Duhaime & Perez Score Overall Victory at Busan SUP Open

Battles at the buoy turn. | Photo courtesy: APP World Tour Battles at the buoy turn. | Photo courtesy: APP World Tour

BUSAN, Korea - The Busan SUP Open has once again delivered an action-packed weekend full of SUP racing, watching the world's top-tier talent go head to head. Day 1 focused on sprint racing for both men and women. Day 2 saw the distance races unfold with stellar performances on both sides.

Day 1 - Sprint Races

Men's Sprints

Fernando Perez Serra from Cadiz, Spain has long been regarded as a promising up and coming young talent and has posted some impressive results over the past few years. However, it seems that in 2023, he has stepped it up a gear, coming into stop number 3 of the APP World Tour ranked 4th. It was today however that he made a clear statement that he has evolved into a real contender, showing not only speed and skill around the buoys, but tactical savvy way beyond his years. Building momentum throughout the rounds, his starts were strong, and in the final he was able to keep up with the fastest sprinters in the world (Connor Baxter and Rai Taguchi). In a scrappy, but incredibly exciting final that saw multiple hurdles for all involved, it was the young Spaniard who was able to identify a gap, accelerate at the right time and take the lead coming out of the 2nd buoy turn. From there, he maintained, and was able to secure an impressive victory in this star studded final.

It was a day for the new generation in all respects, as young gun Kotaro Miyahira from Okinawa in Japan took the lead through the middle section of the course and like Fernando, showed both skill and poise when it mattered to take 2nd place ahead of current ratings leader and 4x World Champion Connor Baxter. In 4th, was Rai Taguchi who fell victim to some of the scrappy moments of the heat, but nonetheless showed great form through the day.

app busan sup open fernando perez app busan sup open juliette duhaime

Pictured: Fernando Perez (left) and Juliette Duhaime (right). | Photos courtesy: APP World Tour

Women's Sprints

2023 has been a banner year for Argentina's Juliette Duhaime so far, with a string of strong results putting her in the ratings lead coming into Stop #3 in Busan, South Korea. The weekend started well for Juliette, with another dominant performance in the sprints to secure victory on Day 1. After 50 hours of traveling to get to Korea from Brazil, Juliette has been able to shrug off the travel fatigue and find her rhythm in Busan, convincingly taking the victory ahead of the local girl Jiwon Choi and Chloe Walkerdene. While the conditions created plenty of obstacles with a mixture of backwash chop and some pulses of swell, Juliette was able to navigate through and come out on top.

The battle for 2nd ended up being hard fought, with a tie breaker to determine 2nd and 3rd position closing proceedings for the Women, with the local girl Jiwon Choi coming out on top, much to the delight of the home crowd. Perhaps the most exciting part of the whole event has been the fifty U14 kids stepping up to do battle and cheering on their heroes once the Pros hit the water. It is a clear testament of the incredible work that KAPP has done to lay solid foundations for the sport in the region to provide opportunities and encourage participation, growth and excitement around the sport of Stand Up Paddling here in Korea.

app busan sup open mens racePhoto courtesy: APP World Tour

Day 2 - Distance Races

Men's Race

2018 World Champion Arthur Arutkin narrowly missed out on the final of the sprint racing in Day 1, but came back strong on day 2 to take victory in an incredibly technical distance race, besting the on-form Rai Taguchi in Busan. Quiet and calculated, Arthur Arutkin is always right up there with the best of the best and never ceases to impress, and Sunday's race was no different. Rai Taguchi came out of the gates strong at the start of the distance race to take a convincing lead during lap 1 of a 5 lap course. Looking to take control of the race, Rai kept up an incredibly fast pace, but Arthur followed and kept close enough to be able to make a move when the opportunity arose by catching one of the better swell lines into the beach through the inside section. This enabled him to catch up to Rai and take the lead. From there, it was a battle for the lead through the remainder of the race, with Arthur maintaining pole position and eventually crossing the line in first. A great performance from the accomplished waterman, earning him second overall for the event and moving up to 3rd overall on the APP World Tour after Stop #3.

For the Sprint race winner Fernando Perez it has been an incredible weekend for the young Spaniard, as he consolidated on his victory from Saturday, held his nerve and was able to secure an impressive 3rd place finish in what was a very technical and challenging distance race. With adverse weather conditions through the first half of the day, competition was only able to resume by 3pm on Day 2 of the Busan SUP Open, which while quite welcomed by the athletes to give them more time to recover from the previous day's action, also allowed the tension to build in anticipation of competing. However, Fernando was able to hold his own and take on the best of the best to finish in a solid 3rd place in the distance race, which combined with his win in the sprints makes him Overall Champion of the 2023 Busan SUP Open. On his first trip to Asia, Fernando was able to secure his maiden victory on the Tour and establish himself as a major contender on the APP World Tour, now moving into second place overall behind 4x World Champion Connor Baxter. There is clearly much more to come from this well rounded young talent from Cadiz, who is also an exceptional SUP Surfer, as we look forward to seeing him in action in the Gran Canaria Pro-Am taking place in November in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

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Arthur Arutkin (left) and Juliette Duhaime (right). | Photos courtesy: APP World Tour

Women's Race

Juliette Duhaime continued her dominance in Busan, taking another convincing victory in a scaled back distance race (due to adverse weather delays), but showed she is without doubt the one to beat this year as one of the most well rounded athletes in the sport. Juliette took off the start with intent, and had already built a solid lead by the first buoy, with the remainder of the field getting stalled in the shore-break allowing her to get an initial break. From there, she continued to power her way around the course to another convincing win for the 2023 season. Duhaime came into the event as World #1 and has only strengthened her lead with her performance at this event. However, with a discard sprint and long distance still to come into play and another couple of distance races and one sprint still to come this season, it is not over yet, as we anticipate an exciting end to the 2023 season.

Behind Juliette, was local distance stand out and winner of the Asian Championships held back in May in Seoul, Lim Su Jeong. While relatively new to ocean racing, Lim Su Jeong is an impressive athlete with a multi-sport background, and clearly has a great future ahead of her. In 3rd place, was an elated Chloe Walkerdene from Australia.

Stay tuned to appworldtour.com and @appworldtour for highlights, broadcast replays and much more.



1. Fernando Perez Serra
2. Arthur Arutkin
3. Rai Taguchi
4. Kotaro Miyahira
5. Connor Baxter

Sprints Women

1. Juliette Duhaime
2. Lim Su Jeong
3. Choi Ji Won
4. Chloe Walkerdene
5. Carolina Cook

Distance Men

1. Arthur Arutkin
2. Rai Taguchi
3. Fernando Perez Serra

Distance Women

1. Juliette Duhaime
2. Lim Su Jeong
3. Chloe Walkerdene



Last modified onMonday, 09 October 2023 14:19

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