Welcome back to Paddlecast. I was really excited to release a two-part episode with Annabel Anderson yesterday and today. We had a great chat last week — I talked with Annabel for more than two hours about what she’s been up to over the past couple of years and her thoughts on the sport in general. But I messed up the recording and the audio got jumbled 🙈
I’m going to see if we can get back on the phone with Annabel this week (she’s a fascinating person). But until then, I decided to fill in today’s episode with a little “Storytime with SUP Racer”… → READ MORE
Want to hear a scary statistic? The average age on the men’s podium in yesterday’s 12 Towers downwind event was 16 years, 4 months.
That’s an age when most kids are still a year away from graduating high school. An age when you’re not even supposed to drink, let alone win an international ocean race. This stat is all the more extraordinary given a) the mature level of talent that finished behind the top three, and b) that ocean racing requires endurance and experience — two things that often come with age.
But despite technically being classified as “boys,” Noic Garioud, Ty Judson and Shuri “Shrimpy” Araki paddled like men at this year’s 12 Towers Ocean Festival. Noic is just 17 years of age. Shrimpy is only 13. For some context: fourth-place James “Jimmy” Casey seems positively ancient at 28. → READ MORE
Noic “Chicken” Garioud and Karla Gilbert have claimed the 12 Towers ocean race in Australia today, with more than 150 paddlers enjoying a firing downwind run along Queensland’s famed Gold Coast to cap off a big weekend at Australia’s premiere paddling event.
Nobody got near Noic. The New Caledonian was in a league of his own. It was a masterclass. A clinic. A dominant performance from a 17-year-old athlete who shows maturity well beyond his years both on and off the water. Noic was reading the bumps so well that he probably took fewer paddle strokes than anyone else in the race. → READ MORE
Full replay of today’s big ocean downwind race in Australia, the “12 Towers”. Conditions were almost perfect with firing winds and beautiful downwind bumps for the approximately 13km course along Queensland’s Gold Coast.
(video not loading? watch the replay direct on Facebook)
In brief: We had a super fun surf race to kick off the 12 Towers Ocean Festival on Australia’s Gold Coast today 🌊💥 It was so good to see this kind of format back in Australia — it really reminded me of the good old Battle of the Paddle days.
The Queen of the towers, Karla Gilbert, was too strong for New Zealand’s Brianna Orams and local gun Ke’ale Dorries despite being older than the combined age of her rivals. Ty Judson snuck through a tight pack to claim the men’s paddle battle ahead of the new darkhorse on the block, Johnny Hagan, and New Cal super junior Noic Garioud. → READ MORE
They say there’s “something in the water” in Australia. The sparsely-populated country continent has somehow managed to produce a significant chunk of the world’s best paddlers over the past decade despite having a population half the size of California. But for all the talent, one thing Australia seems to lack is international events. There are plenty of grassroots clubs and regional events that keep the sport ticking along, but Australia has never matched Europe or the U.S. when it comes to marquee events. There are really only two — 12 Towers and King of the Cut. And the former is happening this weekend.
The 12 Towers is probably the longest-running stand up paddle event in Australia. And it’s arguably the most prestigious. Since 2012, a who’s who of paddling royalty have claimed the title, from Travis Grant to Titouan Puyo to Michael Booth to Terrene Black and Karla Gilbert.
Who will add their name to the famous trophy this year? You’ll find out on Sunday as we bring you the 12 Towers ocean race LIVE from Australia’s Gold Coast. → READ MORE
In brief: Karla Gilbert has won her sixth 12 Towers title while Lincoln Dews cemented his world number one status by vanquishing a strong pre-season field on Australaia’s Gold Coast today.
The iconic ocean race offered competitors a solid downwind run to make up for last year’s “no-winder,” with Lincoln proving too strong in the bumps for a field that included his two major sparring partners from last season, Michael Booth and Titouan Puyo. → READ MORE
The iconic lifeguard towers of Australia’s Gold Coast are coloured bright yellow for obvious reasons, standing as beacons of safety along one of Queensland’s most popular but deceptively-dangerous stretches of coast. They’re also the eponymous inspiration for what is arguably Australia’s most iconic SUP race: The 12 Towers. → READ MORE
Let’s count how many strokes DEEP team rider Lincoln Dews takes in the first minute of the 12 Towers Ocean Race using his trusty QB Trifecta.
Lincoln took off like a rocket on Saturday, and although he couldn’t match Boothy and Titou all the way to the line, his strong third place showing in this pre-season event showed that he’ll be a strong contender for The Paddle League World Title this year. Follow The Paddle League on Facebook and Insty for more…
The 7th Annual 12 Towers Ocean Race on the Gold Coast was one for the books, with the combination of a record field and sweltering conditions clashing to make a grueling but great event.
The Paddle League team was on hand for this 4-star pre-season event, and master lens-woman Georgia Schofield snapped hundreds of amazing shots from water level. Take a look at The League’s Facebook gallery for some of the choice selections…
This year’s 12 Towers Ocean Race on the Gold Coast, part of The Paddle League pre-season series, was a tough one. It was hot. It was humid. It was downright brutal out there on the water, but it was also a hell of a lotta fun.
With a stacked field of top names and a massive gathering of amateur participants, the 7th Annual edition of this classic race will go down in the history books for sure. You can watch a full replay of our Facebook Live stream if you’ve got an hour and a half to kill, but if not, here’s a 60 second, rapid-fire recap of the day.
Michael Booth and Yuka Sato picked up a bag full of pre-season Paddle League points on the Gold Coast this weekend, with the Starboard duo overcoming a hot field and even hotter conditions to salute at the 7th Annual 12 Towers Ocean Race.
Boothy overpowered world number two Titouan Puyo (NSP/QB) and fast-finishing Lincoln dews (DEEP/QB), while Yuka stunned the strong Aussie women led by dark horse Kate Baker (ONE) and international star Terrene Black (ECS/QB). → READ MORE
Replay of our 12 Towers live stream direct from the very hot and very humid Gold Coast today. Thanks for everyone that tuned in, and apologies for the bumpy ride in the first part of the stream! The footage above kicks in around the 20 minute mark of the race, after which we had a relatively smooth ride all the way to the finish.
Follow The Paddle League on Facebook and Instagram for more coverage, and thanks to everyone that helped make it a great a day on and off the water!