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Coldstream paddler cracks top-10 at world finals

Lina Augaitis places 10th in technical race final after regaining confidence
Coldstream’s Lina Augaitis heads for the buoy in the women’s technical race at the 2022 ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Cahmpionships in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (ISA/@linaaugaitis photo)

Coldstream’s Lina Augaitis picked up a Halloween treat in Puerto Rico.

Wearing Bib No. 13, Augaitis cracked the top-10 in the women’s technical race at the ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championships Monday, Oct. 31, in San Juan.

The Canadian champion, and world championship multiple medalist, was 10th overall, covering the course in 32 minutes and 53 seconds.

“…I think for the preparation that I could do at this point and with little to no ocean time this is a fair result,” Augaitis wrote on her Instagram page. “I didn’t have the cleanest race, I fell, I suffered and felt off but I am proud for trying my best with what I had for the day… my heart was full with all the amazing support.

Augaitis was sixth in her heat with a time of 32.42, qualifying for the semifinal. The top 12 times in the two semifinals would advance to the final. She was sixth in her semi in a time of 31.38 which was good enough to qualify for the final race.

That she made it to the start line for the technical event final was, itself, a treat for Augaitis.

After not getting the result she wanted in the championship’s opening event, the sprint race (“a few unlucky things happened and I don’t think my race brain was checked in yet,” she wrote), Augaitis said she lost her confidence and was feeling “unsure.”

“But I managed to just squeeze through to finals and felt like I was finally starting to figure it out again,” she said. “My paddling is not where it used to be because I have many things I love to do and it hasn’t been my main focus for a few years – it shows.

“Before my semifinal race I thought I had totally lost my joy and drive but in that race something started to click and i started to find it again. It was nice…the finals will be tough for me but being part of it in this moment of my life feels really great.”

In the technical races, the athletes start from a beach and navigate out through waves around buoys. A total of three laps (five kilometres) tests their wave-riding and surf knowledge.

The women’s event was won by American Candice Appleby in 28.42.

In the sprints, paddlers race from the beach to a buoy 100 meters off shore and return to the beach.

Augaitis is slated to compete in the marathon of SUP, the distance event, Friday, Nov. 4. The course is more than 18 kms around old San Juan and it’s expected the leaders will take about an hour to finish.

The ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championships are being held along the pristine and gorgeous coastline of San Juan. The events are being staged in the heart of the famous Laguna del Condado and Bahia de San Juan, an exquisite location for the excitement of racing.

These are the first championships to be held since 2019.

READ MORE: Coldstream woman takes Canadian SUP championship title

READ MORE: Coldstream paddler Lina Augaitis on course to Fiji

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Roger Knox

About the Author: Roger Knox

I am a journalist with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. I started my career in radio and have spent the last 21 years working with Black Press Media.
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