SAN FRANCISCO, California – Red Bull Heavy Water, arguably the most intense stand up paddling event in the world, will return as part of the 2017 APP World Tour circuit, with an event window from October 16th - 31st. The location will guarantee 32 of the world’s best SUP athletes, waves over 10ft. high, and consist of an open course stretching 12km (7.5 miles) from Ocean Beach and finishing just past the Golden Gate Bridge.
2016 saw a dramatic first edition completed in epic surf conditions, as the world's leading athletes took on this incredible challenge from the treacherous Ocean Beach, around the infamous Land's End, under the Golden Gate Bridge and into safety of San Francisco Bay.
Current World Champion and tied #1 at this stage of the season, Connor Baxter (Starboard) took the win in 2016 and will be looking to keep himself on top coming into this year's challenge. However, he will have not only re-invigorated multiple times World Champion Kai Lenny, looking for redemption after his 2nd place finish last year, but a whole host of incredible talent from all four corners of the globe, already training for this dramatic stop on the 2017 APP World Tour.
"Coming back to Ocean Beach for the second edition of Red Bull Heavy Water to defend my title is a great honor,” said Baxter. “This event gives me the biggest butterflies because not only am I thinking about racing some heavy hitters but the big wave surfing aspect adds a whole new dimension of uncertainty to the event.”
L: Kai Lenny / R: Casper Steinfath and Kai Lenny mid-race at the 2016 event. | Photos courtesy: Red Bull
Modifications for this year's edition include the starting zone relocation from the beach to outside the surf zone in the water. The objective is to create a dramatic first leg with the fleet surging through the first surf section together and maintaining an even field through the first inside turn. The remainder of the race will remain the same, with just the extra half leg from the start creating three inside turns on the beach and two outside turns, before the athletes head around Land's End through one of the historically treacherous stretches of water on the West Coast. The competitors will then paddle and surf under the Golden Gate Bridge to an inside buoy near Fort Point, before heading on to the San Francisco Yacht Club for the finish.
"I am excited about Red Bull Heavy Water returning for 2017,” said Kai Lenny (Naish). “It is without a doubt, one of the most exciting, challenging and fun ocean races I have ever done. No matter what, you can always expect to get some crazy curve balls thrown at you that will keep you on your toes the entire time."
These extreme conditions will allow only the world’s top athletes to compete, including: Kai Lenny (HI), one of the world’s most accomplished waterman and three-time Racing World Champion, Connor Baxter (HI), the current World Champ and tied #1, Mo Freitas (HI), Casper Steinfath (DK), Lincoln Dews (AUS), Arthur Arutkin (FR), Michael Booth (AUS), Slater Trout (US) and James Casey (AUS).
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.
Red Bull Heavy Water event in 2016. | Photo courtesy: Red Bull
About the APP World Tour:
The APP World Tour (formerly known as the Stand Up World Series) was established at the end of 2011 as the Official World Championship Tour for the sport of Stand Up Paddling. With events across the Americas, Europe and Asia, the APP World Tour crowns both Men & Women’s World Champions each year as the World’s best come together to battle it out for the World Championship Crown.