August 14, 2016
by Christopher Parker (@wheresbossman)

Mo Freitas, Shae Foudy Conquer the Quiksilver JM Survivor Race @ Huntington Ahead of All-Star Field (Full Results/Live Stream Replay)

JM Survivor Race 2016

Toby Cracknell, Titouan Puyo and Connor Baxter lead Giorgio Gomez, Michael Booth and Josh Riccio during the JM Survivor Race at the Quiksilver Waterman’s Festival (photo: Quiksilver)

Mo Freitas has proven yet again that he’s one of the best paddlers in the world, outlasting an all-star field to claim the JM Survivor Race as part of the Quiksilver Waterman’s Festival at Huntington Beach today.

After several rounds of short, fast, intense racing in the signature “Survivor” format, Mo triumphed over one of the most-competitive lineups we’ve seen all year, with the hugely impressive Aussie and freshly-minted Infinity team rider Toby Cracknell finishing a close runner-up ahead of a who’s who of the sport.

Mo and Toby showed incredible consistency from start to finish, scoring just 14 and 18 points respectively (the lower the points, the better). Their scores after five full rounds of racing meant they finished, on average, in the top three or four on every single one of the knockout laps.

This is the second massive result in the space of just 15 days for the under-rated Cracknell, who cracked the top five at the uber-prestigious Molokai 2 Oahu race a couple of weeks ago. These two results give Tobes some well deserved time in the spotlight after a very solid season of training back home in Oz.

But while Toby came close, it was Mo’s day, with the Focus/QB team rider showing once more that he’s one of the most talented guys on a stand up paddleboard — no matter whether it’s long or short course racing, or big or small wave surfing, Mo Freitas is a machine. The victory here at the Quiksilver Waterman’s Festival will sit alongside his epic win at the Pacific Paddle Games surf race late last year, as well as his memorable sweep of the 2015 Payette River Games.
Mo walks away with $6,000 for his efforts, while he also scores a massive 47.00 points on the SUP Racer World Rankings, which will him leapfrog Casper Steinfath and Kai Lenny to become the new world number four the Men’s Top 100 Leaderboard is updated Monday morning (he’ll actually now be just one single point behind world number three Titouan).

Toby will get a huge boost as well, easily jumping into the world’s top 20 (and perhaps even top 15) on the back of his very impressive effort today.

EDIT: I’ve just updated the SUP Racer World Rankings with results from today’s race

Following the two young guns on the JM leaderboard today were superstars Connor Baxter, who won the final round but couldn’t make up for a poor opening lap, Danny Ching, who was edged out on a third-place tie-breaker, and Travis Grant, who backed up his Molokai heroics to show that he’s a true all-rounder.

Connor looked sharp in the second half, and indeed he actually matched Mo’s points tally over the final three rounds, however an 11th place on the opening lap meant the Starboard superstar was always behind the eight ball. Danny looked sharp and kept his 404 board ahead of the chaotic packs on each lap, but an 8th place finish on the second round held him back from a potential top finish.
Travis was looking very good, particularly on the second lap when he took the top points, however he couldn’t keep pace with the kids in the final few rounds and started adding too many points to his tally. Though the fact that Trav even backed up and raced this week when he’s still coming down from the massive high of Molokai was impressive enough on its own.

Scroll down for the full results + live stream replay

Slightly further adrift were the world beaters Titouan Puyo and Michael Booth, who both showed that while they’re much better known as distance racers, they’re rapidly improving in the short course formats.

The highly under-rated Josh Riccio, who himself is better known as a downwind master, also impressed to reach the “Final 8” race, which was reserved for those who survived the four earlier rounds of the knockout format.
If you scroll down and look at the results, you’ll see that a dozen or more big names were knocked out before the final round, showing just how tight (and exciting) this JM Survivor Race format is.

Special mention goes to Italy’s Leo Nika, who was on track for a top five overall finish points wise, but fell agonisingly short in the penultimate round and missed a place in the Final 8. Even closer was Infinity Speed Freak Giorgio Gomez, who was the unlucky ninth-placed finisher in Round 4, which meant he had to watch the top eight guys do battle from the beach.

With just three minutes rest between each round, this was also an exhausting race that kept the paddlers on their toes and the crowd on their feet. As Connor said in his interview with Jamie right after the final: “That was a survivor, holy crap…”
It was a see-sawing battle, with Jamie introducing a twist to his classic Survivor format that made paddlers work hard on every lap, rather than saving themselves for the final round as they may have done in the past. In years gone by, the result was determined in the final round alone, however Jamie added a unique points system to the Quiksilver Waterman’s Festival that added a new dimension.

Competitors were rewarded with 1 point for a first, 2 for a second and so on, with the cumulative points of those who made the “Final 8” determining the final, overall standings. Some fast work by the timing crew and a big screen on the beach kept the crowd (and the paddlers) informed of the leaderboard standings as the rounds progressed.

From everyone I’ve chatted to so far, and from the reaction on Facebook, it seems like the JM Survivor has become a very popular race format. It’s definitely one of the most exciting types of racing to watch, as the action stays close to the beach and the racing is short, sharp and intense.
The format also keeps the result alive and unpredictable right until the finish, while the skill, strategy and endurance required from the paddlers make for a very interesting combination.

At a time when we seriously need more exciting formats to grow the appeal of our sport beyond the core fans, the JM Survivor Race could be just what we’re looking for.

I’m pretty sure we’ll be seeing more of this in the future…

It was another star-studded showdown in the women’s Survivor, although the smaller field meant there was five straight up rounds of racing with no elimination. With three different winners across the five laps, it came down to the finish.

Annabel Anderson was untouchable towards the end, however a slow start in the opening lap cost her dearly. The world number one finished with a pair of victories in round four and five, however the supreme consistency of Candice Appleby – she finished either second or third on every lap – kept her ahead.
But keeping herself even further ahead was the young gun and rising star of the women’s sport, Shae Foudy, who scored two firsts, two seconds and a fourth across the five rounds to finish on 10 points, 2 points clear of Candice and 5 ahead of Annabel.

Today’s big win reinforces Shae’s status as one of the top women in the surf, and comes just two months after her victory in similar conditions (and against a similar field) at the Pier Paddle in Santa Monica.

The result also gives Shae a massive boost on the World Rankings, with the Riviera team rider set to be knocking on the door when the Women’s Top 50 leaderboard is updated on Monday morning.

EDIT: Check out the freshly updated SUP Racer World Rankings
Also impressive was Terrene Black, who won the second round but lost out to Annabel in a tie-breaker for third. Behind the Aussie was another name to watch in the future, Lexi Alston, while Bailey Rosen showed solid form all day to claim sixth.

You can check out the full leaderboard below, then scroll down for a complete replay of the Live Stream, including commentary from event head honcho and creator of the Survivor Race, Jamie Mitchell.

Check back on Monday for more pics, video and in-depth analysis. You can also @onitpro for plenty more video updates.

Update: OnIt Pro has hundreds of great photos up on Facebook.



Quiksilver Waterman’s Festival – JM Survivor Race

The JM Survivor Race was a 4-star event, giving it a guaranteed 40% minimum on the Race Index
Men’s Race Index score: 47%
Women’s Race Index score: 40%

#1, #2, etc = round 1, round 2, etc (unlike the men, there was no elimination in the women’s event)
Points = Points for the SUP Racer World Rankings

Women’s Survivor SUP Race Results

1Shae Foudy1214210USA40.00
2Candice Appleby2322312USA30.00
3Annabel Anderson5441115New Zealand24.00
4Terrene Black4133415Australia20.00
5Lexi Alston3556524USA17.00
6Bailey Rosen6665629USA14.00
7Mel Wygal7789839USA12.00
8Talia Gangini Decoite10978741Hawaii10.00
9Kitsy Nipper88910944USA9.00

*Note: Looks like a few women are missing from the results sheet, we’ll try and get that fixed asap


Men’s Survivor SUP Race Results

#Athlete#1#2#3#4#5Final 8AgeNationBoardPaddlePoints
1Mo Freitas172131419HawaiiFocusQuickblade47.00
2Toby Cracknell421651822AustraliaInfinityQuickblade35.25
3Connor Baxter1163212321HawaiiStarboardStarboard28.20
4Danny Ching284542333USA404HippoStick23.50
5Travis Grant717462533AustraliaNSPQuickblade19.98
6Titouan Puyo14410323325FranceNSPQuickblade16.45
7Michael Booth81014884825AustraliaStarboardStarboard14.10
8Josh Riccio121513775427USARogueWerner11.75
9Giorgio Gomez1716159xFinal 1520USAInfinityQuickblade10.58
10Leonard Nika63810xFinal 1529ItalyStarboardStarboard9.40
11Martin Letourneur1691211xFinal 1520FranceHobieCT+8.46
12Lincoln Dews95912xFinal 1520AustraliaJMQuickblade7.52
13Zane Schweizter1514613xFinal 1522HawaiiStarboardStarboard7.05
14Bullet Obra512514xFinal 1526HawaiiHobieCarbonerro6.58
15Slater Trout3131115xFinal 1521USAInfinityBoardworks6.11
16Ryan Helm131116xxFinal 2442USARivieraRiviera5.64
17Chuck Glynn101717xxFinal 2427USALairdSUPLairdSUP5.17
18Daniel Russell261818xxFinal 2419USARivieraRiviera4.70
19Dave Boehne211919xxFinal 2440USAInfinityHippoStick4.23
20Belar Diaz222320xxFinal 2439SpainECSQuickblade3.76
21Gavin Mencinsky252421xxFinal 2412USA??3.53
22Tyler Bashor232122xxFinal 2414USAInfinityWerner3.29
23Jake Jensen182023xxFinal 2422AustraliaFanaticFanatic3.06
24Callan Dick202224xxFinal 2423Australia??2.82
25Cyril Burguiere3025xxxFinal 3036USARivieraKialoa2.59
26Taylor Rambo1926xxxFinal 3029USARivieraRiviera2.44
27Jedd Hasay2427xxxFinal 3023USAInfinity?2.30
28Patrick Cleveland3228xxxFinal 3016USAStarboard?2.16
29Keaton Rose2929xxxFinal 3014USA??2.02
30Jonas Letieri3130xxxFinal 3031BrazilInfinityQuickblade1.88
31George Plsek28xxxxFinal 3447USA??1.79
32Brian Meyer33xxxxFinal 3429USARogue?1.69
33Hanson Siverts34xxxxFinal 3415USA??1.60
34Kyle O'Kelly35xxxxFinal 3443USA??1.50



Live Stream Replay

The final round starts at roughly the 41 minute mark…
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[device]Click here to watch on Facebook if the embed above isn’t working…[/device]