France Goes ‘Salt Creek’ Mode as Olivia, Arthur and Titou Triumph at the National Titles

 
stand up paddleboarding in France

Epic conditions for the French National Titles in Hossegor on the weekend (photo credit: Surfing France)

Forget Salt Creek, San Fran and Doheny; France is where it’s at.

This was the scene at the 12’6 French National Titles that were held in Hossegor on the weekend (not to be confused with the 14′ French National Titles from two weeks ago), where Arthur Arutkin and Olivia Piana survived a solid chunk of the Atlantic Ocean to win the coveted Beach Race.

In the same month the WSL was in town for the Quiksilver Pro, Hossegor also provided pumping conditions for the nationals, with 4-6ft waves making this less of a race and more of a spectacle. I haven’t seen the final times, but the top finishers and a whole bunch of really cool photos are below.

I chatted with Arthur today and he told me it was a really fun race to be part of. He and Titou got out to an early lead before getting caught inside by the set of the day, which opened up the race to the other top contenders. And France certainly isn’t short of contenders.

Stand Up Paddleboarding in France

Arthur and Titou find themselves in a tricky situation (photo: Michel Arutkin)

France is home to the deepest talent pool outside of the “Big Three” (Australia/Hawaii/USA), with the likes of Martin Letourneur, who stormed home to finish runner-up, and his namesake Martin Vitry (4th) making the most of the epic conditions.

(Oh and when the former King of Europe, Eric Terrien, finishes in 15th, you know it was a tough day at the office.)

In the women’s, Olivia continued her strong season with a solid warm-up for Fiji, while rising star Amandine Chazot picked up the runner-up spot.

Apart from the awesome spectacle, I’m not entirely sure what this event was for — I assume it’ll have some sort of bearing on team selection for the 2017 Worlds in Denmark (the 2016 team for Fiji was locked in a few months ago) — but either way, this definitely looks like one of the more entertaining SUP races we’ve seen around the world this year.

Just proves once again that there’s no better way to create an exciting stand up paddle race than by adding waves. Shout out to race director and local waterman legend Rico Leroy for pulling off an entertaining but still highly competitive race in the extreme conditions.

(It also reminds me of another epic national titles, the Spanish Championships, which were held in similarly-epic conditions recently.)

Following the ‘Beach Race’ (which is a way cooler name than the ‘Technical Course Race’ label that the rest of the world employs; seriously, how boring does ‘technical course race’ sound? I think we could collectively improve on that…) was the long distance event, which was held on the placid Lake Hossegor and followed a much more predictable script.

After approximately a dozen kilometres of flat water racing, world number four Titou took out the win in a time of 1 hour 12 minutes, with Arthur right on his tail (just a second behind on the official time sheet) and the two young Martins sticking with the lead pack all the way to the line.

Olivia once again flexed her muscles in the women’s distance event, besting Amandine and the rest of the field by over three minutes to show that she’ll be a medal contender in Fiji.

Stand Up Paddleboarding in France

Arthur and Titou leading the field (photo: Surfing France)

Enjoy the shots from the beach race below, and get more event coverage on the official French Surfing Federation site (English translation of the Beach Race recap; English translation of the Distance Race recap).

More photos over on Facebook: 69 photos from the Beach Race (what you wanna see) plus another 201 photos from the Distance Race

BEACH RACE: Top 15 Men
1. Arthur Arutkin
2. Martin Letourneur
3. Titouan Puyo
4. Martin Vitry
5. Gabriel Bachelet
6. Tom Auber
7. Arthur Daniel
8. Florent Dode
9. Dimitri Georges
10. Paul Conrad Delaere
11. Ludovic Teulade
12. Boris Jinvresse
13. Yannis Maire
14. Jérémy Teulade
15. Eric Terrien

BEACH RACE: Top 10 Women
1. Olivia Piana
2. Amandine Chazot
3. Mélanie Lafenêtre
4. Ines Blatte
5. marie-Elphège Julienne
6. Valérie Vitry
7. Anaïs Guyomarch
8. Edith Teulade
9. Solène Dutheil
10. Hélène Bonnan

BEACH RACE: Top 10 Juniors
1. Yannis Maire
2. Martin Vitry
3. Tom Auber
4. Alexandre Bicrel
5. Jean Letourneur
6. Jules Langlois
7. Axel Vanbaelinghem
8. Tanguy Richard
9. Nilda Canali
10. Samuel Carbillet

BEACH RACE: Top 3 Groms
1. Loïc Garioud
2. Marius Auber
3. Tom Fifils

LONG DISTANCE: Men
1. Titouan Puyo 1h12’02
2. Arthur Arutkin en 1h12’03
3. Martin Vitry en 1h12’06
4. Martin Letourneur en 1h12’08
5. Jérémy Teulade en 1h 12’28
6. Boris Jinvresse en 1h12’29
7. Ludovic Teulade en 1h12’43
8. Tom Auber en 1h12’44
9. Gabriel Bachelet en 1h12’47
10. Arthur Daniel en 1h12’49
11. Yannis Maire en 1h12’51
12. Dimitri Georges en 1h12’55
13. Matthieu Chauvel en 1h13’31
14. Paul Conrad Delaere en 1h13’33
15. Florent Dode en 1h14’48
16. Jean Letourneur en 1h14’53
17. Alexandre Bicrel en 1h14’54
18. Simon Gallot en 1h14’56
19. Loïc Garioud en 1h16’40
20. Lois Chardebas en 1h16’46
21. Jules Langlois en 1h16’58
22. Olivier Dariieumerlou en 1h16’59
23. Cyril Garbous en 1h17’18
24. Christophe Guérin en 1h17’21
25. Tom Villedary en 1h17’22

LONG DISTANCE: Women
1. Olivia Piana les 12 km en 1h20’37
2. Amandine Chazot en 1h23’43
3. Mélanie Lafenêtre en 1h26’04
4. Valérie Vitry en 1h26’41
5. Ines Blatge en 1h26’47
6. Fanny Tessier en 1h26’56
7. Marie-Elphege Julienne en 1h27’18
8. Edith Teulade en 1h30’45
9. Emmanuelle Marcon en 1h30’52
10. Ana’s Guyomarch en 1h34’26

Stand Up Paddleboarding in France

Arthur and Titou (photo credit: Michel Arutkin)

Stand Up Paddleboarding in France

Arthur and Titou (photo credit: Michel Arutkin)

Credit for all photos below goes to the French Surfing Federation

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