Caio Vaz from Brazil and Izzi Gomez claim top spots on the Stand Up Paddlesurfing World Championship Tour
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 23 December, 2016 - Izzi Gomez is your 2016 Stand Up Paddlesurfing World Champion, continuing her reign on the World Championship Tour. It's hard to believe that Izzi Gomez (Starboard) has only just turned 17 years old, yet has a list of accomplishments that even someone nearing the end of their career would be proud of! Since capturing her first World Title back in 2014, Izzi has continued to lead the charge in the women's side of Stand Up Paddlesurfing, helping to set the standard for performance surfing for the girls that has been evolving at a staggering rate.
However, despite her now having 3 World Titles in hand, it is worth noting that the competition she faces from all over the globe has been significant, and is only intensifying as the seasons go on, with the likes of Fiona Wylde (Starboard), Shakira Westdorp (Starboard) and 2013 World Champion Nicole Pacelli (Art in Surf) right on her heels, together with more experienced campaigners and previous event winners such as Caroline Angibaud.
This year's Turtle Bay Women's Pro saw some of the best conditions yet, but also some of the most spectacular performances from the girls as a whole, and as such only elevated the signficance of Izzi's victory in 2016.
What is perhaps the most exciting, is the new wave of talent coming up through the ranks on the World Championship Tour, from Annie Reickert (Naish) and Skylar Lickle from Maui, to Yuuka Hirokoshi from Japan and many more, all no doubt inspired by what Izzi and company have been able to achieve.
One thing is for sure, the future looks very bright for the Women's World Championship Tour, as we look forward to an all new season in 2017 that will see them do battle at the World Famous Sunset Beach for the very first time. We also look forward to celebrating Izzi's remarkable achievements at the Awards Banquet in February as she is officially crowned the 2016 World Champion.
Caio Vaz from Brazil is your 2016 Stand Up Paddlesurfing World Champion, maintaining his position on top of the World
Caio Vaz made history in 2015 by being the first Brazilian to win a World Tour event at Sunset Beach on Oahu's North Shore. With dramatic wins across the globe and a couple of World Title runs already to his name, to win in Surfing's birthplace in Hawaii was perhaps his most coveted achievement yet.
What this victory also provided was an unparalleled momentum builder towards his quest for a World Title, something that he went on to achieve in 2015 after two years of having to settle for 2nd.
2016 provided perhaps the greatest challenge yet for this young Champion from Brazil, as El Nino was delivering record breaking swell to Oahu's North Shore, and the Sunset Beach holding period was to be no different. Caio was able to adapt to the magical conditions we witnessed this year and then navigate his way through a challenging final day in wind blown conditions to secure a second victory at Sunset Beach and leading to his second World Title in 2016.
It is worth noting that an athlete's performance at Sunset has more often than not provided a real indicator towards his prospects for securing a World Title, with Kai Lenny (Naish) having secured 3 of his 4 Surfing World Titles after winning the Opening event at Sunset Beach. With Caio's two consecutive wins at Sunset leading to 2 consecutive World Titles, this certainly continues to be the case, as we can't wait to kick off the 2017 season back at the majestic Sunset Beach with refreshed enthusiasm and a talent pool that is deeper and more competitive than ever.
So a big congratulations go out to our 2016 World Champion Caio Vaz and we look forward to an all new season starting on the North Shore of Oahu on the 11th - 24th February at Sunset Beach, preceded by the Official Awards Banquet for our 2016 World Champions on the 10th February.