Leo Nika, Penelope Strickland Win Week 1 of the EuroTour in the Windy Greek Islands

 
Starboard

Leo Nika (Starboard/Italy) leading the field in the Greek Islands

Starboard duo Leo Nika and Penelope Strickland have taken out the first stop of the 2017 EuroTour, saluting at the ‘Agios Nikolaos on SUP’ festival in epic downwind conditions on the beautiful Greek island of Crete.

Leo, the winningest athlete from the 2016 Tour, came home in a time of 1:29:56 to defeat compatriot Paolo Marconi (RRD) by almost 2 minutes, while Federico Esposito made it a clean sweep of the men’s podium for the Italians after finishing third.

Conditions were firing along Crete’s north-east coast as competitors enjoyed a world class downwind run for the first 10kms, showcasing the potential for the windswept Greek Islands to become a downwind hotspot. As the photos show, Crete looked more like Hood River or Western Australia as the small but clearly stoked field enjoyed near-endless bumps.

But when paddlers entered the home straight, heaven became hell as the final few kms turned into an upwind/sidewind nightmare, which tested everyone’s strength and produced some big time gaps on the results sheet after many paddlers were left limping home.

Giorgos Frangos (NSP) gave the home nation something to cheer about with a fourth place finish, before another two Italians in Giordano Capparella and Martino Rogai crossed the line to make it 5 of the top 6 for Team Italy.

Although the women’s field was relatively light it did feature a few internationals, which included Carolina Cup top 10 finishers Penelope Strickland and Susak Molinero.

With the open ocean knowledge she’s honed back home in New Zealand combined with her board of choice being the built-for-bumps Starboard Ace, Penelope blitzed the field to win by a wide margin and finish just 5 minutes outside the men’s top 10. Susak took a solid second place for Team RRD, while Germany’s Susanne Lier rounded out the podium for NSP.

The event, which was held in the picture postcard perfect town of Agios Nikolaos, also included the EuroTour’s signature fun races; it looks like one of the highlights this summer will be the awesome new Red Dragon four-a-board team races.

The 12-stop Tour – part race series/part European summer holiday – takes a break next week before 11-straight weeks of back-to-back events, including the ‘Prime’ level races in France, Spain and Germany starting with the St. Maxime SUP Race Cup in late May.

But if you can’t get to Europe don’t worry: boosted by the big turnout for our Carolina Cup Facebook Live stream, SUP Racer will be streaming 4 or 5 Euro Tour events during the peak of summer.

Until then, follow the Tour on Facebook for more pics and updates from the race in Greece, and take a look at the full results from the elite long course down below.

all photos by Gwen Marche/EuroTour

Downwind heaven in the Greek Islands

Downwind heaven in the Greek Islands

Paolo Marconi

Paolo Marconi

Giorgos Frangos

Giorgos Frangos

Giordano Capparella

Giordano Capparella

Penelope Strickland

Penelope Strickland

Susak Molinero and Caterina Stenta

Susak Molinero and Caterina Stenta

Red Dragon Race

Red Dragon Race

 


 

#
Athlete
Nation
Time
1LEO NIKAITALY01:29'56"142
2PAOLO MARCONIITALY01:30'34"947
3FEDERICO ESPOSITOITALY01:31'19"610
4GIORGOS FRANGOSGREECE01:31'45"216
5GIORDANO CAPPARELLAITALY01:32'36"247
6MARTINO ROGAIITALY01:34'31"644
7JEREMY TEULADEFRANCE01:34'45"913
8CLAUDIO NIKAITALY01:34'58"272
9ALEXANDROS PRAPASGREECE01:35'42"643
10PAUL LENFANTFRANCE01:38'10"998
11NIKOLAOS SIRIGOS GREECE01:38'12"865
12JOEP VAN BAKELNETHERLANDS01:40'23"614
13CRISTOFER BULLANTCYPRUS01:42'59"554
14KONSTANTINOU KONSTANTINOSGREECE01:44'14"923
15BELAR DIAZSPAIN01:45'59"616
16ΑΠΑΛΑΓΑΚΗΣ ΔΗΜΗΤΡΗΣGREECE01:47'36"257
17ΚΟΥΜΟΥΔΙΟΥ ZAXAΡΙΑΣCYPRUS01:54'17"958
18ΒΑΣΙΛΕΙΟΥ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣGREECE01:56'37"300
19ΚΛΕΙΝΑΚΗΣ ΓΙΩΡΓΟΣCYPRUS02:07'24"769
20ΓΕΡΑΛΕΞΗΣ ΚΩΣΤΑΝΤΙΝΟΣGREECE02:09'49"708
21NORM WEBERDEUTSCHLAND02:11'58"808
22ΖΕΡΕ ΜΑΡΙΟΣGREECE02:25'48"423
23ΠΑΠΑΔΑΚΗΣ ΝΙΚΟΛΑΟΣGREECE02:27'26"355
24ΚΑΡΑΙΣΚΟΣ ΑΘΑΝΑΣΙΟΣGREECE02:28'40"704
25ΚΑΛΑΤΖΑΚΗΣ ΝΙΚΟΣGREECE02:45'06"757
#
Athlete
Nation
Time
1Penelope StricklandNew Zealand01:43'29
2Susak MolineroSpain02:13'54
3Susanne LierGermany02:21'56
4Caterina StentaItaly02:55'25
5Iliana LakafosiGreece03:10'21