Defending champion Zane Schweitzer is on track to go back-to-back and retain the title of Ultimate Waterman.
He’s finished second in the underwater strength run and swim in Invercargill, New Zealand, to extend his advantage in the overall standings over Caio Vaz (BRA, with just one event remaining.
Tahiti’s Manoa Drollet produced an outstanding performance in the pool to become the first athlete to win two disciplines in this year’s competition, backing up his victory in the barrel contest earlier in the week.
Drollet, who is competing in the event for the third time, raced across the bottom of the pool with his two 25 kilo weights, and with a powerful swim clocked a time of 1:13:08. The big wave surfer was so quick in his first run that he didn’t need to complete a second turn despite the majority of the competitors clocking quicker times in their second attempt.
That effort moved Drollet up to third overall, but it’s Schweitzer who has taken hold of the competition with his consistency across all disciplines. The time of 1:113:92 marks an incredible improvement for the man from Maui, who finished second to last in the underwater strength run and swim last year. “I surpassed my goal, because I told myself if I could do third it would by my best, and today I did better than my goal,” he said. “If we’re not bettering ourselves in the thing that we are worst at, then that doesn’t make us a waterman because we have to adapt to the ocean and consistently excel in all areas.” Schweitzter said.
He will now have to finish no worse than fourth in the final event, a 16km outrigger canoe paddle from Colac Bay to Riverton, to be crowned The Ultimate Waterman for the second year in a row, but Schweitzer says that comes with its own worries. “to have the pressure on like that makes me a little nervous, but I just have to do my best one more time and hope for a top three finish.”
The full points table is:
Zane Schweitzer HAW 6580
Caio Vaz BRA 6200
Manoa Drollett PFY 5933
Jackson Maynard AUS 5910
Daniel Kereopa NZL 5798
Connor Baxter HAW 5763
Chuck Glynn USA 4798
Coco Nogales MEX 4332
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