Connor wins Overall in Bilbao Spain

Words: Connor Baxter

The 2013 Bilbao Spain Event was spectacular. It started off with long plane rides and ended with jet lag. But when I was finally there it is a beautiful city and it was all worth it.

This is stop number four on the Standup World Series, but it was the first time they did a event in this city. For a first-time event, it was so good and the organization was all there. From the first day of the distance to the finishing night after the sprints it was a fun event.


They kicked their event off the first day with an 18 km distance race. This distance race went through the city along hundreds of spectators on their normal routine, but stopping and looking and wondering what was going on.


This is a very long hard distance race considering we had to go upwind, sidewind and downwind. There was a group of six guys including me that really pulled away from the everyone else and led the whole race. We all stayed together, splitting apart a few times, but then coming back together, throughout the race and all the way to the finish. It was a hard battle between these guys because everyone was paddling hard. I tried to pull away a few times but the group caught back up. In the remaining distance of the race I really took off and lead the pack. I was not letting anyone come in front of me. I led it until the last mark and then turned it and sprinted off. By doing this it gave me a board length ahead of everyone and secured my first win of this event. At the end of this race I got some good food in my body and l rested up for the sprints the next day.


I was mostly excited for the sprints since I feel very confident in this discipline and not losing any of the sprint races this year got me super pumped up. The next day it started a little earlier with the sprints. Like always we have a triangle course and heat format. So in the beginning rounds I just paddle as hard as I need to. As we got closer to the finals it got harder and harder. So I turn it up a notch ever heat. When it came to the semi finals I wanted to open it up almost all the way but not everything.


This got me through the semi's and into the finals. Coming into the finals I knew what I had to do and Zane and I just kept telling each other 1 and 2 - so we lined up on our boards at the start line and got ready. When it was start time, I hopped straight to my feet and didn't look back. I kept the gas on full power and never stopped. I got to the first buoy and whipped it around quickly. As soon as I finished the turn I was back into paddling position and off to the next mark. When I got there I had a comfortable lead and made sure to do a good buoy turn. It was a quick sprint to the next buoy and then to the finish line. On the winning stretch I was super stoked to take two first places. And it gives me a better chance to win this year overall. And - Zane he came in 2nd place - just as we planned!!


I want to thank my sponsors for all their support – Starboard, Maui Jim Sunglasses, Rainbow Sandals, Futures Fins, Dakine, GoPro, OnIt Pro, Waterman’s Sunscreen, Igloo Coolers, Sunrite Maui, Hammer Nutrition, iDcard, EFX and Hi-Tech Sports.


Also a big Mahalo to all the event organizers and volunteers. Great Event!! Looking forward to coming next year!


Waveski Surfing