SAN FRANCISCO, California – Red Bull Heavy Water, arguably the most intense stand up paddling event in the world, is announced as part of the 2016 Stand Up World Series circuit, with an event window from September 1 to 28. The location will guarantee 40 of the world’s best SUP athletes, waves over 10ft. high, and consist of an open course that stretches 12km (7.5 miles), starting at Ocean Beach and finishing just past the Golden Gate Bridge.
The race begins at Ocean Beach where competitors will have to paddle out and back through the surf twice before paddling out and around Lands End, heading towards the Golden Gate Bridge. Competitors will have to overcome treacherous open ocean conditions as they make their way past the iconic bridge and battle towards the finish line.
The obstacles to even completing the course will be impressive, as the athletes will have to draw on everything in them to come out on top:
- Completing the section through the 10ft + surf will require timing, fortitude and surfing skill to be able to navigate through one of the world’s most impenetrable surf line-ups
- From there, the ocean swells and extreme currents will provide the next challenge for the World’s best and most intrepid athletes
- While passing under the Golden Gate Bridge will be a relief, athletes will be hoping for the victory wave at Fort Point to carry them through to the Bay, as the pressure will be on to dig deep and find energy reserves for the sprint to finish after the grueling 12km of punishment
- There can be only one Champion, as the best of the best from the World Championship Series will step up for a chance to be crowned supreme Champion of Red Bull Heavy Water
These extreme conditions will allow only the world’s top athletes to compete, including: Naish SUP’s Kai Lenny (HI), one of the world’s most accomplished waterman and current World Champion, Starboard SUP’s Connor Baxter (HI), the 2014 World Champ, Casper Steinfath (DK), Starboard SUP's Zane Schweitzer (HI) and Leonard Nika (IT), Arthur Arutkin (FR), Mo Freitas (HI), Jake Jensen (AUS), NSP’s Travis Grant (AUS), Eric Terrien (FR), Kody Kerbox (HI), Slater Trout (USA), Fernando Stalla (MEX) and Haakon Hoyer-Nielsen (San Francisco local). In addition, there will be 15 wildcard spots available for open entry, subject to a screening process to ensure safety standards are met.
“I think Red Bull Heavy Water is going to be my favorite event, especially because the course is by far the most intense on this circuit. The waves here in the Bay Area are huge and consistent. It’s going to take a lot of patience to get through this course,” said 3x World Champion, Kai Lenny.
A total of $50,000 in prize money, with $20,000 going to the first place finisher - the highest first place prize in the sport to date - will further the stakes and excitement.
About the Stand Up World Series:
The Stand Up World Series was established at the end of 2011 as the Official World Championship Series for the sport of Stand Up Paddling. With events in all major global regions all culminating in the World Series Finals on the North Shore of Oahu at the end of the season, the World Series crowns Men & Women’s World Champions each year as the World’s best come together to battle it out for the World Championship Crown.
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