September 29, 2013
by Christopher Parker (@wheresbossman)

BATTLE OF THE PADDLE: Annabel Anderson Takes The Double-Double, Kai Lenny Wins The Elite Race While Injured Travis Grant Goes The Distance

2013 Battle of the Paddle results

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SKIP TO THE RESULTS: Women’s Elite Race Final | Men’s Elite Race Final | Women’s Elite Distance Race | Men’s Elite Distance Race | Elite Race Qualifying Heat #1 | Elite Race Qualifying Heat #2 | Open Race | Open Distance Race | Elite Team Relay | Open Team Relay | Kids’ Races
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Day One: Annabel Anderson Goes Back-To-Back While Kai Lenny Goes Flawless

We’ve just finished an amazing opening day of racing here at the Battle of the Paddle, with epic performances across both the men’s and women’s Elite Race finals producing perhaps the most memorable day in SUP racing history.

The organisers were certainly vindicated in having chosen to run a separate women’s Elite Race final with the girls putting on a big show. Jenny Kalmbach pushed Annabel Anderson right to the line while the Aussies stepped up and showed their strength, with Karla Gilbert living up to her dark horse reputation in claiming third and Molokai champ Terrene Black fighting all the way for fourth, ahead of a strong Mariko Strickland.

After a slow start Annabel controlled the entire race, hitting the Golden Buoy first and never losing the lead. But despite the odds Jenny refused to give in and came very, very close to an upset. At the end of the penultimate lap, Jenny caught a large set from the outside, held her rail and surfed up to Annabel, with the two leading ladies hitting the beach together and starting the final lap side by side. Jenny hung onto Annabel’s tail for almost the entire final lap before a fall just 400 meters from the line lost her valuable ground.

The women’s Elite Race final was more exciting than any of us predicted. It was great to see the girls getting all the spotlight for a change, rather than being stuck in the middle of the men’s group. This was definitely a big step up for the women’s side of the sport.

Battle of the Paddle 2013 Elite Race

Then it was time for the men’s race… Despite a ridiculously deep field featuring dozens of new faces, it was a repeat of last year as Danny Ching, Connor Baxter and Kai Lenny broke the rest of the field on the second lap. After a slow start, Danny was playing catch-up the entire race, while Connor and Kai were setting the pace. But after Kai caught a little bump and pulled away from his Maui rival, something clicked into gear and the young star went on an absolute rampage.

By the start of the final lap Kai had already established a near-insurmountable lead, then nailed the coffin shut with a blistering five minute burst. But just as it looked as if Kai was cruising to a memorable win, Connor found his freakish sprint speed and started gaining ground. Fast. Within one minute Kai’s lead had been halved, though it still looked big enough for him to hold on. Rounding the last buoy Kai still looked unbeatable, but a combination of Connor’s fighting spirit and a lack of waves came very, very close to producing a sprint-up-the-beach finish. Connor was just one or two paddle strokes away from getting onto the small wave that Kai eventually caught and surfed to victory…

Kai Lenny’s performance was flawless. He raced the perfect race, which is exactly what he needed to do to get past Danny and Connor. So, despite a new breed of racers stepping it up this year, the men’s top three was a repeat of last year, only in slightly different order.

Day Two: Travis Grant Overcomes Injury For Inspirational Win While Annabel Anderson Makes It A Double-Double

After the energy surrounding yesterday’s epic Elite Race Finals, surely there was no way today’s 10 mile Distance Race could come anywhere close to matching it. But someone forgot to tell that to Travis Grant and Annabel Anderson…

Travis was forced out of yesterday’s main event due to injury, having dislocated his knee while surfing in Hawaii just two weeks ago. It was a cruel blow for the Aussie, who has been on fire this year and would have started one of the hot favourites for sure. Trav can hardly walk right now, let alone run, so the Elite Race and its soft-sand chicane run would have been impossible.

But he can still paddle.

So Travis signed up for the Distance Race, still not sure if his leg would hold up but determined to show his true form. With the traditional Distance Race water-start being scrapped this year in favour of a beach start (which involves a short run into the water), Travis was on the back foot from the beginning. Literally. But in a sign of just how strong this guy is, the Molokai-2-Oahu champ was first to the Golden Buoy that lay 400 meters off the beach. From there the likes of Travis, Danny Ching, Beau O’Brian and Kai Lenny led the pack as the field started to thin out and the inevitable draft trains began to take shape.

While there were a few classy Unlimited paddlers out front (Chuck Glynn, Ryan Helm and Brennan Rose controlled the front of the race on their 17 and 18 footers), most of the big names were in the Elite 14 foot division. The lead draft train was quickly whittled down to 15 paddlers as its pace motored along. Danny Ching spent much of the race on the front, as did Travis and his fellow Gold Coaster Beau O’Brian. The other top guys sat in the draft train, either hanging on for dear life or playing it smart and saving energy.

As the group rounded the halfway turning buoy near San Clemente Pier, the group was still looking safely bunched together. This was bad for Travis: Being unable to run, there was no way he could hit the beach in a pack – the other guys would sprint straight past him on the final, 40 meter soft-sand run up to the finish line.

So Trav’s strategy was clear: He had to somehow break the pack so he could hit the beach with a clear lead, but that was always going to be difficult when Danny Ching and Beau O’Brian were taking turns setting the pace at the front. Travis had no choice though and so at the 8 mile mark he went for it, slowly drifting off the front of the train and moving about 30 meters closer to the beach, where he began paddling in parallel to the lead pack.

The move paid off and pretty soon Travis had roughly a ten-board-length lead on Danny and the rest of the pack, but it was going to be almost impossible to hold onto. Like a lone escapee in a Tour de France mountain stage, Travis simply had to grit his teeth and soldier on, all while setting his own pace and not getting any relief from drafting.

2013 Battle of the Paddle Distance Race

Coming towards the final turning buoy, which was sitting 300 meters out from the finish line on the beach, Travis was still, somehow, in the lead. Just reaching that first buoy on his own was an amazing performance. Trav was at a huge disadvantage to the rest of the field in this race: His knee caused him to have a slow start and a really slow finish, plus it impacted his paddling technique as well, where a lot of pressure goes on the legs. But that wasn’t even the worst of it: Because he couldn’t run to the line, Trav had to finish clear of the pack and that meant he had to break away early. So for the last two miles of the race, while most of the guys were utilising drafting (except for Danny, who was pulling the train), Travis had to do all the work and set his own pace.

If we stopped the race at that buoy it would have been fitting, but unfortunately the finish was on the beach and Trav still had work to do. Rounding the buoy about 6-8 board lengths ahead of Danny, Beau and Zane, Travis desperately tried to find a bump that would take him to the beach with a clear gap. But it wasn’t happening. Two bumps went through that were too small to catch, then a third one appeared and it looked like Danny would catch it and surf up alongside Travis. But the defending Distance Race champ missed it by half a stroke allowing Travis, who was still 10 meters ahead, to catch it by himself and surf into the beach alone.

As he hit the sand, Trav literally hobbled up the line to hold on and record a memorable win by just a few seconds from Danny, with an absolutely stellar third-place performance from Zane Schweitzer (seriously, this guy has been a revelation the past 48 hours…) followed closely by Starboard teammate Beau O’Brian in fourth.

Travis Grant’s win was equally impressive and inspirational, making for a sweet end to the bitter taste of having to miss the Elite Race yesterday. It also caps off a huge year for Trav, with a number of wins throughout the season (including his epic Molokai-2-Oahu victory two months ago) showing he’s one of the very best.

Trav is also the only person, ever, to beat Danny in either a California or Hawaii BOP Distance Race, ending Ching’s six-in-a-row streak. Speaking of the former champ, big credit to Danny for pulling the entire lead draft train along for most of the race. Beau O’Brian and Travis were leading at times, but Danny definitely did most of the work and refused to give up. Travis’ efforts in out-paddling the field over the final two miles were amazing, but likewise Danny’s determined performance shows the young guns haven’t quite taken over just yet.

So the long distance event, which has generally been a fairly mellow afterthought in comparison with the Elite Race festivities, had suddenly created a classic race… and that was just the men.

The women’s race was just as exciting as the men’s, but for different reasons. While the men had 10-15 guys leading the way the whole race, the women’s field was only a four-way battle. However it was the identities, or rather the origins of those four paddlers that made this such a great race.

New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Hawaii. No California.

Sure, Candice was sitting this one out with injury, but the results from the past 48 hours have seen a noticeable shift at the top of women’s professional Stand Up Paddleboarding. While the men’s sport quickly evolved into an international affair, the women’s side has remained rooted in its home of California for much longer. But no more: Yesterday’s Elite Race saw a New Zealander, 2x Aussies and 2x Hawaiian girls on the podium (the first California-less podium ever), while today the top four were spread right around the Pacific.

In a similar thread, this year has seen a new wave of talented young girls step up and challenge for the limelight. As with the topic of internationalisation, the men’s sport has seen a shift to the young guns over the past few years while the older guard of the women have hung on. But this year we saw several teenage girls putting on impressive performances that gives big hope for the future of this sport.

But despite this new wave of female talent, last year’s Distance Race winner Annabel Anderson showed that she’s still the one to beat. The Kiwi had company from the other girls early but soon made her move, rounding the halfway mark with a 30 second lead and then going on to extend it right to the finish line.

This is no easy race, especially after Saturday’s draining action, but Annabel proved she’s a phenomenal athlete who stands slightly above the rest of the women’s scene right now. Today’s win makes it a clean sweep for Annabel Anderson for the second year in a row, giving her the honour of being the first ever paddler to take what I’m nicknaming the “Double-Double” – winning both the Elite and Distance Races at the California BOP two years in a row.

This win was also validation for Annabel. The Kiwi had to fight extremely hard in the Elite Race yesterday, where she got no relief from any waves and had to grind her way to victory ahead of a determined Jenny Kalmbach. But today it was all hers, finishing well clear of another impressive performer, Karla Gilbert – the 38-year-old who has long been an ocean legend in Australia but was a dark horse coming into this event. Karla’s third place in the Elite and second in the Distance were phenomenal. Along with guys like Zane Schweitzer and Casper Steinfath, Karla is definitely the revelation of this year’s BOP.

Coming home third was another paddler making a name for herself this year: Canada’s Lina Augaitis. Lina much prefers flatter, longer races as opposed to the surf race we saw yesterday, so this was her chance to shine. And that’s exactly what she did, coming home third ahead of Jenny Kalmbach.

Two exciting Elite Race Finals. Two exciting Elite Distance Races. And that’s before we even get onto the Team Relays (where the two Naish teams put on a dominant display to take 1st and 3rd), the gigantic Open Race (where Bart de Zwart was so far ahead he did a victory lap) and the super-sized kids’ races (the future!).

What a weekend of racing. What a weekend for the sport…

Battle of the Paddle - Travis Grant and Annabel Anderson


Course: 2.5 laps

#NameRun leg #1Run leg #2Finish TimeAge
1Annabel Anderson0:11:080:24:340:38:0032
2Jenny Kalmbach0:11:200:24:350:38:3330
3Karla Gilbert0:11:310:25:180:39:4138
4Terrene Black0:11:560:26:190:41:0430
5Mariko Strickland0:11:580:26:160:41:0626
6Morgan Hoesterey0:11:560:26:310:41:0832
7Rachel Bruntsch0:12:180:26:300:41:3529
8Shannon Bell0:12:040:26:210:41:3839
9Sondra Purser0:26:190:41:4132
10Gillian Gibree0:12:170:26:320:41:4627
11Fiona Wylde0:12:170:27:080:41:5816
12Gail Vento0:12:050:27:100:42:2337
13Brandi Baksic0:12:030:27:110:42:2541
14Lina Augaitis0:11:570:27:230:42:3132
15Halie Harrison0:12:050:27:440:42:3519
16Angela Jackson0:11:410:26:350:42:4637
17Helga Goebel0:12:360:27:580:42:5536
18Olivia Piana0:12:200:27:470:42:5922
19Marie Buchanan0:12:520:28:160:43:3140
20Alison Riddle0:12:350:27:580:43:3127
21Tamara Leutz0:12:230:28:150:43:5239
22Caline Guesdon0:12:480:28:380:44:0734
23Bailey Rosen0:12:520:28:310:44:2517
24Lucy Bell0:13:190:28:570:44:4033

Course: 3.5 laps

#NameRun leg #1Run leg #2Run leg #3Finish TimeAge
1Kai Lenny0:09:330:21:330:33:450:46:1220
2Connor Baxter0:09:350:21:500:34:220:46:2919
3Danny Ching0:09:510:21:510:34:230:47:0630
4Casper Steinfath0:10:130:22:410:35:000:47:1420
5Mo Freitas0:09:490:22:230:34:520:47:1515
6Zane Schweitzer0:10:290:23:000:23:000:47:1820
7Jake Jensen0:09:520:22:250:34:490:47:2118
8Kelly Margetts0:09:530:22:240:34:530:47:2141
9Lincoln Dews0:10:110:22:230:34:510:47:4817
10Fernando Stalla0:10:270:23:010:35:220:48:1926
11Ryan Helm0:10:420:23:130:35:480:48:4239
12Kody Kerbox0:10:130:22:590:35:490:48:4319
13Beau O'Brian0:10:120:23:000:36:070:48:4530
14Jayden Jensen0:10:110:22:590:35:490:48:4621
15Slater Trout0:10:260:23:020:35:490:48:4618
16Eric Terrien0:10:260:23:140:36:040:48:5531
17Noa Ginella0:10:140:23:150:36:120:49:0519
18Luiz Guida0:11:010:24:010:36:410:49:3229
19Leonard Nika0:10:280:23:380:36:400:49:3526
20Toby Cracknell0:11:000:24:190:37:060:49:4819
21Riggs Napolean0:10:500:23:370:36:530:49:5015
22Chase Kosterlitz0:11:090:24:260:37:180:50:1727
23Arthur Arutkin0:11:030:24:040:37:090:50:1816
24Brennan Rose0:10:490:24:130:37:090:50:2324
25Javias Jimanez0:11:140:24:210:37:190:50:2318
26Chuck Glynn0:11:090:24:180:37:070:50:2425
27Josh Riccio0:11:100:24:190:37:070:50:2424
28Paul Jackson0:11:010:24:260:37:200:50:2637
29Brian Murphy0:11:170:24:340:37:200:50:3530
30Peter Bartl0:11:030:24:220:37:370:50:3840
31Vinnicius Maitins0:11:080:24:210:37:320:50:4017
32Jay Wild0:11:080:24:240:37:510:50:4733
33Arthur Daniel0:11:000:24:150:37:350:50:4718
34Martin Letourneur0:11:150:24:250:37:510:51:0117
35Trevor Tunnington0:11:020:24:150:37:480:51:0116
36Joseph Cerdas0:99:990:99:990:99:990:51:0625
37Gaetan Sene0:11:050:24:170:37:520:51:2636
38Chuck Patterson0:11:130:24:510:38:220:52:1444
39Brendan Light0:11:140:24:530:38:230:52:1518
40Dode Florent0:11:180:24:560:38:370:52:2633
41Tyson Poppler0:11:120:24:520:38:220:52:2727
42Vincent Verhoeven0:11:420:25:250:38:580:52:2828
43Justin Cook0:11:270:24:360:38:260:52:2926
44Sean Poynter0:11:280:24:500:38:580:53:0624
45Byron Kurt0:11:440:25:260:39:010:53:1149
46Brandon Rambo0:11:140:24:550:38:470:53:1124
47Enzo Bennett0:10:360:24:260:38:270:53:1117
48Larry Cain0:11:350:25:290:38:590:53:1250
49Jeremy Stephenson0:11:440:25:450:39:510:53:1244
50Eric Leou On0:11:430:25:390:39:380:53:1227
51Llorens Denis0:99:990:99:990:99:990:53:1530
52Rangitea Bennett0:11:200:39:330:39:330:53:1722
53Sean Pangelinan0:11:250:25:230:39:370:53:2626
54Taylor Rambo0:11:130:24:530:38:590:53:2626
55Matt Wise0:11:210:25:230:39:390:53:2617
56Chance Fielder0:11:270:25:240:39:140:53:2741
57Michael Tavares0:11:530:25:400:39:140:53:2730
58Bart De Zwart0:11:460:25:470:39:520:53:5443
59Caio Vaz0:11:290:25:230:39:380:53:5919
60Thomas Ganz Jr0:11:460:25:410:39:510:54:0029
61Jacy Shimahara0:11:460:25:400:39:500:54:0018
62Cyril Burguiere0:11:510:25:570:39:530:54:0034
63Tomoyasu Murabayashi0:11:540:25:580:39:590:54:0135
64Jim Terrell0:99:990:99:990:99:990:54:1048
65Joseph Morel0:11:160:25:260:39:490:54:1224
66Travis Baptiste0:11:520:25:460:39:540:54:1616
67Derek Fromm0:11:360:25:590:40:020:54:1816
68Ryan Murphy0:12:100:26:090:40:290:54:2622
69Jackson Shaw0:11:440:25:560:40:120:54:2818
70Colin Mcphillips0:11:110:25:590:40:130:54:2838
71Tama Audibert0:99:990:99:990:99:990:54:3235
72Kione Dahlin0:12:370:26:370:40:490:54:4933
73Evann Yamada0:11:200:26:000:40:170:54:5035
74Richard Phelan0:11:510:26:020:40:140:54:5238
75Rob Pelkey0:11:520:26:050:40:160:55:0046
76Jeremy Branchu0:12:100:26:080:40:300:55:3130
77Jeramie Vaine0:11:460:25:320:41:310:55:5134
78Mike Darbyshire0:12:140:26:100:40:550:55:5426
79David Boehne0:11:280:26:570:42:140:56:5637
80Brian Szymanski0:12:380:26:490:41:590:57:2545

We’re missing times for Anthony Vela, John Locke, JP Tobin and Pete Dorries
Georges Cronsteadt and Rico Leroy retired with injuries mid-race


1Annabel Anderson1:43:3632
2Karla Gilbert1:47:0238
3Lina Augaitis1:47:0932
4Jenny Kalmbach1:48:3930
5Fiona Wylde1:50:1516
6Krisztina Zur1:50:2033
7Shannon Bell1:52:1039
8C?line Guesdon1:52:3734
9Rachel Bruntsch1:53:1829
10Terrene Black1:53:2130
11Marie Buchanan1:54:2640
12Jennifer Lee1:54:3532
13Sondra Purser1:57:4832
14Dani Schmidt1:58:4727
15Alyson Fromm1:59:1819
16Silvia Mecucci2:01:5132
17Andrea Moller2:03:0834
18Halie Harrison2:04:1419
19Gail Vento2:05:5937
20Kelsa Gabehart2:07:0333
21Stacey Smith2:11:2727
22Ruth Vesler2:12:5535


1Travis Grant1:37:1930
2Danny Ching1:37:2430
3Zane Schweitzer1:37:2720
4Beau O'brian1:37:3130
5Jake Jensen1:37:3318
6Casper Steinfath1:37:3420
7Eric Terrien1:37:3631
8Kody Kerbox1:37:4719
9Leonard Nika1:37:5026
10Chase Kosterlitz1:37:5927
11Slater Trout1:38:0018
12Kai Lenny1:38:0120
13Luiz Guida1:38:1929
14Arthur Daniel1:39:0818
15Lincoln Dews1:39:0817
16Fernando Stolla1:40:2426
17John Locke1:40:2536
18Paul Jackson1:41:5637
19Peter Bartl1:41:5640
20Jay Wild1:42:1633
21Eric Leouon1:42:3127
22Kelly Margetts1:42:5941
23Garrit Barth1:42:5928
24Jon Paul Tobin1:43:1236
25Larry Cain1:43:1750
26Joseph Cerdas1:43:3825
27Brendan Light1:43:5218
28Tomoyasu Murabayashi1:43:5535
29Kai Chong1:44:1222
30Belar Diaz1:44:5736
31Matt Wise1:45:3617
32Paul Simmons1:45:4934
33Stuart Robinson1:46:0032
34Justin Cook1:46:3326
35Matthew Mcdonald1:47:0634
36Jared Vargus1:47:1529
37Rangitea Bennett1:47:3221
38Fabrizio Gasbarro1:47:4643
39Jesse Kautz1:48:3433
40Matt Parker1:48:4934
41Kione Dahlin1:49:0335
42Enzo Bennett1:49:2816
43Yuval Botzer1:49:4126
44Scott Vande Vusse1:52:1334
45Kristian Mulholland1:52:4342
46Jarkko Simonen1:52:4834
47Renick Woods1:53:0138
48Michael Gabor1:55:0244
49Dolan Pat1:56:4425
50Ford Huntington1:57:4816
51Chip Bock1:58:4446
52Sean Pangelinan1:59:5626
53Nevvar Hickmet2:00:3546
54Reese Schwab2:06:5718
55Shannon Falcone2:10:1532
56David Linnell2:13:1723

1st: Naish Team A (Kai Lenny, Casper Steinfath, Jenny Kalmbach, Kody Kerbox)
2nd: Lahui Kai/SUP ATX (Jayden Jensen, Sondra Purser, Kelly Margetts, Lincoln Dews)
3rd: Naish Team B (Riggs Napoleon, Noa Ginella, Karla Gilbert, Toby Cracknell)
4th: Fanatic (Jake Jensen, Paul Jackson, Angie Jackson, Chase Kosterlitz)
5th: …

17th: …
(full results coming soon)

Battle of the Paddle