Michael Booth celebrates after reclaiming the men's long-distance title ©ICF

Australia’s Michael Booth reclaimed the men’s long-distance title in tough conditions at the International Canoe Federation Stand Up Paddling World Championships in Gdynia in Poland.

Strong winds and rough ocean waters forced officials to twice postpone the start of competition.

After a messy start, Booth emerged as the clear leader by the two-kilometre mark of the 16km race.

Booth, a champion in 2019, did not look back as he mastered the conditions to clinch victory in 1hr 34min 31.77sec.

"It means a lot," said Booth.

"I’ve had so many interviews and I just keep crying, I’m so happy.

"It was hard after last year but amazing to bounce back.

"I thought this was like Perth on a winter’s day, so honestly it felt okay.

"I was like, I’ve done this a million times and I’m really prepared for this, so I was not that unhappy to be honest, and it played out the way I thought it would."

Titouan Puyo claimed silver in 1:35:25:71, while fellow Frenchman Clement Colmas bagged bronze in 1:38:43.71.

Esperanza Barreras became world champion for the first time after winning the women's title ©ICF
Esperanza Barreras became world champion for the first time after winning the women's title ©ICF

The women’s final saw Spain’s Esperanza Barreras go one better than last year as she was crowned world champion for the first time in Gdynia.

Barreras, who finished a close second last year, claimed a hard-fought win in conditions that forced half the field to retire before the end of the race.

After sitting second behind fellow Spaniard Duna Gordillo for the first half of the race, Barreras made her move on the third lap.

Barreras emerged victorious in 1:57:26.43 as Gordillo had to settle for silver in 1:59:04.42 and France’s Melanie Lafenetre clinched bronze in 2:03:11.46.

"It was a super hard day," said Barreras.

"I’m really happy but it was not easy to take the win.

"At the beginning I tried to conserve my energy because I knew it was going to be a really hard race, and then on the third lap I felt like I had extra energy.

"I like these sorts of conditions, I felt comfortable.

"During the last lap I was thinking about becoming a world champion for the first time, and now I join some athletes who have always been a reference for me."