It was a perfect start to the final day of competition at the 2016 Master of the Ocean. | Photo: Supconnect.com
CABARETE, Dominican Republic - Finals day has come here at the 2016 Master of the Ocean and it couldn't have started more beautifully. The killer sunrise set the tone for the amazing day to come. After a two-day lay day for the stand up paddlers, the SUP athletes were rested and ready to finish the event and crown a winner.
While the waves on hand were much smaller than the beginning of the week, there were still good waist-to-shoulder high waves on hand and light winds for the competitors to enjoy. In semi final heat one we saw Dominican local Brandon Sanford along with Venezuelan Francisco Hernandez, Hawaiian Shelby Schweitzer and Venezuelan Diony Guadagnino. It was a heated battle between locals Brandon and Francisco but ultimately Francisco took the heat with a total heat score of 33.25 and Brandon came in a close second with a total of 29.5, both athletes advancing through to the final. In third was Diony with 23.75 points and Shelby in fourth with 22.25 points.
Clockwise: Brandon Sanford, Diony Guadagnino, Francisco Hernandez, Shelby Schweitzer. | Photos: Supconnect.com
In semi final heat two, two time defending MOTO champion and Starboard SUP athlete Zane Schweitzer was up against a stacked and talented field of Dominican locals, Dauri Reynoso, Luciano Gonzales and U.S.A.’s Jeremy Green. True to form, Zane surfed with progression and power easily securing his spot in the SUP final with a total score of 36.75. Coming behind Zane in a close second with 31.5 points was local boy Dauri Reynoso who surfed incredibly well. In third was Luciano Gonzales with 20.25 points and in fourth was Jeremy Green with 10.5 points. Both Zane and Dauri joined Francisco and Brandon in the final.
L-R: Dauri Reynoso, Luciano Gonzales. | Photos: Supconnect.com
Zane Schweitzer. | Photo: Supconnect.com
When the horn for the final blew the action started immediately with each competitor catching a wave in the first minute or so. With the wind picking up during the final, conditions slowly started getting more difficult making it hard to find an open face. It ended up being a close call between Hawaiian Zane Schweitzer and Venezuelan Francisco Hernandez but ultimately Francisco had the edge over Zane. All four finalists did an exceptional job and put on a show for the crowd. For the full results see below.
Following the SUP finals the surf semis and final took to the water. With Derek Gomes, Brandon Sanford, Zane Schweitzer and Francisco Hernandez making it in to the surf final, the race to crown the overall Master of the Ocean Champion became extremely close between these athletes who have made multiple finals across all four divisions. Following the final, the athletes, spectators and Master of the Ocean officials all headed to Millennium hotel to crown the 2016 Master of the Ocean Champion.
Francisco Hernandez, 2016 MOTO SUP winner. | Photo: Supconnect.com
Zane Schweitzer finished 2nd in SUP. | Photos: Supconnect.com
After a few cocktails, a fashion show and chatter between the crowd, event organizer Marcus Bohm took to the stage to announce the results. With nerves and excitement among everyone in the crowd, Marcus announced Zane Schweitzer as the 2016 Master of the Ocean Champion for the third straight year. The crowd roared with applause and immediately started celebrating Zane’s third win as well as the Dominican Republic Independence Day and everyone ended the evening dancing the night away at LAX, a local restaurant and night club.
Congratulations to all the competitors, teams, locals and visitors on another amazing year at the Master of the Ocean event. In the words of Dominican athlete Brandon Sanford, "Master of the Ocean motivated me to expand from surfing and get into all the disciplines (wind, kite and SUP) which is a huge plus out of this event, getting me and others to do all of the different sports and want to get better at each of them. To me, Master of the Ocean is the best waterman event in the world."
Photo Left: Zane Schweitzer, overall winner 2016 Master of the Ocean. | Photo: Alexis Rovira / Right: Master of the Ocean Winners | Photo: Supconnect.com
Thanks to all the sponsors of the event for their continued support and dedication to this event, Ultravioleta, Millennium, Velero, Dakine, Starboard, Seabob, Ministerio de deportes, Bar tipo cool, Europcar, Takeoff.com, Mai tai, and Natura Cabana.
To see more news and highlights from the Master of the Ocean click here. For the full list of final results from the event see below.
Master of the Ocean 2016 Results:
1. Francisco Hernandez 30.75
2. Zane Schweitzer 25.5
3. Dauri Reynoso 23.0
4. Brandon Sanford 18.5
1. Derek Gomes 33.25
2. Zane Schweitzer 23.5
3. Francisco Hernandez 22.0
4. Brandon Sanford 19.0
1. Luciano Gonzales
2. Emmanuel Rondon
3. Zane Schweitzer
4. Dauri Reynoso
- Carolina Comino
- Shelby Schweitzer
1. Zane Schweitzer 30.25
2. Francisco Hernandez 26.5
3. Dauri Reynoso 20.5
4. Shelby Schweitzer 16.75
1. Derek Gomes 40.0
2. Brandon Sanford 27.75
3. Brian Censi 25.5
4. David Jason 19.75
3. Team Millenium
2. Team Venezuela
1. Team Terminator
Wind surf - Zane Schweitzer
Surf - Derek Gomes
Kite - Luciano Gonzales
SUP - Francisco Hernandez
Overall Master of the Ocean
1. Zane Schweitzer
2. Luciano Gonzales
3. Brandon Sanford
4. Emmanuel Rondon