April Zilg and Connor Baxter were crowned the 2019 U.S. Championship Series champions at the final event of the series at the APP New York SUP Open on September 7, 2019. The U.S. Championship Series is a five race APP World Tour qualifying series conducted through WPA sanctioned events in the U.S. to qualify for the 2020 APP World Tour.
Baxter, with his two fourth place finishes at the APP New York SUP Open, secured the overall U.S. Series championship over second place Arthur Arutkin with his strong first and third place finishes in New York. Conner held a 1,285 point lead over Josh Riccio after the SIC Gorge Paddle Challenge coming into the APP New York event, however Riccio did not attend the APP New York event.
Connor needed to keep within four places of Michael Booth in both the sprint and distance races given his 2,800 points lead and 3,300 point lead over fourth place Noic Garioud. Baxter ended up winning the U.S. Championship by 2,425 points over Arutkin who earned all of his points at the New York event. Look for Arutkin to establish himself as the top paddler in the world at the APP World Tour finale on December 7-8th, 2019 at the APP Paris SUP Open.
April Zilg solidified her U.S. Championship lead coming into the APP New York event with a strong third place finish in the sprint races and capped off her championship crown by winning the distance race and overall APP New York title.
Zilg, came into the New York event with her first major event victory by winning the SIC Gorge Paddle Challenge technical race giving her momentum coming into the final race of the U.S. Championship Series in New York. April held a 3,120 point lead over Jade Howsen coming into the New York event and then a 3,952 point lead over Fiona Wylde in third place and a 4,340 point lead over Annie Reickert in fourth place. Since Howsen did not attend the New York event and the amount of points available and two race disciplines, April would have had to finish seventh or worse in both races for Fiona to pass her and Fiona would have had to win both races (final standings to the WPA U.S. Championship Qualifying Series can be found on the below link).
Sey Chelle took the victory in the sprint race which is usually not her best discipline. All of the races at the APP New York event were closely contested with first through fourth places in both the Men’s and Women’s divisions being only separated by just over a minute.
The WPA U.S. Championship Series Qualifying Series, sanctioned by the APP World Tour began at the Carolina Cup in April and with the finale at the the APP New York event to crown both Connor and April as the WPA/APP U.S. Championship Series champions.
Look for the announcements with the 2020 WPA U.S. Championship Qualifying Series events in the next month. Go to www.worldpaddleassociation.com for announcements and news and APP World Tour information, go to www.appworldtour.com. Next up is the APP Japan SUP Open on September 20-22, 2019 and then the APP Redbull Heavy Water in San Fransico, CA on October 15-17th. Full 2020 WPA and APP World Tour series announcements to come in the next months.
Final WPA U.S. Championship Series results: US Champ Series FINAL Standings_2019