MVISION presents the 4th Hong Kong International SUP Championship 2018 went smoothly on the 19th of August at Victoria Recreation Club, Sai Kung, Hong Kong last Sunday (Aug 19th). The event featured a 18km Elite Long course, 6km short course, 1km sup race and 200m sprint race.
The most eye-catching race has to be the 18km Elite Long course where current world champion Michael Booth and Japan No.1 paddler Kenny Kaneko are competing head to head on the open water of Sai Kung.
The 18km three-lap-course started with Kaneko leading for most time during the first 6km, Boothy took over serval times when turning at the buoys but Kaneko was not too far back behind. After them were racers from Japan, Ryohei Yoshida who was only a few hundreds feet away from the leads, and Rai Taguchi, who is only 14 year old.
Current Hong Kong champion Himson Wong was right behind all of them, followed by Alan Ng and Jack Seymour. Entering the final lap, Boothy caught a bump with his Starboard Ace and took the lead back and made it bigger with the wind that came in.
30 feet behind, with the JP flat water board, Kaneko did not slow down one bit as Wong was approaching in high speed, lengthen the distance between Yoshida and himself.
Boothy, the 27-year-old, crossed the finish line at first place and Kaneko at second with a 74s difference. “it’s always hard racing Michael,” says Kaneko after the race, “he is one of the best paddlers in the world, it’s not easy. Congratulation to him.”
Himson Wong who was at the fifth place in the first lap but managed to catch up rapidly in the last lap finished third. The weather on that day is very humid and was about 30 degree celsius. The warm climate made it difficult for athletes to perform their best quality. “it was a really tough course out here today, I think we are lucky that the wind sort of came in at the second lap and cooled things down a little bit, which is nice.” says Boothy.
It was as exciting as Men’s in the 18km Elite Women race. Kate Baker from England and Charlotte Spicers from Singapore took the lead and finished first and second accordingly. 58-year-old Japanese Sachiko Teruyama finished strong. “It’s a tough race out there, slow water and hot conditions. But the wind was good.” says Baker, “It’s great fun being out on the course with everybody else.”
Lastly, it was powerhouse Australian Michael Booth who took the overall win on the Men’s side and British Kate Baker on the Women’s side.