Schweitzer begins bid for world title repeat

First photo: Zane Schweitzer of Lahaina competes in the first round of stand-up paddle surfing during the International Surfing Association World SUP and Paddleboard Championship on Wednesday in Vorupor, Denmark. Schweitzer, the defending champion, posted the best score of the day, a 14.70, putting the Team Hawaii entrant into a second-round heat with the U.S. team’s Giorgio Gomez, Japan’s Toshihiro Harada and Switzerland’s Steeve Fleury. Annie Reickert of Pukalani won her women’s heat, and will next face Australia’s Shakira Westdorp, Ireland’s Sarah Gannon and Italy’s Caterina Stenta. Competition runs through Sunday, and among the other events to be completed are men’s and women’s technical racing — the men’s finalists include Haiku’s Connor Baxter, the runner-up in the distance race, while Reickert and Lahaina’s Lara Claydon are in the women’s final. Hawaii ended Wednesday fourth in the team standings with 14,848 points, 1,035 behind first-place New Zealand. “I have no doubt that Hawaii has a chance to win the overall gold,” Schweitzer said on the ISA website. “We already have a medal under our belt with Connor Baxter … and we excel in the technical race and SUP surfing.” Second photo: Oahu’s Mo Freitas heads to a win in his first-round SUP surfing heat.

International Surfing Association photos

BEN REED (Schweitzer); SEAN EVANS (Freitas)