Annabel Anderson Winner of BOP – 2 Elite Divisions

Starboard’s Annabel Anderson has been training, practicing, competing and preparing all year for the biggest event in SUP Racing. This has all paid off as she won the two elite divisions of the BOP! An amazing feat in itself, but even more special as she finally was able to out maneuver and out pace Candice Appleby by 3 minutes in the elite race and the long distance by 4 minutes …OUTSTANDING!

Below is an article from that gives a great recap of the event.

Congratulations Annabel!!

Kiwi Annabel Anderson Rises to the Top of the World

New Zealand Stand Up Paddler Annabel Anderson emerged on top of the world storming to victory at the Rainbow Sandals Gerry Lopez Battle of the Paddle in Dana Point, California this past weekend in what is known as the unofficial world championships … of the sport drawing the biggest and strongest fields from around the globe. Held at Doheny State Beach, the Rainbow Sandals Gerry Lopez Battle of the Paddle played host to over 1000 paddlers competing over the weekend. With paddlers having to qualify through a round of morning heats for the final in the afternoon, it’s a true test of skill, surfing, fitness, smarts and endurance.

Anderson, the current leader of the Stand Up World Series was somewhat of an underdog going into the event having not raced any of the top women in 2012

In Saturday morning’s qualifying heat for the Elite race, a multi lap course ‘M’ shaped course in and out of the surf zone with a beach run through a chicane each lap, Anderson bided her time early in the race before getting onto small reforming wave close to the beach, running the sand hard and putting over a minute on four time reigning champion, local girl and crowd favorite Candice Appleby in the final lap.

With the final in the afternoon held just before low tide, waves, tactics and skill became even more important with several top paddlers getting taken out by set waves and having their boards end up on the beach. As the final approached the pressure was on Appleby to see if she could reverse the result of the morning and retain her title. Starting a minute after the elite men, Appleby asserted her dominance early and made it to the outer turning buoy first with Anderson right with her as well as other previous winners and podium finishers Jenny Kalmbach and Brandi Baksic. A strong afternoon seabreeze saw Appleby and Anderson open up a small lead on the rest of the pack but were reeled back in as they paddled for the beach for the first time. Catching a re-forming wave that her opposition missed gave Anderson the propulsion to hit the beach first before she flew up the sand and was the first back to her board to make her way back out through the surf zone.

From that point on, Anderson’s lead kept increasing by an astounding 38 seconds per lap as she built up an unassailable lead making the race a competition for the minor placings.

As she rode a wave in from the final turning buoy all the way back into the beach Anderson had not only destroyed the strongest ever assembled field at any competition but she had won by the biggest margin in the history of the event.

Bounding up the beach for the final time she took a moment to grab a kiwi flag from a supporter in the crowd and the look on her face was evident. She’d just done what no one else had been able to do and she’d done it in a style so convincing that had the crowd, commentators and media in a state semi shock.

“I still can’t believe the race played out like it did. It was never my intention to go as early as I did, but in a race like this when I saw the chance to go, I took it. It’s an amazing feeling. To have some kiwi support in the crowd and have a flag handed to me in the finish chute was very special.

One of the challenges of the Battle of the Paddle is that competitors have to back it up the next day for a 9.5 mile distance race down the coast to San Clemente Pier and back. Knowing that the pressure would be on from the gun, Anderson once again put herself out the front building a sizeable lead at the half way point and continuing to build on it through the second half of the race.
“To take the double this weekend has been the icing on the cake to an amazing year, cited Anderson who was almost four minutes in front of Appleby with in second and Jenny Kalmbach rounding out the top three.

What stunned the crowd and industry the most about Anderson’s performances over the weekend was how she’d done it as she was awarded the award for the ‘Most Combative’ female of the weekend.

For pictures and the full story please click here: