This Weekend: Italy, Finland and the Big Showdown from Maui 2 Molokai

 
Noli SUP Race

The Noli SUP Race,
arguably the most scenic SUP race in the world (photo: Franz Orsi)

It’s another big weekend of racing around the world, with three main events spanning Europe to the Pacific and back again.

Here’s what we’ll be covering over the next couple of days…

1. Maui2Molokai

Arguably the best ocean race in the world, and certainly the best downwind run on its day, the 8th Annual Maui2Molokai race is setting itself up around a singular theme: Connor Baxter’s quest for an 8th straight title. No other guy has ever won this race…

If the world number salutes on Saturday, where he’s the strong favourite, it will set a new winning-streak record for the sort of SUP racing (Connor is already the joint record holder at seven-straight titles along with Andrea Moller, who won OluKai seven times in a row before ceding her crown last year).

Standing in his way this year will be 2x M2O champion and last year’s M2M runner up, Travis Grant, fellow Aussie James Casey (who won last weekend’s warm-up event), Vinni Martins from Brazil, the ultra dark horse Marcus Hansen from Team Sunova and a few more top five contenders. In the women’s we expect it’ll be Annabel Anderson all the way.

But really, this was always going to be the Connor show; I’ll be very surprised if he doesn’t make it eight straight.

The 26 mile crossing between the Hawaiian islands of Maui and Molokai begins just before lunch on Saturday, so look out for results early Saturday evening.

2. The Noli SUP Race

The historical Italian town of Noli plays host to the second annual race of the same name, which this year is part of the Green Surf Festival that combines racing with an environmental sustainability summit. SUP Racer is on location, so keep an eye out for the results from Italy on Saturday afternoon (and follow the Instagram Stories of @supracer/@wheresbossman to go behind the scenes).

Wrapping itself around the dramatic cliffs of the Italian Riviera, Noli is arguably the most scenic SUP race in the world.

3. EuroTour Week 10: Finland

While the EuroTour draws towards a close for another year, there are still a couple of races left on the ‘European Summer of SUP’ including the long-running Sieravuori SUP Masters in the beautiful, remote lakes of Finland.

While the top spots on the European rankings are all wrapped up, there’s still a chance for bragging rights (and prize money) in the Finnish countryside this weekend.

Unfortunately SUP Racer couldn’t get back to Finland this year, but those who made the trek will be rewarded with one of the funnest races in one of the coolest locations on tour.

 

Connor Baxter

Connor Baxter is aiming for a record eight-straight Maui2Molokai title this weekend (photo: Karen Baxter)