The APP World Tour rolled into Long Beach, Long Island this Labor Day weekend to launch the opening ceremonies and competition of the NY SUP Open. Supported by Sea2See eyewear, Skudin Surf, Clif Bar, Dry Rob and Red Bull, the APP World Tour has built a dynamic force to capture the most prominent SUP Surfers and Racers in the history of the sport in a week of non-stop action and entertainment.
The opening ceremonies held at Minnesota’s Long Beach on Friday evening, gathered top racers & surfers from around the globe including Arthur Arutkin, Fiona Wylde, Sean Poynter, Zane Schweitzer, Caio Vaz and Izzi Gomez. Over a plentiful dinner, APP CEO Tristan Boxford welcomed the crowd standing next to the iconic APP World Tour trophy to hoots and hollers from the competitors and friends eager to get into the action of the week ahead.
2018 World Surfing Champion Sean Poynter spoke to being ready and focused for whatever wave action the week holds. “Someone has to win the heat; so, it might as well be me,” he said with a rueful smile.
While Izzi Gomez, fresh off of her Gold Medal win at the PanAmerican Games in Lima, Peru said, “I’m still not sure it’s sunk it, the magnitude of that event. I’m excited to be here in Long Beach and hope the waves are good.”
Saturday dawned bright and clear. With light winds and the remainder of a small pulse from the previous week’s low pressure system sitting off the coast made contest coordinators hopeful to start the first round of surfing. However, as the tide drew out along with the rising run, the swell continued to fade and contest director Anthony Vela made the call for a lay day for the SUP Surfing competition.
However, the energy on the beach was HIGH as contestants from all over arrived to line up on the sand for the ProAm, Amateur and Junior distance racing event. Racers from the age of 9 to 61, including representation from Spain, Ecuador, Puerto Rico, Barbados and Russia, matched by a strong showing from the local Long Beach community found the conditions perfect for the 9KM ProAm, 6KM Amateur and 3KM Junior Pro courses.
The race course consisted of two buoy turns outside the breaking waves, with 9KM participants completing 3 full laps, 6KM, two laps and the Junior Pro, one lap only. Gentle headwinds and a relatively flat ocean greeted the racers for the Community Paddle Festival aspect of the APP World Tour. The crowd was vociferous and enthusiastic as race commentator Jeff Anthony kept the energy contagious throughout the event.
The excitement reached a fever pitch as the 6KM Junior Pro Men made for a fast & furious finish with Fernando Perez Serra from Spain coming down to a foot race on the beach against Puerto Rico’s Maximillian Torres. Diving over the line, Serra claimed the win with Torres a mere .59 seconds close behind in second place. Edwin Cornier rounded out the Top 3 in a testament to the future of SUP racing in the excitement at Long Beach.
With 2018 APP World Champion Aruthr Arutkin giving out the medals and world class commentators and photographers documenting the event, the Amateur, ProAm and Junior Pro prize-giving was a highlight on this 2nd stop on the World Racing Tour.
This all-inclusive aspect of the APP World Tour's itinerary brought competitors from as far away as Russia, Argentina, Barbados and Austria in order to test their mettle on the same racing grounds as the Pros will experience in a few days time. Smiles and cheers won the day, as the APP awarded tee shirts and medals with Top Finishers receiving recycled sea plastic sun glasses made by Tour Partner Sea2See.
It's moments like these where we witness the Pros cheering and supporting the new members of the sport that we remember what makes stand up paddling so special. We are connected, by our love of paddling, the ocean and our friendships with each other.
NEXT Call for Surfing is tomorrow morning, Sunday, Sept. 1st at 7AM with a first possible start at 7:30AM. In addition, Sunday will host the technical course for our ProAm races and the Pool will be full of kids and SUP Yoga action. All events are out in front of Skudin Surf at 1 Riverside Blvd, Long Beach NY.
Stick around Sunday night at 7PM as we gather at the Allegria Hotel for an exclusive screening of the SUP Film Festival benefitting Paddle4Good and Surf4All in the Grand Ballroom. This special event hosts an evening of inspirational films about stand up paddling as a fundraiser for community projects benefiting children with special needs. Pros, Amateurs, Family and Friends alike, this special evening hosted by the APP is not to be missed. $20 entry for adults / $12 for children U12.