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Red Bull Heavy Water 2017 Results and Highlights

Australian powerhouse paddler Michael Booth called it was the "craziest race I've ever done, hands down." 17-year-old Ryan Funk said it "felt like we were going out to surf Mavericks." And even veteran waterman Travis Grant admitted to being "nervous as hell" on the start line.

It was that kind of day as an elite collection of the world's top male paddlers challenged ferocious seas during a brutal 7.5 mile slog off the coast of San Francisco. With a giant northwest swell bringing waves as high as 15- to 20-feet, the race began in Ocean Beach with competitors attempting to navigate in and out of the punishing surf zone not once, but twice.

If this was a round at the poker tables, Denmark's Casper Steinfath got the royal flush. The Viking used a patient approach and was the first to emerge from the mist of chaos with nearly a half-mile advantage over Grant and Funk–who were locked in a spirited battle for second.

Despite the large lead coming out of the surf portion of the race, Steinfath still had six miles of angry ocean to cover before his lead triumph would become victory. With the massive swell and rapidly incoming tide, the mouth of San Francisco Bay looked the equivalent of a giant washing machine as he rounded Land’s End past Fort Point toward the finish line. Despite the turbulent chop, the Red Bull athlete was able to maintain his composure and hold off a hard-charging Funk to claim first place and a hefty $20,000 payday.

Results:

1.    Casper Steinfath, Denmark: 1:15:01
2.    Ryan Funk, USA: 1:16:01
3.    Travis Grant, Australia: 1:18:38
4.    Kody Kerbox, Hawaii: 1:24:16
5.    Michael Booth, Australia: 1:27:47
6.    Slater Trout, USA: 1:28:35
7.    Arthur Arutkin, France: 1:30:12
8.    Kai Lenny, Hawaii: 1:30:44
9.    Connor Baxter, Hawaii: 1:33:07
10.   Mo Freitas, Hawaii: 1:36:20