Titouan Puyo has just won ‘The Doctor’ race in Perth, edging out NSP team mate Marcus Hansen in the opening event of “Aussie Downwind Week” after more than two and a half hours of flat, hot and grueling ocean paddling.
Titou completed the 28km (17.4 mile) crossing from Rottnest Island to Sorrento Beach in a time of 2 hours 32 minutes, just over a minute ahead of Marcus. Both of these guys flew to Western Australia pretty much straight from Fiji, where they represented their nations at last week’s ISA Worlds.
Commenting on the brutally-hot conditions, Titou summed up his race to me by simply saying “I’m dead.”
The result gives Team NSP an impressive one-two finish, which is even more impressive considering their top ranked paddler and West Oz regular, Travis Grant, is sitting out this year’s Downwind Week festivities following the recent birth of his first child.
SUP start of the 2016 Doctor, little breeze & quite hot. Looking marginally better than earlier when it was almost calm. 37C on the mainland & 30+ here. @kmargetts22 stormed into the lead on flat first km but probably 2.5hrs of paddling ahead. #goingtobetough #hot #sunny #perthwa #gladwechosetogosnorkellinginstead Good to see many paddlers sensibly protecting themselves from the brutal sun in the excellent @vaikobi gear
Of course Titouan needs no introduction, with the current world number four cementing his place among the best in the world with a win at the prestigious Carolina Cup earlier this year. However this is probably Marcus’ biggest result to date, with the under-the-radar Kiwi capping off a big couple of weeks that included a couple of top 10 finishes at the ISA Worlds in Fiji (which saw him rise to #33 on the SUP Racer World Rankings).
Coming home third today was Lincoln Dews from the JM Paddleboards stable, the top-placed Aussie in a time of 2 hours 35 minutes. Just like Titou and Marcus, Linc also flew to Perth just days after returning from the South Pacific.
Sounds like this year’s race was pretty brutal, with light winds and soaring temperatures making it a real challenge. Highlighting just how slow conditions were today, defending champ Matt Nottage (Starboard) finished 4th in a time of 2 hours 38 minutes, exactly half an hour slower than his winning run from 12 months ago.
Veteran Kelly Margetts rounded out the top 5 on his new Sunova unlimited board, crossing the line just seconds ahead of Will Lee.
“The Doctor” is named after the Fremantle Doctor, the nickname given to the onshore trade wind that blows almost every day in Western Australia. Although the event is primarily a surf ski race, the SUP division has a storied history; Past winners include Connor Baxter, Travis Grant, Jake Jensen, Beau O’Brian, Paul Jackson, Matt Nottage, Annabel Anderson, Angie Jackson, Terrene Black and Karla Gilbert.
Western Australia’s Aussie Downwind Week is quickly becoming the country’s answer to Hawaii’s Downwind Month, and will be punctuated by the headline event next weekend: The King of the Cut. That race will attract several more of the country’s finest to the start line, including newly-minted world champ Michael Booth along with James Casey, Jake Jensen and other top ranked athletes.
WOMEN’S RACE UPDATE: Angela Jackson crossed the line moments ago on her new ONE board (aka ‘Pinky’) to claim the women’s title. Belinda Stowell Brett was runner-up less than two minutes behind (unfortunately a very small turn out with only three women starting the race).
This is Angie’s third crown and is a good warm-up for her King of the Cut title defense next weekend. Just like Titou (and no doubt every other competitor), Angie also felt the conditions were extreme, summing up the race with one word: “HOT!”
Sure has been a big day! The Doctor Race delivered on the Hurt Locker in 40c heat and a glassy bumpy ocean. Sure was a slog and alot of people found limits today. Well done all that even started the race very well knowing the conditions. We seem to love the punishment. Big congrats to my hubby on taking out the O40's and all the ONE team riders today. We ended up with 3 ONE boards in the Top 10 and myself taking out the Womens. Thanks Pinky 😙 Now looking forward to my Ladies Downwind clinic tomorrow in some real wind. Congrats to Ti2 on his Doctor Coat in the men's. @onestanduppaddle #sunset
1st: Titouan Puyo – 2:32:36 (France/NSP)
2nd: Marcus Hansen – 2:33:54 (New Zealand/NSP)
3rd: Lincoln Dews – 2:35:13 (Australia/JM)
4th: Matt Nottage – 2:38:51 (Australia/Starboard)
5th: Kelly Margetts – 2:41:43 (Australia/Sunova) *unlimited
6th: Will Lee – 2:41:52 (Australia)
7th: Sam Parker – 2:42:51 (Australia) *unlimited
8th: Paul Jackson – 2:43:17 (Australia/ONE)
9th: Beau O’Brian – 2:46:00 (Australia/Starboard)
10th: Ben Tardrew – 2:47:01 (Australia/ONE)
11th: James Knowles – 2:47:28 (Australia)
12th: Dale Chapman – 2:48:56 (Australia/DC) *unlimited
13th: Phil Gregory – 2:55:05 (Australia) *unlimited
14th: Nico Schenk – 2:56:12 (Switzerland/ONE)
15th: Craig Winnett – 2:58:01 (Australia)
16th: Luke Jenkins – 3:09:55
17th: Luke Hallam – 3:11:53
18th: Matt Blakers – 3:17:56
19th: Kieran O’Riordan – 3:18:54 *unlimited
20th: Julius Wright – 3:19:47
21st: Joe Frey – 3:20:15
22nd: Andrew Picker – 3:28:57
23rd: Andy van Kool – 3:29:08
24th: Tony Strang – 3:30:32
25th: Gordon ‘Stimo’ Stimson – 3:32:22
26th: Kent Wright – 3:34:44
27th: Anthony Rose – 3:36:19
28th: Blair Harrison – 3:49:11 *unlimited
29th: Jonathan King – 3:55:44
30th: John Lamble – 3:59:23 *unlimited
1st: Angie Jackson – 3:01:48 (Australia/ONE)
2nd: Belinda Stowell Brett – 3:03:17 (Australia)
3rd: Cristiana Chessa – 3:27:36
Pretty happy to see the sun set on this long hot flat day in the west. The mind and body going through all levels of emotions and hurt at The Doctor today, happy to win the unlimited division with a 5th overall, huge congrats to @titouanpuyo win a dominant win @sunova_surfboards @qbpaddles @paddlepowertrainer @virusaustralia @gobodymassage
1 ere place aujourd'hui a The Doctor, ce vent qui d'ailleurs a tarder a pointer le bout de son nez et timidement ! Bravo a Marcus et lincoln qui complete le podium open Homme. Rdv le week-end prochain pour King of the Cut, finger crossed for the wind !! #thedoctor #lightdownwind #wa #perth #australia #banana @nspsurfnsup @qbpaddles @howzitgear @bombereyewear_europe @bombereyewear @bigbananasnc #nspsurfnsup #nspsurfboards #teamNSP #thesurfbrandtofollow #surf #surfing #standuppaddle #ocean #sport #lifestyle #howzitgear #isuzuNC #AirFrance #Aircalin #TERIsurfwear #SODEMO #quikbladepaddles #fun #travel