Basque, UK Shine at World Surf Kayak Champs

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The U.S. might be slaying it in the stand-up surf scene with the likes of Slater Trout, but when it comes to surf kayaking, Basque Country and the UK are still barreling to the top of the line-up and podium. That’s how things played out, at least, at this year’s World Surf kayaking Championships, which recently wrapped up at North Carolina’s Outer Banks….

With the home wave advantage (and despite the fact that Hurricane Irene forced the event’s relocation just two weeks before kick off), the U.S. amassed two top spots, with Dave Johnson winning the Masters short boat division and Buck Johnson taking the Grand Masters long boat category. Basque, meanwhile, took the coveted team title.

At the awards ceremonies at the Village Beach Club in Nags Head, N.C., the Basques celebrated their team wave win, led by Edu Etxeberria, who won the men’s long boat title with a series of flawless rides in the final. The men’s short boat title went to Northern Ireland’s Chris Hobson, with England’s Emma Wynter and Tamsin Green winning those respective titles for the women.

“It was a tough mental challenge to maintain focus for that long,” says Green of the nine-day-long event. “But we had fantastic waves for the event which allowed all the competitors to really show off their talents.”

2011 World Surf Kayak Champions:

• Men’s, Long Boat: Edu Etxeberria, Basque Country
• Men’s, Short Boat: Chris Hobson, Northern Ireland
• Women’s, Long Boat: Emma Wynter, England
• Women’s, Short Boat: Tamsin Green, England
• Juniors, Long Boat: Andy McClelland, Northern Ireland
• Juniors, Short Boat: Julen Arrizibala, Basque Country
• Masters, Long Boat: Darren Bason, England
• Masters, Short Boat: Dave Johnston, USA West
• Grand Masters, Long Boat: Buck Johnson, USA West
• Grand Masters, Short Boat: Luis Abando, Basque Country
• Team Title: Basque Country

Info: World Championships of Surf Kayaking

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