Fernando Perez Serra and Esperanza Barreras Win Inaugural APP Event in India

Dramatic close to the inaugural India Paddle Festival sees Fernando Perez Serra take the sprints and overall victory | Photo courtesy: APP World Tour Dramatic close to the inaugural India Paddle Festival sees Fernando Perez Serra take the sprints and overall victory | Photo courtesy: APP World Tour

MANGALORE, India - After such a great first day of action in Mangalore for the India Paddle Festival, expectations were high for a dramatic close to the event with the APP's signature sprint racing discipline set to take place in ideal surf racing conditions. We were not to be disappointed.

Men's Races

There were no surprises through the early rounds of competition, with all top seeds making it through comfortably to the semi finals. As the action intensified, so too did the calibre of performances, as the top seeds advanced through to the Finals as expected, with a strong international line up featuring the two Spaniards, Antonio Morillo and Fernando Perez Serra, the Dane Christian Andersen and the Hungarian, Daniel Hasulyo on the start line.

From the start gun, the show was spectacular, as Christian Andersen shot off like a bullet out to the first mark, with Daniel Hasulyo right on his tail. However, a seemingly unforced error by Christian Andersen after the first mark saw him fall, with the remaining finalists jumping at the opportunity to take advantage of this.

Fernando Perez Serra was able to take advantage of some confusion on the inside mark and break away from the pack heading out to the outside mark and into the final leg, looking in a solid position. But as always with surf racing, it isn't over until it is over, as the remaining 3 athletes managed to get on a better wave right behind Fernando's, making up distance and providing a spectacularly nail biting finish. However, Fernando was able to hold his ground and take the well deserved victory in the sprints.

app india 2024 menMen's race. | Photo courtesy: APP World Tour

Meanwhile behind him, all three athletes converged as they hit the sand, with the great Dane, Christian Andersen able to leapfrog over the boards and land on two feet to run up the beach for second place for an incredible finish. In 3rd was Daniel Hasulyo and in 4th, Antonio Morillo.

So with this result, Fernando Perez Serra claimed the overall event win, with his sprints victory and 3rd place in the distance - another great result for the young Spaniard to follow on from his last victory at the Busan SUP Open back in October 2023.

In 2nd, it was Christian Andersen, with two second places from the weekend's racing as he clearly showed that the potential with inflatable boards for competition is real. In 3rd, it was Antonio Morillo with his win from the first day and 4th place in the sprints and in 4th, Daniel Hasulyo All in all, an incredible day of racing at the beautiful Sasihithlu Beach in Mangalore. 

Women's Races

app india 2024 espe 1Espe Barreras continues her dominant form at the India Paddle Festival to take the sprints and overall win. | Photo courtesy: APP World Tour

Espe Barreras once again demonstrated that she will be the one to beat this year on the APP World Tour with another dominant performance in the sprint racing that allowed her to convincingly take the overall victory at this inaugural edition of the India Paddle Festival. Clearly in her element here in Mangalore and loving the unique APP format of surf style of racing, Espe put on a clinic of performance racing and set a new bar with a flawless performance.

However it was exciting to see the new wave of talent coming through the ranks from Thailand, Italy and right here in India. Indeed the young Italian talent Bianca Toncelli came into her own on this final day of action, putting on a strong performance in the final to finish in 2nd place in the sprints. Irin Neegree was able to back up her 2nd place from the distance race with a 3rd in the sprints to take 2nd place overall for the event, with Bianca from Italy ending up in 3rd place overall.

Finishing in 4th in both the sprints and the distance, Su Jeong Lim from Korea took 4th place overall for the event, showing great progress in the surf and building her confidence heading into the 2024 APP World Tour Season, with the Tour returning to her newly established home in Busan in October.

A big shout out to the local participants who stepped up to do battle here in Mangalore and we are excited to see the community grow over the coming years: after the excitement of this inaugural event together with the foundations laid here by the Mantra Surf Club and Surfing Swami Foundation, we are confident that we will see the sport growing exponentially over the coming year.

app india 2024The APP's first step in India proves an overwhelming success, as the foundations have been laid for a bright future | Photo courtesy: APP World Tour

The small town of Mulki in Mangalore played host to the first international Stand Up Paddling event in India this past weekend and history was made. The local community came together in a monumental way to make the event happen and welcome the athletes coming in from Spain, Italy, Denmark, Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Hungary and beyond for such an incredible experience.

The APP is proud to have been a part of building this new legacy with Surfing Swami Foundation and Mantra Surf Club and we are excited to take the next step with the team towards a bright future for the sport in India. The food, the people, the conditions for Stand Up Paddling and the overall experience have been unforgettable for all those who made it to this year's India Paddle Festival and we are excited for what is to come. We look forward to returning in February of 2025.

For more APP World Tour news, click HERE.

Last modified onMonday, 11 March 2024 16:19

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