Maui’s Connor Baxter has dominated from the start to win the 16km SUP endurance race and move into contention for overall honours in The Ultimate Waterman.
On a bitterly cold morning in New Zealand’s Deep South, Baxter impressed with a faultless race from Colac Bay to Riverton, to beat compatriot Zane Schweitzer by two minutes. It means each of the six events so far has had a different winner, with Baxter joining Australian Jackson Maynard as the only competitor to take maximum points in his double whammy event.
Schweitzer, the defending champion, has moved into the overall lead with his second place finish in the SUP Endurance, while Caio Vaz (BRA) has dropped to second. Baxter has shot up from sixth overall to third.
There are just 540 points separating Schweitzer in first and Maynard in fifth place with two events remaining and Baxter says it’s really tight. “Zane and I have been trying to do some math and work it all out. If I can maybe get a first place in the one-man (outrigger) on Sunday and perhaps a top three in the swim there’s a good potential chance for me to do it,” he said. With such a big lead during the SUP Endurance, Baxter says he was able to leave a little bit in the tank knowing there are two big events to come. “A lot of my competitions are two day events, so considering that, I feel I can back it up in the outrigger race, and the swim will break up those two endurance races.”
The full points table;
Zane Schweitzer HAW 5720
Caio Vaz BRA 5530
Connor Baxter HAW 5208
Daniel Kereopa NZL 5188
Jackson Maynard AUS 5180
Manoa Drollet PFY 4933
Chuck Glynn USA 4215
Coco Nogales MEX 3276
The competition will head indoors tomorrow with an underwater strength run and swim at Splash Palace in Invercargill. Athletes will jump into the pool, grab two 25kg weights and run 25 metres along the bottom of the pool to a 1metre wide zone, with the aim to not surface for air. They will then freestyle swim 25metres back. Entry is free for the public.