along with Australian’s James Casey and Toby Cracknell.
Tangle in the Surf leads to Head-to-Head Rematch
The Top Three contenders from each of the men’s rounds advanced directly to Round Three while the remaining athletes took to the Repocharge heats in Round Two for a second chance to earn a spot in the Semi-Finals. A great competition followed between fellow Starboard athletes, Italy’s Leonard Nika and Australian powerhouse Michael Booth. In their heat within the repocharge rounds, the two managed to get tangled in the surf in what was later ruled by contest officials as direct interference from Nika. In order to settle the dispute, the two Starboard riders were put to a single lap head-to-head heat in which Nika came out on top and advanced to Round Three.
Women Racers looking Fierce and Focused throughout Event
For the women, there was a stacked list of eight of the world’s fastest racers all seeking the win as they moved through their three heats in the sprints. Women’s super stars including Candice Appleby, Izzy Gomez, Fiona Wylde, Sonni Honscheid and Annie Reickert to name a few that were on the start line to make the most of Day One in the Maui Pro AM. It could have been anyone’s title.
In Heat One, after two laps through the Ho’okipa surf, Australian star Terrene Black came on strong for the win with fierce contender Fiona Wylde close on her heels. In the second round, the two built the competitive fire between them as Fiona crossed the finish first with Terrene coming in second.
Youngest Contender Annie Reickert takes to the podium
In perhaps the most exciting underdog experience of the day, the youngest female contender on the field, local Maui racer, Annie Reickert came on strong and dominant in the Third Heat to take the win but, according to points awarded for placement, it wasn’t quite enough to carry the overall victory. At the end of the day, Australian’s Terrene Black finished as overall champion in the Sprint Races with young contender Annie Reickert placing second, Fiona Wylde third and Izzy Gomez fourth.
Men’s line up in the Final Rounds proves daunting
In the men’s final rounds, the level of intensity grew to an all-time pitch in the Semi-Finals as Hawaiian favorites Mo Freitas of Focus SUP Hawaii and Connor Baxter riding for Starboard met the Maui conditions with poise to take the top seeds going into the finals. Then, the Top Two of the consolation final, Lincon Dews and Travis Grant advanced to take their place on the start line for the Final Event.
Casper Steinfath takes home the win in Sprints at Maui Pro AM
The men’s final began with a tightly-matched group of the day’s fastest paddlers gunning off the start line. Through the head-high surf they charged with Denmark’s Casper Steinfath quickly taking the lead ahead of local Maui boys Connor Baxter and Mo Freitas. Steinfath kept his lead and, after rounding the final buoy, found his way into a final bump and took a victory surf to shore claiming his win for the day. Mo Freitas took the second place win with legend Connor Baxter finishing third in the Sprint competition for Day One of the Maui Pro AM.
Stay tuned for MORE updates on the DISTANCE RACES for the Maui Pro AM and the rest of the APP World Tour here at Standup Journal.com