Kai Lenny just after winning the Abu Dhabi All Stars SUP World Tour Event 2014 - Photo by: Abdel Elecho
Kai Lenny Wins Abu Dhabi All Stars!
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates - After 3 days of intense action at Wadi Adventure Park in the UAE, it all came down to one final heat: 3 lefts, 3 rights and 3 closeouts as 3x World Champion Kai Lenny (Naish) from Maui stepped it up a gear to secure his first win of the season at the Abu Dhabi All Stars Grand Slam. The final was one to remember as the 2 on form surfers of the event, Sean Poynter (Starboard) from Florida and Kai Lenny (Naish) battled it out to the bitter end, going wave for wave in the completely unique format that the Abu Dhabi All Stars provides.
Kai Lenny at the Abu Dhabi All Stars 2014 during the Stand Up World Tour - Photo by: Abdel Elecho
Clash of the Titans in the Final of the Abu Dhabi All Stars:
Despite considering himself weaker on his backhand, Kai rode 2 flawless lefts to start off the exchange, with scores in the excellent range, making it a chasing game for the on form Sean Poynter. Sean attacked the rights and closeouts with everything he had to achieve the 9.27 he needed to take the win but it all came down to a last wave. In the end, Sean's score was not enough as Kai executed a perfect air reverse into 360 by way of a victory lap before getting carried out of the pool by his team mates. It was a great result for the 3x World Champion after a disappointing finish in Brazil, relighting his competitive fire as we move into the World Series component of the Abu Dhabi All Stars Grand Slam.
Sean Poynter ripping at the Abu Dhabi All Stars Event 2014 - Photo By: Abdel Elecho
Sean Poynter, the on Form Surfer of the Event Posted High Scores Throughout:
Sean Poynter (Starboard) was without doubt the on form surfer of the event, posting some of the highest scores of the event through all his heats, linking critical and controlled turns together for an explosive display of progressive Stand Up Paddlesurfing. In the quarters, he took down fellow teammate and Abu Dhabi All Star in 2013, Zane Schweitzer, before dispatching the young phenom Mo Freitas (Focus SUP) in the semis. In the Finals, he put up a good fight, but didn't find the flawless form he had displayed through the event and was unable to match this year's Abu Dhabi All Stars Champion.
Mo Freitas Puts on a Performance to Remember Reaching the Semi Finals:
Mo Freitas (Focus SUP) put on a clinic of full rail surfing at this year's Abu Dhabi All Stars, driving full power turns off the bottom through the lip, and carving roundhouses like no-one else. He made it all the way to the semis, only falling short by the smallest of margins to Sean Poynter (Starboard). Once again, a real testament to his potential on the World Championship Tour - at just 17 years old, he has a bright future ahead of him.
Caio Vaz Keeps his Momentum Through Stop 3 of the 2014 Stand Up World Tour:
Caio Vaz (Art in Surf) put on a stellar performance throughout the event, with progressive surfing propelling him through the rounds, only falling short to Kai Lenny in the Semi Finals (Naish) by 0.23. Coming off 2 back to back wins on the Stand up World Tour at Sunset and then in Brazil, Caio kept his momentum with a 3rd place finish here at the All Stars and is still sitting on top of the world with 2 firsts and a third. This is an impressive scoreline in his campaign for a World Title in 2014
Other Standouts at the 2014 Abu Dhabi All Stars Grand Slam:
Other standouts of the event included Zane Schweitzer (Starboard), Abu Dhabi All Star in 2013, who fell to team mate Sean Poynter (Starboard) in the quarter finals. Kody Kerbox (Naish) also continued his great form this year, taking out Keahi de Aboitiz (JP Australia) in Round 3, but just fell short to Caio Vaz in he quarters. Poenaiki Raioha (F-One) from Tahiti once again demonstrated his incredible talent, getting all the way to the quarter finals only to come up against eventual Champion Kai Lenny (Naish). In a last hail Mary, Poenaiki pulled off an impressive air reverse into 360, getting the crowds to their feet, but it was not enough to take down Lenny.
Abu Dhabi All Stars Not Over Yet:
The All Stars event is not over yet, as the World's best racers will be congregating in Yas Marina tomorrow for Stop #2 on the 2014 Stand Up World Series. Make sure to join in LIVE tomorrow from 3pm UAE time at www.watermanleague.com. Day 1 will be the long distance and Day 2, the World Series Sprints and Day 2 will bring a 3km open course and youth activities.
Stay tuned for highlights, recap, galleries and much more at www.watermanleague.com