The Naish La Torche Pro, presented by O'Neill was concluded in spectacular fashion late yesterday with epic clean waves and offshore wins. After a worrisome afternoon that saw a major thunderstorm come through, the beautiful beach at Pointe de La Torche lit up for the semi finals and finals, the winds turned offshore and the sun came out. After a full week here in Brittany, it had come down to the Final 8 to decide the 2011 Champion for the second stop of the Stand Up World Tour and determins the ranking standings.
Kai Lenny continues his dominance
At just 18 years old, Kai Lenny is already fast becoming the 'Kelly Slater' of Stand Up Paddling, with another flawless performance in the beautiful waves of Pointe de La Torche. Winning all his heats, Kai put on a masterclass in the Final, comboing his competitors in the first few minutes of the heat with two of the most spectacular rides of the contest so far. With two wins out of two on the 2011 Stand Up World Tour, Kai has now featured in 6 out of 7 Finals on the Stand Up World Tour so far and continues to up his performance level from event to event. He is a true Champion and a great ambassador for the sport.
Antoine Delpero wins the Air Tahiti Nui awardKai met with Antoine Delpero in the quarters and semis and battled it out, wave for wave, for the closest fought battles of the event and some of the most spectacular displays of high performance stand up paddling of the contest. However, in the Final, Kai stepped it up a notch, and Antoine failed to find the right waves to challenge Kai as he would have liked and is capable of doing. Despite this, Antoine walked away with Air Tahiti Nui's award for the biggest move of the quarters, semis and finals with an insane snap into air drop, more reminiscent of shortboard than anything else. The Frenchman did his people proud here in France!
Brazilian Leco Salazar steps up againLeco Salazar once again stepped up in the beachbreak conditions to be the only one to get close to Kai in the Finals - in the end he was 3 points or so short of the Champion, but linked together some great rides with vertical backside turns and an effortless 360. THis is a great resuylt for the Brazilian who now moves in to second place alongside the Hawaiian Robin Johnston. Robin narrowly missed out on a place in the main event despite some spectacular rides, but with a 2nd and a 5th place so far this year, stays in 2nd place in the overall rankings alongside Leco.
Sean Poynter makes the Final 4The ever evolving Sean Poynter from the US continued his momentum onwards and upwards by making the Final 4, surfing spectacularly through the quarters and semis to earn his place. Despite not finding the waves he wanted in the heat, Sean was happy to be the final American standing and to improve his standings on the Stand Up World Tour
Robby Naish makes it to La TorcheRobby Naish, as Title Sponsor of the event, but also having spent many years here in La Torche for World Championship Windsurfing events back in the 80s and 90s makes it back to the mystical region of Bigouden. He was astounded that the beautiful Pointe de La Torche and this region have remained untouched since he had last been there, one of the few places in the world that can boast that. He also managed to get out on the water in an exhibition between the semis and Finals, showcasing that he is still as hungry as ever to be out on the water and performing.
La Torche Pro an overwhelming successFrom the wealth of talent in the Trials to the Na Kama Kai Youth Challenge and then the Main event, all held in spectacular conditions here at Pointe de La Torche, the Naish La Torche Pro was an overwhelming success. A big thankyou to Naish, O'Neill, Enbata, XXIX, Beach Concepts, le pays de Bigouden and Credit Mutuel de Bretagne.
From the wealth of talent in the Trials to the Na Kama Kai Youth Challenge and then the Main event, all held in spectacular conditions here at Pointe de La Torche, the Naish La Torche Pro was an overwhelming success. A big thankyou to Naish, O'Neill, Enbata, XXIX, Beach Concepts, le pays de Bigouden and Credit Mutuel de Bretagne.
A big thankyou as well to the Stand Up World Tour Patrons (see www.standupworldtour.com), Stand Up Journal, the official magazine for the Stand Up World Tour and Air Tahiti Nui, the Official Airline for the Stand Up World Tour. Next up is the Sapinus Pro, presented by Air Tahiti Nui that will run from the 28th May to the 5th June. This event will see the best in the world in some of the most challenging and awe-inspiring conditions possible. Our other partners in Tahiti are Tahiti Tourisme, the Moorings boats and the Mairie of Punaauia. Stay tuned for the latest and greatest from the Stand Up World Tour at www.standupworldtour.com.