Izzi Gomez is a two-time World Champion and until now, has put an unmistakeable mark on the sport of Stand Up Paddling having at some point won every single event on Tour, that is except for Hawaii…
While the Hawaii leg of the Stand Up World Tour has somehow been a stumbling block for the young Floridian talent, in 2016, Izzi showed no signs of any weaknesses at this year’s Turtle Bay Pro, putting on an impressive display of high performance surfing and demonstrating that time spent in the islands pays off as she takes the well deserved victory of the season at Turtle Bay.
Izzi’s powerful and progressive style once again not only wows the crowds and judges alike, but keeps her on top of the World after Stop 1 of the 2016 Stand Up World Tour. Fiona Wylde continues to take the world by storm, making the Final and battling to the end with Izzi Gomez, to secure 2nd place
As one of the USA’s leading Stand Up Paddle athletes, Fiona Wylde (Starboard) continues to go from strength to strength and position herself as one of the sport’s leading Ladies, having finished the season on a high last year on the Stand Up World Series in second place and then putting on a stellar performance again here at the Turtle Bay Pro to finish runner up at Stop 1 of the Stand Up World Surfing Tour.
Like Izzi, Fiona is another one leading the way with her progressive style and critical surfing, demonstrating that there is real talent in the sport and that the performance level amongst the girls continues to sky rocket. Drawing on her multi-sport background, Fiona’s committed, and driving bottom turn in particular draws parallels with the likes of Kai Lenny (Naish), Zane Schweitzer (Starboard) and Bernd Roediger (Naish), who’s windsurfing background has provided phenomenal fundamentals for Stand Up Paddling that were clearly evident here at Turtle Bay.
This year’s Tour is full of impressive talent, and there is no doubt that it is going to be the most competitive yet as we are excited to see it all unfold. Shakira Westdorp once again proves herself to be one of the real standouts, posting some of the highest scores of the contest. There is no doubt that Shakira Westdorp (Starboard) from Australia made her presence felt here at Stop #1 of the 2016 Stand up World Tour at Turtle Bay, posting the single highest score of the contest and continually posting scores in the excellent range throughout.
Shakira Westdorp’s dominating backhand attack in the iconic Turtle Bay conditions earned her Day One’s highest single-wave score, a 9.33, and the fast-track to the Quarter Finals. Photo: Waterman League
While it looked as though she was destined to make it to the Finals once again, as she did in 2015, it was not to be this year, as she came up against Fiona Wylde (Starboard) in the semis who was just able to edge ahead of the talented Australian Surfer. However, there is no doubt that Shakira Westdorp will be one to look out for in 2016 with her radical and aggressive surfing style. She has started well and demonstrated that she is set to be one of the biggest threats on the Women’s Tour, finishing in 3rd place here at the 2016 Turtle Bay Pro.
Nicole Pacelli puts on another stellar performance at Turtle Bay to finish in 3rd equal and mark the start of an exciting year ahead. 2013 World Champion Nicole Pacelli from Brazil feels right at home here at Turtle Bay, having won 2 out of 3 of the events here on Oahu’s Fabled North Shore and spending much of the winter out here training in the powerful Hawaiian surf.
This year was no different, as she has once again upped her game and is looking better than ever coming into the 2016 season, with strong performances throughout the day on her way to the semi finals, just falling short to the current World Champ Izzi Gomez (Starboard), leaving her having to settle for 3rd.
While she will be disappointed not to regain her Turtle Bay title, a 3rd place finish is a good start to the year for this Brazilian talent, as she sets her sights on recapturing the World Title in 2016 and continuing the Brazilian surge on the World Tour. Join us tonight at Turtle Bay Resort’s Surfer the Bar for a unique Talk Story Special featuring 3 of the women Tour’s most diversified multi sport athletes for a talk about SUP and the benefits that crossing over between the sports can have, but also about their different respective backgrounds. Here are the featured Ladies for tonight’s Talk Story:
Sophia Bartlow from California comes from Surfing royalty, with her Mother Jerica Poppler a legend in the surfing world: Sophia crosses over between all the sports with ease and grace. Fiona Wylde (Starboard) from Oregon, like Iballa, has a windsurfing background and is still very much involved in and extremely competitive across both
We will also be presenting both this year’s Event Winners, but also celebrating the 2015 World Championship Title with the presenting of the Stand Up World Tour trophy for the Women.
Na Kama Kai Challenge & Clinic to celebrate & nurture emerging youth talent with the 6th annual event at Turtle Bay this Saturday. Still to come today is the Na Kama Kai Clinic and competitive challenge taking part on both sides of the Resort, providing entry level opportunities for local kids and a unique competitive platform Inspired by the local non profit Na Kama Kai, the Waterman League is committed to furthering the non profit’s founder Duane DeSoto’s mission of empowering youth through mentored Ocean Sports opportunities and learning.
El Nino is not to disappoint as the Sunset Beach Pro returns from Monday 8th February to open the 2016 Stand Up World Tour. With a string of large to extra large swells forecast over the coming 10 days, we are anticipating an epic showdown at Sunset Beach next week for Stop #1 of the 2016 Stand Up World Tour.
In addition, watch out for the Waterman Challenge, that is inviting 20 of the World’s most well rounded Ocean Sports athletes to battle it out at Sunset Beach across shortboard, longboard and SUP for the prestige of being crowned Champion at this multi sports spectacle at Sunset Beach.