Maui Sports

Lenny and Baxter to Face Off in Red Bull Heavy Water

September 6, 2017, 2:31 PM HST
* Updated September 6, 2:38 PM
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The Red Bull Heavy Water at San Francisco Bay will return as part of the 2017 APP World Tour Circuit, with an event window from Oct. 16-31. Three-time Racing World Champion and Maui native Kai Lenny, along with current World Champion Connor Baxter, and 30 other of the world’s best SUP athletes, will return for the second annual event.

Maui’s Connor Baxter and Kai Lenny will face off in the second edition of the Red Bull Heavy Water in San Francisco. Baxter won the event last year, Lenny came in second place. PC: APP World Tour

Known as one of the most intense stand up paddling contests in the world, the location will feature waves over 10 feet, and an open course stretching 7.5 miles from Ocean Beach and ending just past the Golden State Bridge.

Maui’s Connor Baxter won the event last year and is currently tied for first place heading into the challenge. Hometown rival Lenny came in second place at last year’s event and will be seeking redemption.

“Coming back to Ocean Beach for the second edition of Red Bull Heavy Water to defend my title is a great honor,” said Baxter. “This event gives me the biggest butterflies because not only am I thinking about racing some heavy hitters but the big wave surfing aspect adds a whole new dimension of uncertainty to the event.”

“I’m excited about Red Bull Heavy Water returning for 2017,” said Lenny. “It is without a doubt, one of the most exciting, challenging and fun ocean races I have ever done. No matter what, you can always expect to get some crazy curve balls thrown at you that will keep you on your toes the entire time.”


Modifications for this year’s edition include the starting zone relocation from the beach to outside the surf zone in the water. APP says the objective is to create a dramatic first leg with the fleet surging through the first surf section together and maintaining an even field through the first inside turn.


Officials with the race say the remainder will remain the same, with just the extra half leg from the start creating three inside turns on the beach and two outside turns, before the athletes head around Land’s End through one of the historically treacherous stretches of water on the West Coast. The competitors will then paddle and surf under the Golden Gate Bridge to an inside buoy near Fort Point, before heading on to the San Francisco Yacht Club for the finish.

Other athletes to compete in this year’s edition include Mo Freitas (HI), Casper Steinfath (DK), Lincoln Dews (AUS), Arthur Arutkin (FR), Michael Booth (AUS), Slater Trout (US) and James Casey (AUS).

A total of $50,000 in prize money, with $20,000 going to the first place finisher – the highest first place prize in the sport to date – will further the stakes and excitement.

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