Team Australia reclaim gold at 2016 Fiji ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championship
Team Australia have reclaimed the Team Gold Medal and Waikiki-Peru World Team Champion Trophy at the 2016 Fiji ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championship, beating the other 25 nations to the title.
Australia had previously won the team title at the first three editions of the competition after losing to Team USA at the 2015 edition.
On their way to winning the title, Team Australia won a total of ten medals meaning they beat their closest rivals, France, by more than 1000 points. New Zealand and Hawaii finished in the other medal spots, taking bronze and copper, respectively.
ISA President Fernando Aguerre spoke of the event, saying:
“This is the end of a historic week of competition as SUP was raised to new heights and a new standard set for the sport. The epic waves of Cloudbreak and the pristine waters that run between Fiji’s tropical islands were the ideal locations to display the beauty and excitement of this sport to the world.
“I would like to give a big thanks to Tourism Fiji and all those who made this event possible. The Fijian people greeted us with their warm, contagious ‘Bula’ vibes and left a lasting impression on all of us. We will leave here as ambassadors of this country, their culture and their amazing waves.”
Lenny leaves it late
There were some outstanding individual performances throughout the whole competition, but Kai Lenny probably edges them all with his performance as the anchor in the Team Relay Race. Heading into the last lap, Lenny was in fourth position and well behind the leaders.
However, he quickly made up ground and on the final stretch to the finish, he passed Australia’s Lincoln Dews and New Zealand’s Marcus Hansen to take gold for Team Hawaii.
The win also earned Team Hawaii 1000 points, which bumped them into a podium position with the Copper Medal.
Speaking of the race, and his debut World Championships, Lenny said the following:
“When I got to that last buoy I realized that I was gaining on the guys up front. I knew on the final upwind stretch that I needed to attack.
“After experiencing my first ISA World Championship, the event was so fun. It’s special because it’s one for all and we are all supporting each other. I made a commitment to compete for Team Hawaii and the camaraderie has been amazing.”
Team GB finished in a respectable 12th place, but will be hoping to improve their standings when the World Championships head to Denmark in 2017. Next year’s hosts finished in 16th place, so they will also be seeking a better performance on home soil.
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