Die USA startet alljährlich mit dem SUP Carolina Cup am WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH – NORTH CAROLINA in die Racing Saison. Für unsere Starboard SUP Teamfahrer hätte die Saison nicht besser starten können.
Michael Booth siegte im Long Distance überragend in seinem ersten Race seit 7 Monaten. Connor Baxter holte sich Gold im Tech Race gefolgt von Teamkollege Noic Garioud.
“Sunday was the Sprint Races and we hadn’t had much waves, but some solid wind, which put some texture and swell on the ocean.
I had to make it through two heats before lining up for the finals, so the game plan was to use those heats as a warm up and to get all the mistakes out of the way. In my first heat that’s exactly what happened, with a minor fall on the second buoy turn. Having that one fall was definitely a bummer, but at the same time I got that out of the way, so that when the semi final and final came around I was relaxed and focused.
„The semis were stacked and only 4 of us made it into the finals. This time around no falls, but always little things to improve on so that the finals were flawless. Making it into the finals is always a relief and I was ready for action. The racers all lined up and I had my eyes set on that first buoy turn. The horn blew and I sprinted off the sand into the water with nice board speed allowing me to lock in first place from the start. The first turn went as planned whipping it around in first and started pounding upwind to the next turn. This turn was definitely tricky and I had already fallen on that exact turn in the first heat. It was more than a 180 degree turn straight into some side downwind swells, which I knew was my best chance. I heard a pile up behind me and took off chasing every swell possible. This gave me a little lead, but the race wasn’t over with one more turn and a big stretch into the beach. Noic was right behind me and I knew I had to paddle like crazy to maintain my lead. I caught some little swells that took me to the shoreline and ran up in first place.”Connor Baxter
“Great day for me and a hard fought battle. Just the way I like it. I started to plan, chasing the small bumps on offer and getting to the inlet in the top pack. I had to work with and against the pack to put myself in the best position to win for that final 3kms in the ocean.
I had a few minor cramps in my hands and pectoral around the 90min mark that had me worried it was all over. The pack split going out of Masonboro inlet and I was quickly in 4th. I changed my technique to counter the cramps and just dug deep as these opportunities to win don’t come around too often.
I was feeling good to the salmon bouy but as I turned my forearms completely went and I was just surviving to the beach. I just held it together as I really wanted it and was happy to come away with the win. It’s been 7 months since my last SUP event so to win and start off 2022 with a bang I am very happy. Big thanks to Starboard SUP for all their support. Couldn’t do it without them.”Michael Booth