In a heroic effort, Casper Steinfath piloted his 2020 Javelin from a 300 m deficit, to win the 18 km Men’s Elite division at the 5th Hong Kong International SUP Championship.
This was Casper’s fourth time visiting Hong Kong and second time competing in the Hong Kong International SUP Championship. Known for its warm temperatures and growing SUP community, Casper has always enjoyed coming back.
Being his first race back during the summer break on the APP World Tour, Hong Kong served as the perfect test event to prepare for the next APP events in New York and Osaka, Japan in the coming weeks.
Coming into this race, Casper was not only focused on testing his physical shape but also to put the new Naish Javelin to the test! Having been involved in its design, Casper has been eager to try in competition for a long time now.
Designed primarily for flat water, the Javelin was created to complement Naish’s other race board, the Maliko, which already has proven itself in the rougher ocean and downwind conditions and the Javelin lived up to its name!
As the 18 km distance race kicked off, Casper knew he had his work cut out form him against an in-form Daniel Hasulyo, who in many regards is considered one of the strongest distance SUP athletes in the world.
From the start, Casper put the pedal to the metal and began to hammer through the 18 km course. Daniel was not Caspers, only opponent in the race. The Hong Kong heat also took its toll on the Dane. “It was brutal. Hot. Not Viking Conditions,” stated Casper after the race. “At first, the heat played its tricks on me and forced me to lose contact with Daniel Hasulyo.” Luckily Casper is not only physically tough but incredibly mentally strong as well.
By the time he cooled down again and got his rhythm back, Casper was easily 300 meters behind Daniel.
“Now it was game time! I felt my board glide nicely through the flatwater as I started to gain on Daniel. Not just in the flats did I feel good, but also on the upwind section, the board flowed very well. As we were greeted by small downwind bumps on a couple of sections of the course, I knew it was the time,” recounted Casper. “Milking every single drop of water to its limit I slowly, but steadily gained on Daniel who appeared to be having his issues with the humidity. With 4 km left, I managed to pass Daniel and tried not to look back. I kept my eyes forward on the finish line and took it one stroke at a time gliding as far as possible with the beak of the Javelin slicing through the water!”
Traditionally the multi-time ISA champ has been known as a short distance specialist, but with the Javelin it’s clear Casper is going to be one to watch in distance races as well.
“It was epic. Crossing the finish line in the first place felt unreal! I was happy to get such a great result in a discipline I don’t consider my strongest. The Javelindefinitely helped me deliver this solid punch! I can’t wait for New York!” stated Casper.
Casper was not the sole Naish team rider with local talent and upcoming powerhouse Alan Ng also grabbing fifth place.
Overall it was a great weekend with lots of happy paddlers from all over Asia participating. More important than the racing is seeing local SUP scenes grow bigger and bigger. Casper says “Keep a close eye on Hong Kong and Asia in the years to come!”
Find out more, right here!