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USA Surfing Crowns First Ever SUP & Paddle Board Champions

Most of Team USA. | Photo: Onit.Pro Most of Team USA. | Photo: Onit.Pro

SAN CLEMENTE, California – USA Surfing held the first ever SUP/Paddle board Team Trials & Championships in Oceanside California, and Santa Cruz, California on June 16 and 17. Participation in every age group across all disciplines and in multiple locations led to an extremely competitive and exciting weekend of competition.

This weekend marks the first time ever that USA Surfing has crowned Champions in SUP Technical, SUP Surf, SUP Distance & Paddle board. Additionally, USA SUP/Paddle board are using this weekend's results to select the international travel team that will represent the USA in the ISA World SUP and Paddle board Championships in Denmark, September 1-10.

“This weekend our sport took a big step forward. As a board, we set a path for us to elevate how we compete on the national stage and select our International Team by having open competition for anyone in the U.S. who wanted to try out,” said Erik Logan, USA Surfing board member. “The overwhelming success of the event gives us great confidence heading into the world championships and the early planning for our 2018 event, which we are already looking to expand by an additional day to accommodate the early demand.”

usa team trials 2017 8 usa team trials 2017 2

Giorgio Gomez (left) and Candice Appleby (right) during the Technical races. | Photos: Onit.Pro

The 2017 USA SUP / Paddle board team features 7 returning ISA competitors, 4 world champions and 5 first time competitors. The weekend competition gave opportunity to many elite paddlers and others the equal opportunity on the water to represent the United States. The SUP Technical and Distance team is anchored by world champion and three-time ISA competitor Candice Appleby. Giorgio Gomez, Slater Trout and first-time team members Noa Hopper, Fiona Wylde, Ryan Funk and Jade Howson round out USA SUP’s race teams.

team usa trials 2017 noa hopperNoa Hopper takes off in the Distance Race. | Photo: Onit.Pro

“It was a historic weekend. We accomplished two huge goals. First we were able to crown several USA champions in various categories. Second, the athletes were given the opportunity to be selected to our international team for the ISA world championships through their performances," said USA SUP/Paddle board Head Coach, Brody Welte. "We have set a terrific foundation for us to build upon now and into the future.”

USA SUP Surfing sends one of its deepest teams ever to Denmark with Sean Poynter, Izzi Gomez and Emmy Merrill owning a combined 5 world titles and 10 years of International competition experience as well adding 2016 ISA SUP Surf finalists Giorgio Gomez that only strengthens USA SUP Surfing’s team.

“This weekends level of competition was world class. We are thrilled to see such strong performance from all the surfers.” said Dave Boehne, USA SUP Surfing Coach. Boehne further added, “Having the leadership of Sean, Izzi and Emmy with their five world titles and Gio’s finals experience of last year, I couldn’t be more excited about the strength and depth of our team.”

usa team trials 2017 surf izziIzzi Gomez unsurprisingly made the team for surfing. | Photo: Onit.Pro

Concurrently, USA SUP / Paddle board held its trials in conjunction with the 16th annual Jay Race, in Capitola, California. This partnership was a win-win for USA SUP/Paddle board allowing the country’s biggest paddlers the opportunity to race in a marque race for USA titles and spots on this year’s USA ISA competition team.

With one of the biggest fields of the year, USA SUP / Paddle board brings Jack Bark and Abby Brown back to the team. "We had an incredible weekend of paddling and racing up in Santa Cruz and Capitola. The 16th Annual Jay Race proved to be a perfect event to decide our USA champions and team members as hundreds of prone paddlers converged to put it all out there”, said Steve Shlens USA Paddle board Coach. Shlens added, “We had everything from glass to wind to bumps, as well as a few great white sightings! On the men's side, Jack Bark, followed closely by Ben Brewer, came away with a huge win on this Jay course. For the women, Abby Brown once again put it all out there and got the win, followed just minutes later by Carter Graves. The men and women at this event really seized the day and showed how deep our prone paddling talent goes."

team usa trials 2017 slater trout team usa trials 2017 fiona wylde

Slater Trout (left) and Fiona Wylde (right) both made the SUP Distance team. | Photos: Onit.Pro

Complete listing of 2017 USA SUP/Paddle board team:

  • Candice Appleby Female / 31 / SUP Tech & SUP Distance / Infinity
  • Jack Bark Male, / 23 / Paddle board / BARK
  • Abby Brown Female, / 19 /, Paddle board /Infinity
  • Ryan Funk Male / 16 / SUP Tech / Starboard
  • Giorgio Gomez Male / 21 / SUP Tech & SUP Surf / Infinity
  • Izzi Gomez Female / 17 / SUP Surf /Starboard
  • Noa Hopper Male, / 18 / SUP Distance / 404
  • Jade Howson Female / 14 / SUP Tech / Riviera
  • Emmy Merrill Female / 23 / SUP Surf / Hobie
  • Sean Poynter Male / 28 / SUP Surf / Starboard
  • Slater Trout Male / 21 / SUP Distance / Infinity
  • Fiona Wylde Female / 19 / SUP Distance / Werner Paddles

“Watching the way this group of elite paddlers competed for spots on the US team was awesome and something we’ve strived to achieve for many years,” said Greg Cruse, CEO of USA Surfing. “Seeing broad participation across all the age groups and disciplines gives us great confidence in the further of our sport and continues to deepen and expand the participation," Cruse added.

usa team trials 2017 3Women's Technical Race top finishers Candice Appleby (left) and Jade Howson (right). | Photo: Onit.Pro

Complete List of National Champions:

SUP Technical:
  • Men’s Open: Giorgio Gomez
  • Women’s Open: Candice Appleby
  • U18 Boys: Noa Hopper
  • U18 Girls: Jade Howson
  • 40+ Men's: Derek Hamasaki
SUP Surf:
  • Men’s Open: Sean Poynter
  • Women’s Open: Izzi Gomez
  • U18 Boys: Noa Hopper
  • U18Girls: Scarlett Schremmer 40+
  • Men's: Derek Hamasaki
SUP Distance:
  • Men’s Open: Noa Hopper
  • Women’s Open: Candice Appleby
  • U18 Boys: Noa Hopper
  • U18 Girls: Jade Howson
  • 40+ Men's: Karl Ring
  • 40+ Women’s: Kristin Thomas
  • Men’s Open: Jack Bark
  • Women’s Open: Abby Brown U18
  • Boys: Zane Booth U18
  • Girls: Kailyn Winter 40+
  • Men's: Bart Schade 40+
  • Women’s: DJ O’Brien
About USA Surfing

USA is the United States Olympic Committee and ISA-recognized National Governing Body for Surfing in the United States. The International Surfing Association (ISA) is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the World Governing Authority for Surfing, Stand Up Paddling, Paddle boarding, Bodyboarding, and Surfriding. Surfing and Stand Up Paddle boarding will be in the 2019 Pan American Games and Surfing will be in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

All photos courtesy Onit.Pro. See full gallery HERE.

Last modified onFriday, 30 June 2017 13:52

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