By Lauren Barley

Michael Booth took out the win last weekend in the Hong Kong International SUP race, taking place in Sai Kung, just outside of Hong Kong City. 

The 18km race was a three-lap flat water grind with Boothy and Kenny Keneko battling it out for mass of the race. 

“Kenny and I fought hard against one another for the first lap and then I managed to get a little break on the second lap and used it to my advantage which made all the difference in the end,” said Booth. 

Familiar with the conditions and aiming for a back-to-back title, Booth was stoked to take out a second win in the HK International, giving him confidence heading into the ISA later in the year which is being held in China in very similar racing conditions. 

“I won this race last year and I was aiming for a consecutive win heading into the contest. I was determined to push the pace and see where I was at after having a little bit of time off”. 

“Hong Kong is extremely hot and humid and I’m really glad I got to do this race and familiarise myself with the warmer climate again before heading over to China for the ISA where it will be very similar weather”. 

Michael says strategy played a big part in the outcome of the race and admits that this is something he now uses to his advantage.

“I raced tactfully. I know that I can’t always race fast in these types of conditions. It’s definitely a strength of mine now to race strategically and one that I hope I can continue to use for the rest of the season”.

Hopeful to see more SUP contests take place across Asia in future, Booth said the Hong Kong International overall was a fantastic race to take place in and was extremely well organised.

“SUP is continually growing across Asia and it’s awesome to see so many paddlers out on the water getting involved. I really hope to see the sport continue to grow over here and see more paddlers like myself travel to compete in these races”.

Booth will now prepare for the second stop of the APP World Tour, held in New York from the 15th-23rd September.