ISA Worlds: Who Qualified for the Beach Race Finals? (FULL RESULTS + VIDEO)
Who’s going to be lining up in the ‘beach race’ final and chasing the medals on Saturday? Check out the full results from today’s qualifying heats at the ISA Worlds in Denmark.
It was an interesting day on the water here in Cold Hawaii: things started off a little slowly in the early heats, where some of the top names seemed to be safely cruising through and the action was often a little ho-hum, but it certainly finished with a bang during the highly-entertaining “Super Repechage” round.
There were still a few exciting battles early this morning, especially when there were a couple of guys or girls battling right on the bubble. That included home nation hero Christian “Polar Bear” Andersen, who made a great comeback in heat #3 to qualify directly to the final.
The big names all looked too good though: Hungary’s Hasulyo brothers (Daniel and Bruno), Connor Baxter (Hawaii) and James Casey (Oz) were very comfortable in winning their respective heats, while birthday boy Casper Steinfath (Denmark), Arthur Arutkin (France), Noa Hopper (USA), Lincoln Dews (Oz), Mo Freitas (Hawaii), Leo Nika (Italy), Giorgio Gomez (USA), Titouan Puyo (France), Ollie Houghton (NZ) and Paolo Marconi (Italy) were other standouts that easily qualified and should be in medal contention on Saturday.
Itzel Delgado (Peru), Marcus Hansen (NZ), Nikos Syrigos (Greece), Kenny Kaneko (Japan), Aaron Rowe (Channel Islands) and Christian Andersen (Denmark) all qualified directly to the final as well.
Throw in a few more contenders that had to do it the hard way – via the repechage round – and I daresay the 30-man final is going to be a rather intense affair.
In the women’s, Annabel Anderson (NZ), Olivia Piana (France), Jade Howson (USA), Fiona Wylde (USA), Penelope Strickland (NZ) and Manca Notar (Slovenia) were looking on point, while Terrene Black (Oz), Laura Quetglas (Spain), Susak Molinero (Spain), Yuka Sato (Japan) and Annie Reickert (Hawaii) should be in medal contention as well.
Though with the ho-hum nature of the heats (I think the course was too long and spread out considering the lack of waves), it was actually the second chance round that proved most entertaining. Or in other words: ironically, the most entertaining show happened when the most entertaining names weren’t on the water.
Enter the “Super Repechage” round.
This round wasn’t even supposed to happen. Apparently it was a last minute addition to make up for the cut-throat sprint format on Sunday, which annoyed a lot of the teams because direct qualification for that final was extremely difficult there was no second chance.
But whatever reason the organisers had for adding it, it was a great addition.
The men’s “super repo” saw 42 guys battling for just 10 spots, while the women’s was 32 going for 8. Those kind of numbers made for instant excitement.
And because it was a second and final chance, the “Battle for the Bubble” – the fight to sneak into the last one or two qualifying spots – was particularly intense in this round.
Actually, that was the theme all day: the most interesting racing wasn’t happening out front, it was happening on the bubble. The heat winners generally did it easy, but the guys and girls finishing 4th or 5th in the heats, or around 8th-10th in the repechage, were giving it absolutely everything to make sure they survived.
To add to the energy on the beach, both the men’s and women’s Super Repechage had to be restarted.
The women’s restart was a bit confusing. At first, the top six leaders went the wrong way on the second lap, so when the restart whistle blew we all thought it was to give them another chance (which would have been incredibly unfair to the women who went the right way). But it turned out the restart was for something else entirely: The outside turning buoy that had come loose and was drifting away. Not sure how a buoy comes loose when the surf is six inches but somehow it did, and it forced a restart that only added to the excitement of the contest.
Marie Buchanan from the UK made the most of her second chance, comfortably winning the Super Repo to claim her spot on the line for Saturday’s final. See the full results down below…
The men’s restart was much simpler: a few of the paddlers (led by Austria’s Peter Bartl) false-started, which was probably inevitable given the nervous tension on the starting line. The ISA rules are clear: the first false start is applied to the field, but any subsequent false starts are applied to individuals who are then automatically DQ’d (there were a couple of field-encompassing false starts in the earlier heats as well, but I don’t think anyone was actually DQ’d all day).
After the restart, the 42 guys sprinted like mad to the outside golden buoy before the field started spreading thin and snaking its way around the course.
Throw in the old school, Battle of the Paddle-style beach transitions in between each lap – an excellent addition and something that I think more races should embrace – and it was mighty fun to watch from our front row seat on the sand.
In the end, the likes of Vinni Martins (Brazil), Dylan Frick (South Africa) and eight other lucky guys made the most of their second chance and qualified through to the final the hard way, which sets up a mouth-watering, 30-man clash on Saturday.
The dynamic will obviously change completely in the final. Instead of focusing on the Battle for the Bubble, the focus will be on the battle for the gold medal. And just look at all those qualifying names in green and orange below. It’s going to be hectic out there.
Anyway, the beach race finals are tentatively scheduled for Saturday. Wednesday and Thursday are penciled in for the SUP surfing, with a possible lay day on Friday before the racing finals Saturday and the surfing finals on Sunday. Though all that could change depending on the waves (it was dead flat today but apparently something is on the horizon).
We’ll have a cool little drone edit on Wednesday morning, but in the meantime the full results are below and the full photo gallery is up on the official site.
Green names qualified directly to the final; orange names qualified via the entertaining repo round. There are no more semi-finals or second chance rounds — it’s a straight up final from here.
Prone Qualifying Results
These results haven’t been released by the ISA yet for some reason…