SUP Technical Race World Champions Crowned

October 31st, 2022

SUP Technical Race World Champions Crowned

16-year-old Japanese prodigy Shuri Araki youngest ever to win Mens SUP Technical Race gold medal

Candice Appleby (USA) wins third Women’s SUP Technical Race gold medal


San Juan, Puerto Rico – October 31st 2022

An increase in swell made for fast, exciting races as World Champions were crowned in the SUP Technical Race on day three of the 2022 ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championship.

Also decided were the four qualifiers for the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games in the Women’s division, Candice Appleby (USA), Jennifer Kalmbach (CRC), Mariecarmen Rivera (PUR) and Lena Ribeiro (BRA).

It is no surprise that the three medalists from Lima 2019, Appleby, Rivera, and Riberio are returning. It does mark a major moment in the career of Kalmbach, however, who has just returned from six-years away from competition.

Strategy and positioning were key in the winning performances of both men’s and women’s divisions today, with wave-riding skills providing huge leads to Shuri Araki (JPN) and Candice Appleby (USA), who each claimed gold medals for their teams.

Shuri Araki - Team Japan. Photo: ISA / Pablo Franco

Appleby leapt to the lead after catching a wave on the first lap and didn’t let up for the entirety of the Women’s Final. Defending 2019 gold medalist Esperanza Barreras (ESP) finished in silver after maintaining second place throughout the race. Melanie Lafenetre (FRA) was in a closer battle with April Zilg (USA). The Frenchwoman claimed bronze and the American copper.

Candice Appleby - Team USA. Photo: ISA / Ben Reed

It is Appleby’s third ISA gold medal in this discipline and fifth overall. The 37-year-old was overwhelmed by emotion when considering the stage of her career and the support she has received to once again find herself atop the podium.

“I was okay with retiring, not because I don’t love competing, but because I’m so fulfilled being a coach,” Appleby shared. “I’m so excited to go back to the Pan American Games, but the work is not done. I start SUP Surf tomorrow. I’d like to double-qualify.”

In the defining moment of the Men’s Final, Noic Garioud (FRA) and Shuri Araki (JPN) shared a wave on the home stretch of the second lap. Garioud fell, while Araki was able to continue riding for a large distance. That gap led to an almost 75m lead that Araki never gave up.

Garioud ended up in a tight race against teammate Titouan Puyo (FRA), managing to maintain silver, with Puyo winning bronze, while Michael Booth (AUS) held a more distant fourth place to take the copper medal.

At 16-years-old Araki is the youngest member of APP World Tour, and now the youngest SUP Technical Racing gold medalist. He was full of confidence despite racing against some of his heroes.

“I’m very happy,” Araki said. “I’m only 16. Everyone says, ‘You should go to Junior division.’ I know I’m still small and not strong enough, but I believe efficiency beats power.”

ISA President Fernando Aguerre said:

“The world’s best once again showed their incredible skill in this thrilling and challenging race. Today we saw the veterans returning to the podium, but also the young generation of new SUP racers winning medals and the future of this sport is incredibly bright.

“It is so exciting to now have the full eight SUP Racing qualifiers for the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games. Huge congratulations to each of these amazing athletes. What an incredible moment on our way to possible inclusion in the LA 2028 Olympic Games.”

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