Fiona Wylde, Lincoln Dews sweep the SUP Japan Cup as 300+ paddlers hit the surf in Chigasaki

 

Races boards and waves is a pretty good combo for an entertaining event (photo: @kure134 / @paddleleague)

World number number two Lincoln Dews and number three Fiona Wylde have each produced a clean sweep in Chigasaki, surviving the challenging combination of an international field and typhoon swell to claim the 300-strong Mynavi SUP Japan Cup and earn another 40x Paddle League points along the way.

Fiona first vanquished home-nation hero Yuka Sato in the 10K challenge on Saturday, before the Starboard Dream Team rider backed it up with a clean sheet in Sunday’s Survivor Race to take a big chunk of the gender-equal $27,000 prize purse.

Meanwhile Lincoln, up against half a dozen all-star internationals and plenty of dark horse locals, cemented his favouritism for next month’s season-ending showdown in California after decisively claiming both days.

The weekend was highlighted by a massive showing in the open races, with over 300 paddlers taking part in this year’s Japan Cup despite the intimidating ocean conditions to show why Japan is considered the most passionate stand up paddling community in the world.

Those conditions took their toll even on the most experienced athletes though, with Aussie Angie Jackson suffering a nasty foot injury that will see her miss the next three months…

Fiona Wylde punching out in the Survivor Race (photo: @kure134 / @paddleleague)

Saturday’s distance race, billed as an 18k’er but unexpectedly shortened at the last-minute to 10km (6 miles), became something of a middle-distance sprint, with a tight field and fast pace ensuring the whole thing was done in under an hour.

Despite heavy checking from home-nation hero Kenny Kaneko and 11 Cities runner-up Daniel Hasulyo, Lincoln managed to pull clear and snag the win for Team DEEP, while Fiona managed a similar feat in the women’s.

Sunday’s main event certainly lived up to its billing, with the “Survivor” format once again proving to be one of the most exciting types of racing in the world of paddling. With a typhoon swell fast increasing and a short, sharp course filled with some of the best surf-racing athletes on the planet, the spectacle was both mildly chaotic and utterly entertaining.

The Survivor Race certainly lived up its name (photo: @kure134 / @paddleleague)

The weekend was dominated by the Aussies, at least on the men’s side, with five of the top six Survivor finishers flying the green & gold. They all hail from Queensland, a region famous for its surf racing pedigree stretching back decades into the old lifeguard-racing days.

Apart from Lincoln, Sunova’s James Casey was on fire with a runner-up finish, while the relatively-unknown Tim Cyprien finished an overall fourth to show just how ridiculously deep the Aussie talent pool runs. Other notable finishers included Matt Nottage (5th overall) and veteran Kelly Margetts (7th).

The only non-Aussie who got into the mix on Sunday was Hungary’s Daniel Hasulyo, who shook off the effects of his 220km marathon in the Netherlands to claim third place in the Survivor and second place overall.

“Are you not entertained?!” Lincoln Dews en route to a clean sweep in Japan (photo: @kure134 / @paddleleague)

Some new names to impress in Chigasaki included the future Japanese number one, Rai Taguchi, who at just 14 years of age is already snapping at the heels of Kenny Kaneko, as well as fellow-youngster junior Jack Seymour who stole a top 10 overall spot ahead of many seasoned competitors.

Rai has had a couple of solid results on the international scene already, however his progression over the past 18 months has been meteoric. The Okinawa-based athlete jumps +9 places to now find himself sitting top 40 on The Paddle League World Rankings. Meanwhile Jack, whose family hails from South Africa but is based in Hong Kong, has jumped a massive 23 spots to sit #73 in the world as we draw towards the end of Season 2018.

Jack also scores a spot on Team Naish in the updated VMG ‘BATTLE OF THE BRANDS’ standings, however the yellow boys from Maui (and pretty much every other brand) are being dwarfed by the all-conquering Starboard Dream Team, who now hold a ridiculous 1500.00 points — to highlight the Tiki team’s dominance, even a virtual Starboard B Team would still be ahead of every other brand.

But perhaps the biggest newcomer this year was Rika Okuaki, who snapped up a second-place finish in the Survivor to claim the overall runner-up spot ahead of her highly-fancied compatriot Yuka Sato. Rika hails from Zamami – home to The Paddle League’s other stop in Japan – where she helps lead the island’s amazing junior training program.

Angie Jackson moments before her weekend came to a sudden halt (photo: @kure134 / @paddleleague)

…a few hours later in true Aussie spirit (photo: @kure134 / @paddleleague)

But the Survivor will probably be remembered for the freak injury suffered by Angie Jackson. The Australian was already having a rough weekend after fainting and then retiring early on in the 10K race, but her Chigasaki campaign quickly went south on Sunday. Sitting in the virtual runner-up position as she surfed in for the final leg of the Survivor, Angie’s board smashed her ankle in the shorebreak and left her unable to even reach the finish line.

The damage soon became apparent after a trip to the hospital: Ruptured Achilles – the ligament was torn clean off the bone – and a fractured heel bone that will see her miss three months of paddling. Though in true “Aussie battler” fashion, Angie was seen drinking a beer on the beach Sunday afternoon, while the ONE team rider is already plotting her competitive comeback at next April’s Carolina Cup after a successful surgery at home in Australia today.

Here are the full results from this 4-star Paddle League regional event; big thank you to the organisers and everyone involved in this great weekend (and a special shout-out to @kure134 for all the great action shots).

The 4th annual SUP Japan Cup was the best one yet, and it’s now established itself as one of the biggest events in Asia. Pencil it in for 2019…

The SUP Japan Cup open races showed why the country is considered one of the largest and most enthusiastic paddling communities on the planet (photo: @kure134 / @paddleleague)

 


 

ELITE MEN: OVERALL STANDINGS


– View The Paddle League World Rankings post-Japan update
– View the latest VMG ‘BATTLE OF THE BRANDS’ leaderboard

#
Athlete
10km
Survivor
Rankings
Nation
Brand
1Lincoln Dews1140.00AustraliaDEEP
2Daniel Hasulyo2330.00HungaryStarboard
3James Casey5224.00AustraliaSunova
4Tim Cyprien4520.00AustraliaFanatic
5Matt Nottage6417.00AustraliaStarboard
6Kenny Kaneko31014.00JapanJP
7Kelly Margetts8612.00AustraliaSunova
8Rai Taguchi7810.00JapanSIC
9Kota Kayashima1399.00JapnaStarboard
10Jack Seymour10138.00Hong KongNaish
11Ryohei Yoshida12117.20JapanSawarna
12Kaito Miyakoshi1776.40Japan404
13Daisuke Ueda11166.00Japan404
14Hoshio Kashiwagi16125.60JapanNSP
15Kento Mitsuishi14155.20JapanJP
16Kazuhiko Hirata18174.80Japan
17Akira Murata9DNS4.40Japan
18Ying Lun Ng15214.00Japan
19Hidehiko Fukushima23203.60Japan
19Godai Fukui24193.20Japan
21Hamano Tsubasa19DNS3.00Japan
22Yu Him Wong20DNS2.80Hong Kong
22Keita Hatano25222.60Japan
24Yuji Wada21DNS2.40Japan
25Atsushi Suzuki22DNS2.20Japan
26HIraku Shinjo26DNS2.08Japan
27Taiyo Anai27DNS1.96Japan
28Jonghwa Bae28261.84Japan
29Hisami Nakajima29DNS1.72Japan
30Suno Ho Han30DNS1.60Japan
31Dion Vincent31DNS1.52.
32Susumu Ando32DNS1.44Japan
33Yutaka Kawahara33DNS1.36Japan
34Takafumi Sekka34DNS1.28Japan
35Kei KomatsuyamaDNS141.20Japan
36Ryuichi Kanayama35DNS1.12Japan
37Yoshihiro Noumi38241.04Japan
38Kunikazu Mizokami36DNS0.96Japan
39Hiroshi Kakizawa37DNS0.88Japan
40Masaya OmoriDNS180.80Japan
41Takeshi Watanabe39DNS0.76Japan
42Kensuke MIyajima40DNS0.72Japan
43Hayato Mizubayashi41DNS0.68Japan
44Yoishinori Ishida42DNS0.64Japan
45Sotaro Inomata43DNS0.60Japan
46Chris FreemanDNS230.56UK
47Hiroaki Sekiya44DNS0.52Japan
48Taiga Bab45DNS0.48Japan
49Sung Ho HanDNS250.44.
50Chaulong Lekhac46DNS0.40.

 

ELITE WOMEN: OVERALL STANDINGS


– View The Paddle League World Rankings post-Japan update
– View the latest VMG ‘BATTLE OF THE BRANDS’ leaderboard

#
Athlete
10K
Survivor
Rankings
Nation
Brand
1Fiona Wylde1140.00USAStarboard
2Rika Okuaki3230.00JapanSIC
3Yuka Sato2524.00JapanStarboard
4Takayo Yokoyama4320.00JapanRiviera
5Miu Kogai5417.00Japan.
6Natsuki Sakai6DNS14.00Japan.
7Angie JacksonDNFDNF12.00AustraliaONE

RAW RESULTS including full results from the open races