Our Aussie athletes who competed at the 2023 ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championship have returned home from France with a silver medal for the Irukandjis.
In the Men’s SUP Surfing final, Wes Fry finished runner-up and Kai Bates was fourth.
Fry said: “The waves were fun for the first two days but unfortunately really diminished for finals day. I had a shocker heat in round 3 and was knocked into the repechage heats. I felt a little defeated thinking it was nearly impossible to make it back into the final but after surfing two heats and finding a bit of rhythm I started to get really motivated. By the end of finals day I had surfed about six or seven heats and I was completely shattered but managed to get a little wave on the buzzer and weasel my way into second place. Although the waves were tricky it was a memorable moment surfing with two really close friends Kai Bates and Benoit Carpentier in the final. We celebrated down in Hossegor after the competition getting some really good waves and warm weather.
“The Aussie team was small but we had a good crack and managed a decent result. There was a lot of support from back home with friends and family staying up to watch the live heats. Also, our team was down on the sand cheering for every race and surfing heat so it was a great team atmosphere.”
Bates said the conditions in the final were really tricky.
“The tide had a huge effect on the bank we were surfing. But Wes was on fire and fought his way through the repechage rounds to get a second place in the final. Huge effort from him and super stoked we both made it that far. I came away with a fourth position which is a great result for my return to a world stage.
“We are very happy to have been offered the opportunity to compete in France and for Surfing Australia organising the amazing uniforms provided.”
Micheal Booth finished fifth in the SUP Technical Race and sixth in SUP Marathon. Well done also to Johnny Hagan and Skyla Rayner for representing Team Australia.
Photo credits: ISA / Sean Evans, Pablo Franco, Jersson Barbozo
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