ULTRA CHAMPIONS: Paul Cox, Joe Mann win the ‘Great Alabama 650’ in record time of 4 days, 17 hours

Atlanta’s Paul Cox and Joe Mann from Kansas City have conquered this year’s wild, crazy, beautiful Great Alabama 650 to defend their event title and set an extraordinary new race record of 4 days, 17 hours, 04 minutes.

As the sun rose over the finish line at historic Fort Morgan on the edge of the Gulf on a windy Thursday morning, Paul & Joe took their final strokes to complete a victory that will take a Herculean effort to better.

These guys led from start to finish in a masterclass performance, opening up a 10-mile gap on day one (Saturday) and spending as much time racing the clock as their rivals. But in a climactic finish to a wild race, the leaders were almost overtaken on the home stretch by two-time solo champ Bobby Johnson and his new tandem partner Rod Price who roared back into late contention.   → READ MORE

Live Leaderboard: How to follow the crazy/beautiful Alabama 650

The 650-mile odyssey through the Alabama River delta has begun. There are thirteen teams attempting this Odyssyean voyage over the next 10 days, including nine solo paddlers.

You can track their progress with the GPS map and live leaderboard as they battle their way towards the ocean. There are no rules on when they have to stop and sleep, so expect a see-sawing leaderboard as teams strategically paddle through the night and edge past rivals. Competitors have 10 days to finish the route but the leaders are expected in around half that.

You can also follow updates on the Great Alabama 650 Facebook and @ultrapaddleleague Insta.

It’s truly a monumental race and one that the word “ultra” doesn’t even do justice…

Welcome to the ‘Great Alabama 650’ — 10 days of beauty and madness in the deep south

When you think of paddling in the United States, you probably see images of Hood River in Oregon, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina or the original home of the sport at Dana Point, California.

Alabama ain’t going to be on your list. But after you find out what’s happening there over the next 10 days, it probably will be. Because tomorrow begins the longest annual paddle race in the world: The Great Alabama 650.   → READ MORE

Ultra Month: 715 kilometres down, 1248 to go…

Niek van der Linde paddled 23 hours through the fields of Friesland, Emmanuelle Marcon flowed down the Dordogne river in France for 11 hours, and somewhere in the remote wetlands of upstate New York, canoe teams completed their own 145km quest in times between 12 and 22 hours.

September is “Ultra Month” with seven adventures in four countries totalling almost 2,000 kilometres across the span of just 22 days. Four “races” were completed last week, so we’ve already paddled 715km yet still have a mind-boggling 1,248km to go (or, for our American friends that refuse to adopt metric: “444 miles down, 775 to go…”).   → READ MORE

Dutch duo Joep van Bakel and Ella Oesterhelt have won the SUP 11-City Tour

In brief: After five days and more than 200 kilometres of paddling through the fields of Friesland, Joep van Bakel has claimed the 2021 SUP 11-City Tour to become the first men’s champion from the host nation since Bart de Zwart in 2014. Joep was kept honest all week by the dark horse Belgian Kjell de Bruyn who finished just two minutes behind after nearly 22 hours total paddling. The result completes Joep’s rise through the 11 Cities ranks after finishing fourth in 2018 and runner-up in both 2019 and 2020.

Ella Oesterhelt defended her comfortable lead over Germany’s Tanja Ecker on the final stage Sunday – the 27km time trial from Dokkum back to Leeuwarden – to claim her maiden 11 Cities crown and join a long line of Dutchwomen who have saluted at this event, including race founder Anne-Marie Reichmann, Janneke Smits and Petronella van Malsen.

Click here for the full podiums and check sup11citytour.com later today for the final times of every finisher. Congratulations to everyone who conquered the “Mt. Everest of SUP”!

Niek van der Linde breaks race and world record as bold paddlers complete the epic SUP11-City Tour “Non-Stop” in times of 23-39 hours

It was a bright, sunny morning in the rural Dutch province of Friesland. The locals were sitting at cafes on the banks of the canal sipping coffees and enjoying the last days of summer. The flag of Friesland – a province that considers itself more of a nation – fluttered gently in the breeze. And as is the norm in the Netherlands, bikes outnumbered cars on the road by four to one. But down on the water, something rather extraordinary was happening.

Coming around the final corner, passing under the final bridge and taking the final few paddle strokes, Niek van der Linde crossed the finish line in the host city of Leeuwarden to complete one of the most incredible performances our sport has ever seen. After completing an entire lap around Friesland – along seemingly-endless canals, through quaint villages and across pancake-flat farmlands – Niek finished the 204km “Non-Stop” edition of the famous SUP11-City Tour in an utterly extraordinary time of 23 hours, 32 minutes and 16 seconds.

Simply finishing this quest is an achievement, doing so in less than a day is mind-boggling…   → READ MORE

When, where and how to follow the crazy SUP11-City Tour NON-STOP race this weekend

Welcome to Ultra Month. Over the next 18 days we’ll see close to 1000km paddled across six adventures in five countries, and the first of those is arguably the toughest.

The non-stop edition of the famous SUP11-City Tour is happening in the Dutch province of Friesland this weekend, 4-5 September. And it’s tough. It’s really, really tough. Competitors paddle all day, all night and all day again. Many won’t make it to the finish, and those who do will usually have hands covered in blisters and feet so swollen they can hardly walk.    → READ MORE