Early results are in from the Punta Sayulita Classic in Mexico and it looks like the first day belonged to Team SIC. Taking out the surf race was Georges Cronsteadt of Tahiti, while teammate Lina Augaitis from Canada was too strong in the women’s side.
Georges was the only paddler to make it clean to the first buoy, as a set swept through the field right after the start. From there, the Tahitian big guy controlled the waves and the race to finish around half a minute clear. Sayulita locals Ryan Helm and Fernando Stalla filled the men’s podium, with Ryan overtaking Fernando on the sprint up the beach to the line. Meanwhile Shelby Dela Rosa Taylor and Kristin Thomas took second and third respectively on the women’s. → READ MORE
One of the more interesting events on the 2014 calendar is coming up later this month and may just help set the standard for a new kind of SUP race format. The Australian Flatwater SUPfest is happening 28th-30th March at the West Lakes Aquatic Centre in Adelaide, South Australia, and as the name suggests will be a totally flat affair.
The Flatwater SUPfest is set to feature three different races – 200m, 500m and 5,000m – with the entire event being hosted at a rowing/kayaking venue. The 5k race will look like a standard flatwater the event, however the 200m and 500m sprints will utilise the existing facilities to create up an interesting format…
Following in the footsteps of the Silver and Black Blade Regattas, the sprint races at the Flatwater SUP Fest will be held in lanes on the kayak/rowing course. That takes all the unknown variables out of the race and brings it down to pure paddling speed & strength. If you’re paddling in lanes then standard drafting isn’t possible, there will also be no chaos on buoy turns and, as it’s held in a lake, there are no rogue waves taking out the field. In short: These races will be all about who is the strongest paddler. → READ MORE
How long have you been working to get surfing in the Olympics?
“Well… my whole life actually.”
And with that comment Fernando Aguerre, the International Surfing Association (ISA)’s charismatic President and promoter-in-chief, recounts the full story of his childhood in Argentina and the early influence of surfing on he and his brother.
At age 11, after five years of bodyboarding on plywood bellyboards, the Aguerre boys discovered and were able to try one of the very first surfboards in Argentina. It was ugly, heavy and didn’t have a particularly good shape, but they convinced their dad to allow them to sell one of their bicycles so they could buy the board. They were instantly hooked. → READ MORE
One of the biggest hurdles facing international stand up paddlers is travel, or rather: traveling with your race board. Flying with a SUP race board is a nightmare, as anyone who’s ever attempted this mythical feat can attest.
Apart from a handful of rare exceptions – JetBlue and United (on occasion…) are pretty safe bets with boards – most airlines say they won’t take even a 12’6, let alone a 14 footer or beyond. Sure, some will take your board if you’re lucky or if you know the right person, or if you’re simply willing to pay a shitload in excess baggage fees. In general though, if you turn up at the check-in counter with a 12’6, 14, or, heaven forbid, an unlimited race board, the airline won’t wanna know you.
It’s such a mission that there’s now an informal game being played when paddlers rock up at an airport: Scan the check-in line and try to find the friendliest-looking service agent, because often your only chance of getting your board on the plane is if the check-in guy/girl does you a favour. But we’re not the only ones who struggle… → READ MORE
Here’s the schedule for the 2014 U.S. SUP Tour, with three stops across
the United States California between March and October starting in Huntington later this month.
The schedule actually got announced a month ago but now we’ve seen details of the prize money as well. The first stop on the Tour, the Huntington Beach event from March 21-23, will offer paddlers a $15,000 purse, with $1.5k going to the top guys in the SUP racing and SUP surfing respectively, while another $1,500 is reserved for the overall champion woman (combined results racing + surfing). → READ MORE
Following an international game of musical chairs and a fair bit of to-ing and fro-ing, the finalised Stand Up World Series schedule for 2014 has now been released. The big news is that the Finals @ Turtle Bay – the Series’ marquee event and the last stop on the tour – has been moved back one week to avoid a clash with the Battle of the Paddle. Other updates include the official move of Hamburg and a potential for Bilbao to get back on the World Series.
However it’s the move to prevent a clash with the BOP that was the biggest and most interesting update when World Series organisers released their latest press release this morning. → READ MORE
Light winds greeted the PRIMI Naish downwind addicts as Wednesday night continues to tease the event. The week prior to race day (Thu-Tues) provided six days straight of epic downwinds in the 30knot + range…..and tonight we barely had 10knots! At least the direction was still a perfect S-SE but light wind downwinders are rare in Cape Town and it was good to see 30+ paddlers take part.
Paddling in these conditions is about milking every little push you can find and straight off thestart, Brigette van Aswegen showed her intentions. Brigette is training for the ISA Worlds in Nicaragua and her form is clearly improving rapidly as she took off, leaving ladies and gents alike, in her wake. Mishka Steyn caught up and stuck with Brigette but Brigette held it to the line and took a well deserved win in 1.08.12 with Mishka a mere 13 secs behind. Monika Wolgemuth took a fine 3rd in 1.15.03 while Maleen Hoekstra decided the boat was a better option as the last week of paddling was taking it’s toll. → READ MORE
Cool little clip from the Fanatic boys, Paul Jackson and Jake Jensen, from a downwinder they scored at home on the Gold Coast this week. While the Gold Coast scene is known for producing BOP racing masters, the region actually gets some pretty awesome downwind conditions on a regular basis.
According to Jacko they were averaging 13.7km/h for the whole run, which becomes more impressive considering they were only paddling 12’6 boards… → READ MORE
Over 100 paddlers hit Waikiki on the weekend for the 2nd annual Race Against Skin Cancer. The 2.4 mile course stretched from Kaimana Beach to Duke Kahanamoku Beach, with conditions picture perfect for a day on the water.
In a race that was more about having fun and continuing to raise awareness of skin cancer, Ed Wheeler was the first over the line on his Unlimited, while Jenn Lee was the quickest of the girls on her 14 footer. There were also solid performances by Kione Dahlin, Kaihe Chong and Kelsa Gabehart. → READ MORE
So we’re four months out from the most lucrative SUP race of all time, the Payette River Games in Cascade, Idaho. And with $50,000 on the line and a good chunk of the world’s finest battling it out in a unique format, I’d say it’s time for us to officially start getting excited.
But if the title of World’s Most Lucrative SUP Race, the prospect of one of the most competitive races of the year and the “something totally different” race format aren’t enough to get you excited (what’s wrong with you?), these pics should finish the job… → READ MORE
In November 2013, the French held their National SUP Racing Titles. The top finishers would earn a spot on Team France for the 2014 ISA Worlds in Nicaragua, while the rest would get to see how they compared against the best. The usual suspects were there along with a string of up-and-coming youngsters who had been rising fast in the preceeding year. Outside of Australia and the USA, France’s national titles would probably be the most competitive in the world.
But for all that talent, both young and old, nobody really expected anyone other than Eric Terrien to win. Eric has been the flag-bearer for SUP racing in Europe for the past five years and was the first of the Euros to really make an impact overseas. He also almost never loses in France, especially not to his fellow countrymen.
So you can imagine my surprise, and the surprise of the core SUP racing community in general, when the early results came through and the new distance race champion of France was listed as Titouan Puyo.
Titouan who…? → READ MORE
The latest stop of the SoCal Race Series, the Lanakila Classic, was held in Redondo today. In a repeat of the previous SoCal race (Hal Rosoff) it was Thomas Maximus taking line honours on his unlimited board and Spaniard-turned-Californian Belar Diaz beating the locals to claim the competitive 14 foot class.
The Spaniard has been on a bit of a roll lately and will no doubt be looking to turn that form into a medal at the upcoming ISA Worlds in Nicaragua.
Meanwhile over in the women’s race it was Brandi Baksic all the way, with the San Clemente local finishing five minutes clear. However the pic of the day belongs to Rob Rojas’ son Conrad, who clearly gave it all as he crossed the line (see above). → READ MORE
Check out this great interview with reigning Molokai and BOP champ Travis Grant. The full length clip is a little longer than what we’re used to, but it’s packed so full of great insights that I bet you’ll watch it right through. The reel includes everything from technique and training to Travis’ thoughts on paddle design and his plans for the future.
I’ve long said that Travis is the single most under rated paddler in the world: For someone who’s won just about every major race, Trav still flies under the radar. That might change now that he’s got a signature paddle on the market though. The Trifecta by Quickblade is a paddle the Aussie not only used to claim his two major victories last year (Molokai and the BOP Distance Race) but also one he personally helped design. → READ MORE
I love the French. No matter how cold or inconvenient the weather is, they’re always up for a SUP race. This is highlighted perfectly by the Swell Beach Race Series, a monthly race tour that’s held in the province of Brittany and predominantly run in winter.
Last weekend saw the third stop of the 2014 Swell Beach Race Series, which was won by young gun Arthur Daniel (while fellow whipper-snapper Martin Letourneur came home 2nd). However the video above is a throwback to January’s race, where Series founder Greg Closier showed the kids how it’s done and took home the win. → READ MORE
Remember that public service announcement we put out a few days ago? The one that said don’t book flights to Hamburg because there was a strong rumour that the event was about to change its previously confirmed dates? Well, unfortunately the rumour is true…
In a decision that can only be described as *facepalm*, organisers of the SUP World Cup (also known as the Stand Up World Series Hamburg) have decided to move their event, both the dates and the location. Instead of their scheduled June 28 weekend, the event will now run on July 19 & 20. And instead of inner-city Hamburg, the race will now be held 1-2 hours to the north, on the sparsely-populated island of Fehmarn. This move comes despite all logic saying it’s a bad idea… → READ MORE