July 7—8, 2018, Royal Victoria Docks, London – Naish’s Casper Steinfath, Manca Notar and Annie Reickert take the podiums with the Maliko 12’6” race SUP as they conquered a dynamic 11 km distance race and 3-buoy sprint course at the London SUP Open to start off the 2018 APP World Tour.
The London SUP Open took place at the historic Royal Victoria Docks in one of the most iconic cities in the world—where the world’s best SUP racers brought fierce competition in the unexpected London heat.
The sprint races featured 3-buoy turns spanning a 200 meter course. Competition ran several rounds consisting of six athletes as they battled for the top three advancing spots in hopes to reach the final. Casper, who is known as one of the best sprinters in the world, remained focused on the day unleashing his Viking power on the top SUP athletes, heat-after-heat, all the way to the final. Though the course was chaotic, Casper maintained that he felt sharp as he secured his 2nd place finish. In the Women’s Sprints, ISA-Champion Manca Notar and Annie Reickert were powerful forces—finishing in 2nd and 3rd place respectively.
The distance race was an 11 km dynamic course with multiple buoys turns with the option of a “Super Lap”, where racers could choose which of the four lap legs to shorten, adding an additional element of tactics to the race. Casper was eager to finish the event strong and remained focused on improving his distance performance. “I don’t consider myself a distance paddler, but the way the distance race worked out it was 11 km with lots of buoys and I felt like a man on a mission to try to get the overall title. Finishing 4th place in the distance race was a very good result for me. It was exactly what I was chasing! I broke the long distance curse where I felt like I couldn’t perform in that discipline recently, which helped put me third overall,” said Casper following the race.
For the Women’s Distance Race results, Manca Notar and Annie Reickert both paddled hard against the world’s best. Manca earned a solid finish in 3rd place, securing enough points for 2nd overall. “It was my first international race this year and combining exams at university and training was quite a challenge the past months. I couldn’t be happier with 2nd place overall!” stated Manca afterwards. 16-year-old Annie was neck-and-neck with Candice Appleby battling for 4th place, finally diving ahead in front to take the position in the final meters. This placed the young Hawaiian just 750 points shy of third place on the overall podium, not too bad for someone who just got their drivers license a few months earlier.
Overall, the London SUP Open was an epic start to the 2018 APP World Tour for team Naish and the Maliko 12’6”. With a 3rd overall, Casper was pleased with the start of his 2018 campaign and ready to keep working to the top. With Annie taking 4th overall and Manca in 2nd it will be exciting to see what happens next as the action goes to Manhattan, New York on September 15-23.
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©John Carter – APP World Tour, ©Pierre Lesueur – TotalSUP