SUP Technical Racing Brings Intensity to Day Two

October 30th, 2022

4 Men’s SUP Racing qualifiers confirmed for Santiago 2023 Pan American Games

Womens field evenly stacked with veterans and fresh faces

San Juan, Puerto Rico – October 30th 2022

Day two of the 2022 ISA World StandUp Paddle and Paddleboard Championship was defined by intense battles, with both individual medals and 2023 Pan American Games qualification on the line in the SUP Technical Racing discipline.

An increase in swell added the element of surfing the athletes were hoping for, with great conditions creating an exciting Round 1 and Semifinals in both men’s and women’s divisions.

Connor Baxter (USA), David Leāo (BRA), Itzel Delgado (PER) each qualified themselves for the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games by making the Final out of the second men’s Semifinal.  Santino Basaldela (ARG) had to wait for the completion of the second Semifinal heat to hear that his 7th position in Semifinal 1 was enough to grant him a qualification slot.  Basaldela’s 7th place finish in the Semifinal classified him 13th in the overall rankings, making him the 4th highest ranked racer from the Americas.

Leão was extremely happy to make the men’s final, but he was also ecstatic to qualify for the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games with his teammates carrying off the beach after his finish in the Semifinal.

“I’m so happy for my result today. That’s my big goal this year, to qualify for the Pan American Games 2023,” Leão said. “I’m looking so hard for the next year to represent Brazil.”

The fastest time of the day (26 minutes, 51 seconds) went to an unlikely candidate, Michael Booth (AUS). Competing for the first time in the SUP Technical Race, the two-time SUP Distance Race gold medalist won both of his heats today, despite coming from far behind in both.

“The longer the race goes on, the better I’m going to feel, so I make sure I don’t work too hard trying to keep up with those fast guys early on,” Booth said. “Hopefully tomorrow I can do my best race and come out with a good result.”

In the women’s division qualification for the 2023 Santiago Pan American Games will be decided in tomorrow’s 12-woman Final, with seven women from the Americas competing for just four slots.

Connor Baxter - Team USA. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

Two-time SUP Technical Race gold medalist Candice Appleby (USA) kept a significant lead in both of her heats, but it was defending gold medalist Esperanza Barreras (ESP) who found the fastest time of the day (29 minutes, 28 seconds). Barreras was the only woman to complete the race in less than 30 minutes.

The two will be joined in the Final by fellow veterans Jennifer Kalmbach (CRC) and Lina Augaitis (CAN), Stephanie Bodden (PAN) and April Zilg (USA), who each delivered impressive performances today. Kalmbach’s form was especially impressive considering it was her first time competing in six years.

Esperanza Barreras - Team Spain. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

Meanwhile up and comers like Mariecarmen Rivera (PUR), Laura Dal Pont (ITA), Cecilia Pampinella (ITA) and Duna Gordillo (ESP) also progressed to the Final and will be looking to claim a gold medal for the next generation.

Placing a close second behind teammate Barreras in Semifinal 2, the 2019 Junior SUP Technical Race silver medalist Gordillo will pose a strong challenge. The 19-year-old is competing in her first open event and is excited for the future of the sport.

“My hope is for the tech races to be included in the LA 2028 Olympic Games,” Gordillo said. “It is my personal goal to be able to go to the Olympics.”

Local Organizing Committee President and distinguished Member of the International Olympic Committee, Richard Carrion, was in attendance during the day’s racing and was enthusiastic about the performances and the dynamic nature of the discipline in view of the ISA’s bid for Olympic inclusion for SUP Technical Racing.

ISA President Fernando Aguerre said:

“The amazing SUP Technical Race course in Puerto Rico showcases exactly the sort of skill and athleticism that make this discipline such a wonderful candidate for the LA 2028 Olympic Games.

“The element that surfing plays in the course, as well as technical skill involved in the turns and racing, was on full display today, and will be even more eventful in tomorrow’s Finals.

”I want to be the first to congratulate these four outstanding SUP racers from the Americans for punching their tickets to Santiago for the Pan American Games.”

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