PERTH, Western Australia - Michael Booth (originally Newcastle, now Perth) and Jade Lane (Perth) are crowned the respective King and Queen of the Cut, the first male and female across the finish line after racing the 24-kilometer Stand Up Surf Shop King Of The Cut. In perfect downwind conditions on 24-degrees and sunny with south-west winds picking up from 20 to 30 kilometers per hour, a capacity field of 120 competitors began the 24-kilometer race from Dawesville Cut to Secret Harbour yesterday afternoon (Saturday, 5 December 2020).
Michael Booth. | Photo: Drew Malcolm
He’s won just about every SUP race there is around the world, and now Booth can add the Stand Up Surf Shop King Of The Cut, finishing fastest with a time of 1:44:45. “I’m really happy to take the win. I’ve been doing this since 2014,” 29-year-old Booth said. “The conditions were just perfect, best ever with really strong wind. If you’re a downwind competitor, you’d love it. We’re so lucky to have these conditions in WA. I knew I had to break away early and in the second half, I just enjoyed it. It’s great to see so many craft competing all together, SUP, SUP Foil, Wing Foils, Paddle SUPs, outrigger canoes, and skis.”
In the men’s, second place went to 18-year-old Melville High Year 12 student Sam McCullough who has just got back from Leavers, and he was also the first 14-foot stand up paddleboard across the line. Rounding out the top three was Luke Hallam.
Jade Lane, 2020 Queen of the Cut. | Photo: Drew Malcolm
Queen of the Cut, Jade Lane, said the Stand Up Surf Shop King Of The Cut has been a race she’s wanted to win for four years. “I beat my time from last year, so I’m really happy. The first half was relatively slow and the second half I just brought it home,” Lane said. “I came to Mandurah a week early to prepare and practice – the ocean here is so much bigger and it really does pay to come early, paddle the course and feel the stoke. It’s so great to have all different craft racing together because I’ve just started wing foiling and ski paddling, and lots of my mates are here racing too. It’s just so awesome,” 42-year-old Lane said.
A record was broken with 19 Wing Foil competitors, the largest number of any event anywhere in the world. Wing Foiling was a demonstration category last year and has skyrocketed in popularity in recent times.
Left: Wingfoil. / Right: Brenden Rice. | Photos: Drew Malcolm / Dianne Bortoletto
In his first Wing Foil race, Frenchman Bastien Escofet took title honors setting a blistering pace to finish under an hour, 59:40, the fastest ever time for a competitor to finish the Stand Up Surf Shop King of the Cut. “It’s so good to race the Wing Foil here, the conditions are so windy, it’s really great,” said Escofet from Margaret River.
For the first time in the nine-year history of the Stand Up Surf Shop King Of The Cut, Surf Skis were introduced, largely as a result of COVID cancelling ‘The Doctor’ race.
South African born Brendan Rice won the Surf Ski class with a time of 1:22:22. “I’m really happy with the win. It’s my first time doing this course, so I wasn’t really sure where I was going or the racing line, I followed the point on the GPS,” said Rice. “Having Surf Skis at the King of the Cut is great, it’s such an awesome course and a well organized event, I couldn’t be happier with being included this year.”
Marcus Tardrew | Photo: Drew Malcolm
First foiling SUP was Marcus Tardrew with a time of 1:09:40. “The wind was really good and the inclusion of all the other craft was awesome, should’ve been done ages ago!” Tardrew said.
The Outrigger Canoe (OC1) class was won by Adam Fahey with a time of 1:42:16. “Conditions were really good again, I’m just happy to be out there again, it was such a good day, we have such good conditions on the west coast of Australia,” 46-year-old Fahey said. "To get all the classes together in one big event like this it’s definitely the way forward, it builds the stoke.”
SUPWA King of the Cut Race Director Greg Kerr said that it was terrific to see so many local competitors embrace the race.
“It’s all about sharing the stoke and we’re really happy to bring the whole paddling community together, including Surf Skis and Wing Foils. The conditions were perfect today, I’ll say the best we’ve ever had, and we had a good, safe event, which is what always aim for,” Kerr said. “It was terrific to have the Indian Ocean Paddlers join the King of the Cut board and assist us with the ski component of the event – this won’t be a one off, surf skis will be included in future King of the Cut events.”
Aerial shot from the start of the SUP race. | Photo: Drew Malcolm
Besides the King and Queen of the Cut, there was one other award presented that has nothing to do with fastest times or being first. The Duke of the Cut is an award presented to a paddler who shows the spirit of Duke Kahanamoku who is credited as bringing surfing to Australia and regarded as the ambassador of ‘Aloha and Mahalo’ (love, kindness and gratitude), someone who is a good all-round human who benefits the sport.
It was decided by a vote of the King Of The Cut board members and the Duke of the Cut went to two tied participants: Tory Vidler, an Outrigger Canoe competitor who assists juniors and women in the sport as well as passionately promoting the sport, and Darryl Kuhng, a Surf Ski competitor who actively and passionately promotes paddling through videography.
In a ceremonial coming together of all paddle disciplines, a symbolic tribute was paid to the sentiment behind the Duke of the Cut at the competitors briefing: a representative of each discipline placed a hand on the Duke of the Cut paddle trophy as Kerr read a poem he wrote about downwinding. To read The Downwinder Creed, click here.
Competitors and crew have lauded the ninth Stand Up Surf Shop King of the Cut, Australia’s most prestigious Stand Up Paddle (SUP) race and one of the world’s fastest downwinders, that outside of a pandemic, usually attracts competitors from across Australia and all over the world.
The Stand Up Surf Shop King of the Cut is supported by the Stand Up Surf Shop North Fremantle, Western Australian State Government and SUPWA.
For more information visit kingofthecut.com.
Results 2020 Stand Up Surf Shop King Of The Cut
2020 Male Pro Class (14' or Unlimited) – 24km
1st: Michael Booth 1:44:45 - King of the Cut
2nd: Sam McCullough 1:57:53
3rd: Luke Hallam 1:59:26
2020 Female Pro Class (14' Only) – 24km
1st: Jade Lane 2:11:37 - Queen of the Cut
2nd: Angela Juengling 2:31:30
3rd: Tashka Goswell 2:40:11
Foiling SUP – 24km
1st: Marcus Tardrew 1:09:40
2nd: Dale Chapman 1:37:40
Wing Foil 24km
1st: Bastien Escofet 0:59:40 (WA, originally French)
2nd: Jason Lewis 1:02:40
3rd: Guy Linton 1:06:40
Outrigger – 24km
1st: Adam Fahey 1:42:16
2nd: Gordon Stimpson 1:47:02
3rd: Mac Nichols 1:48:18
Surf Ski – 24km
1st: Brendan Rice 1:22:22
2nd: Andrew Mowlem 1:24:20
3rd: Travis England 1:26:26
For full list of results visit Track Me Live
Past results – click here.