Huge Junior Wins for Italy’s Cecilia Pampinella and France’s Vaic Garioud

November 5th, 2022

Redemption for Spain’s Judit Vergés as she claims first gold medal

Hunter Pflueger (USA) and Julen Marticorena (FRA) repeat distance performance, take one-two in Prone Technical Race

Defending champions France hold strong in race for Team gold medals

San Juan, Puerto Rico – November 5, 2022

A challenging day of racing in rough weather conditions saw gold medals awarded to four new World Champions on day eight of the 2022 ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championships.

The heavily deteriorating conditions did nothing to deter an exceptionally strong performance from Cecilia Pampinella (ITA) in the final race of the day, the Girls Junior SUP Technical Race. The 16-year-old, who also won the copper medal in the Women’s SUP Sprint Race this week, finished well over two minutes ahead of Sonia Caimari (ESP) in silver.

“I’m super, super happy,” Pampinella said. “When I started this part two years ago, during my training as an intermediate, I always said I wanted to be a World Champion. And now I’m a World Champion!”

One of the most impressive achievements came from the youngest competitor, Soryn Preston (USA), who won bronze at just 13-years-old. Locked in a close pack with Yu Tachibana (JPN) and Rosara Davis (NZL) for much of the race, Preston managed to gain the lead around the final buoy. Meanwhile, Davis fell on a side wave, allowing Tachibana a slight edge to take the copper medal.

Girls SUP Technical Race Final. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

The Women’s Prone Technical Race was also very clear cut. Judit Vergés (ESP) found the lead early and only increased throughout the course, winning by over a minute. After a disqualification for much of the field in the Prone Distance Race in 2019 cost her a gold medal, the Spaniard has spent the past three years ready to finally sit atop the podium.

“It’s very emotional because three years ago in El Salvador I lost my gold medal in the long distance because some of us were disqualified,” Vergés said. “So this is a present for all the work that I’ve been doing during these three years. I couldn’t be more happy for that.”

Italy’s Cornelia Rigatti bettered yesterday’s Prone Distance Race bronze medal performance to win silver, while Prone Distance Race gold medalist Yurika Horibe (JPN) took bronze and Rebecca Barron won her first medal for New Zealand, a copper.

Men's Prone Technical Race Final. Photo: ISA / Pablo Franco

Hunter Pflueger (USA) and Julen Marticorena (FRA) showed their dominance in prone racing for the second day in a row. Pflueger won his first Prone Technical Race gold medal, while defending champion Marticorena collected silver in an exact repeat of yesterday’s Prone Distance Race.

Pflueger and Marticorena managed to stay neck-and-neck for almost the entirety of the three laps on the 5km long technical course, until a knock from a wave almost took Marticorena out on the home stretch. By that point Pflueger had already made his break with a sprint to the finish.

“You’ve gotta play it smart,” Pflueger said. “There’s waves, so that opens up the door for anything to happen. And, as we saw in the race, anything can happen.”

Andrew Newton (NZL) held third place for the majority of the course to win the bronze medal, while Andrew Byatt (GBR) matched his 2019 performance, as well as yesterday’s Prone Distance Race, to win his third copper medal.

The Boy’s SUP Technical Race started out tightly contested, but it did not finish that way. Vaic Garioud (FRA) made a break during the first of three laps and kept an error-free pace through rough conditions that knocked other racers out of competition entirely.

For the most part Campbell Carter (USA) held strong in second position, but it was Nariakira Shimazu (JPN) who stood out. After tangling his board leash around a buoy on the first lap, Shimazu fell to 8th place, yet still made up a huge distance to finish just 45 seconds behind Garioud and claim the silver medal. Carter was close behind in bronze, with Lucas Simoncelli (ESP) a more distant fourth to take the copper medal.

“I’m super happy to be part of this French team here in Puerto Rico,” Garioud said. “I got that gold medal. Hopefully I’ll be part of the 2028 Olympic Games in SUP. That would be my dream.”

ISA President Fernando Aguerre said:

“The outstanding performances from our passionate junior athletes shows that the future is incredibly bright for SUP Technical Racing. What a sight it would be to see these young men and women have the opportunity to win the ultimate gold medals for their nations at the LA 2028 Olympic Games.

“It will be so exciting to see who comes out on top in the Relay Race tomorrow, as we determine the Team champions after such a thrilling week of action in Puerto Rico.”

Men’s Prone Technical Race
Gold – Hunter Pflueger (USA)
Silver – Julen Marticorena (FRA)
Bronze – Andrew Newton (NZL)
Copper – Andrew Byatt (GBR)

Women’s Prone Technical Race
Gold – Judit Vergés (ESP)
Silver – Cornelia Rigatti (ITA)
Bronze – Yurika Horibe (JPN)
Copper – Rebecca Baron (NZL)

Boy’s SUP Technical Race
Gold – Vaic Garioud (FRA)
Silver – Nariakira Shimazu (JPN)
Bronze – Campbell Carter (USA)
Copper – Lucas Simoncelli (ESP)

Girl’s SUP Techinical Race
Gold – Cecilia Pampinella (ITA)
Silver – Sonia Caimari (ESP)
Bronze – Soryn Preston (USA)
Copper – Yu Tachibana (JPN)

Team Rankings
1. France (13810)
2. USA (13621)
3. Spain (12979)
4. Brazil (11198)
5. Japan (10983)

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