Connor Baxter, 17 of Maui won his career’s first major stand up paddle competition on Sept 24 in California’s Rainbow Sandals Gerry Lopez Battle of the Paddle. In the most thrilling stand up paddle boards’ completion, Baxter went up against some of the world’s best. Baxter’s biggest stand up paddle boards competitor was Jamie Mitchell of Australia who is the 10x world paddleboard champion. Other completion was from Danny Ching of California, who is California’s defending Paddle champion. Stand up paddle board reviews at the championship were all praises for the 17 year old paddle boarder, who made the competition look silly.
In the women’s elite stand up paddle boards competition, Candice Appleby won for the fourth successive year, without giving her competitors a chance to fight back. All Elite the competitors of stand up paddle boards were competing under a completely new qualifying round format. The racers had to begin with paddling down a 2 mile qualifier before beginning the 3 mile buoy course for the championship. After considering at the increased number of competitors and after considering stand up paddle board reviews, the judges decided to go in for the extended qualifying round.
Baxter along with Ching and Mitchell were the first ones to complete their qualifying round and break away from the other 80 competitors. These three elite stand up paddle boarders fought a ferocious battle to the finish line, each trading for the first spot on the three lap course. Buoy turns and surf riding was made critical, which made the race much more competitive. At the end Baxter finished in a time of 43:52 min, followed close second by Mitchell with 43:55 and Chingcame close at third with 44:00 minutes. Stand up paddle board reviews were all good for the three top finishers in the men’s and women’s section.