In brief: The spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to affect the world of stand up paddling, with the beginning of the international season all but on hold after several events were forced to cancel or postpone.
The United States, China, Japan and several countries in Europe including Spain and France have confirmed event cancellations/postponements. And now two of the biggest races in the world have joined that list.
Today, the Air France Paddle Festival in Tahiti and Brazil’s massive Aloha Spirit Festival in Ilhabela both announced they were postponing their upcoming events. → READ MORE
In an announcement that will surely spread delight among the international ocean paddling community, one of the toughest races in the world just got a lot easier (and a lot more fun). The famous Air France Paddle Festival, long known as the premiere international race on an island long known as the world’s premiere paddling nation, has changed course this year. Literally.
The infamous 23km long distance race, an often flat-water affair whose hot, brutal conditions have eaten the world’s best paddlers alive over the years, is now an 18km downwinder. There’s also a foil race added to the schedule alongside the 8km open race (which will remain a largely flat-water course inside the lagoon). → READ MORE
Great highlights from the first stop of The Paddle League World Tour, where Marcus Hansen and Sonni Honscheid produced memorable victories and hundreds of paddlers enjoyed a swelteringly-hot day on the water.
If you’re having trouble loading the video on mobile, click here to watch directly on Facebook.
German powerhouse Sonni Honscheid has flexed her muscles and shown she’s a genuine contender for The Paddle League World Title this year, dominating the women’s field in sweltering conditions to claim back-to-back Air France Paddle Festival titles in Tahiti.
Sonni broke the field in the opening 10 minutes and paddled solo right around the 24km course, setting up a clean sweep of the podium for Team Starboard as Japanese dark horse Yuka Sato finished and impressive third and the gutsy Fiona Wylde outlasted Olivia Piana to claim third. → READ MORE
Marcus Hansen has announced himself as a genuine contender on the international stage, producing a stunning comeback for Team NSP to overpower Starboard’s Michael Booth and defeat a big field of Tahitian Warriors at the Air France Paddle Festival.
As the first stop on The Paddle League World Tour, the 5th Annual Air France race drew a strong international crowd to compete against the Tahitians, and the battle royale didn’t disappoint. With weather that can only be described as too good, paddlers were met with mercilessly-hot blue skies, light winds and high humidity for a challenge that tested both physical and mental limits.
But in the end it was Marcus who conquered the torture chamber, saluting in an event that produced several rollercoaster stories. → READ MORE
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Watch a full replay of the epic Air France Paddle Festival in Tahiti, first stop of The Paddle League World Tour.
Full replay from Tahiti’s biggest SUP race. → READ MORE
Two weeks ago, I sent out a survey to each of the world’s top-ranked paddlers asking which events they’d be competing in this year. The goal was to paint a picture of the biggest races in the world, which I think is not only an interesting insight for everyone in the sport to analyse, it also helps me to set clear ‘star ratings’ that will produce an ever more accurate World Rankings leaderboard.
Here are the results… → READ MORE
Steeve Teihotaata has taken out the 2016 Air France Paddle Festival in Tahiti, defeating hot favourite Titouan Puyo as well as fellow Tahitian titans Rete Ebb, Georges Cronsteadt and Tamarua Cowan to announce himself as a genuine contender on the international stage.
Following two hours of downwind and flat water paddling around Tahiti’s north-west coast, and after a close battle first with both Titou and Rete, Steeve produced an amazing performance over the final kilometre, pulling clear to win in a time of 1:58:17, one minute clear of a tight race for second. → READ MORE
The live webcast is over. Check out the recap and results up above, or click through to watch a full replay of the live stream. → READ MORE
Fresh off his world-beating win at the Carolina Cup, Titouan Puyo is set to tackle the titans of Tahiti this weekend, with the big Air France Paddle Festival providing an international showcase for what is arguably the strongest paddling nation on the planet.
Titou will certainly have his work cut out for him though, with the NSP and Quickblade team rider lining up against the likes of Georges Cronsteadt and a dozen ultra dark horse contenders that know these waters like the back of their hand. The event will be webcast live on Saturday, and with over 300 paddlers pre-registered it should be a great showdown. → READ MORE
Georges Cronsteadt has held off the youth brigade to show he’s still the stand up king of Tahiti, while Annabel Anderson showed her unbreakable strength as the pair claimed respective honours at the Air France Paddle Festival on the weekend.
Click through for full results and plenty of photos… → READ MORE
The paradisiacal waters of Tahiti have long been known to produce the world’s strongest paddlers. The island nation totally dominates the world of outrigger canoeing, and increasingly their paddle warriors are discovering the joys (and opportunities) that come with standing up.
But while Tahiti is home to many great stand up paddlers, what it’s missing is a great stand up race… → READ MORE