I love analysing this sport. The athletes, the results, the events, the stats. But as I was staring at spreadsheets ranking the best paddlers of 2019, I found myself getting nostalgic and pondering the question: Who was the paddler of the decade?
I was lucky enough to meet, watch, commentate and write about hundreds of very good paddlers from 2010 – 2019, but there are two that stood out. So I decided to create an award that I’ll probably never have to give out again. → READ MORE
Good morning and welcome to your breakfast briefing for Thursday, November 1.
In honour of Larry Cain’s fifth-straight Chattajack crown last Saturday, today we’re chatting winning streaks. → READ MORE
In an surprise announcement that will probably come as no surprise to those who know her best, world number one Annabel Anderson has revealed she won’t be defending her Carolina Cup title this year, opening up the women’s field at one of the biggest races in the world as the New Zealander takes an indefinite hiatus to recover from injury and re-evaluate her priorities.
Following a career-best season in 2018, where she managed to break her own lofty records and finish the year with an astonishing 300+ points (a number I thought was virtually impossible to achieve when I created the world rankings system — the “Unicorn Club” we call it), Annabel spent the southern summer chasing her other passion: mountain bike racing.
Annabel doesn’t do anything by halves whether it’s on or off the water, so the fact she suffered a serious injury, while not great to hear, is no surprise to hear. The tenacious Kiwi had a heavy mtn bike crash a couple of months ago that she’s still recovering from, while the five-time Carolina Cup champion and reigning PPGs title holder has had many niggling injuries throughout her career that have started to catch up. → READ MORE
Yesterday we looked at the fastest men on the water, now it’s time to cap off the year with a look at the quickest ladies.
It was a big year for women’s racing with several athletes hitting the podiums for the first time to inject some fresh storylines into an aging saga. There was also the unmissable #ipaddleforequality movement in October, which aims to give women a more equal share of the prize money purse and which briefly broke stand up paddling’s little corner of the internet. → READ MORE
Annabel Anderson and Connor Baxter have highlighted their respective world number one statuses here at today’s 7th Annual Battle of the Bay in San Francisco, claiming this morning’s race around iconic landmarks Alcatraz Island and the Golden Gate Bridge before backing up with victories in this afternoon’s beach race.
Here are the overall results. Check back in the morning for a full recap and some stellar photos of the scenic course… → READ MORE
Annabel Anderson has once again cemented her status as the world’s best paddler after a powerful performance in the ‘beach race’ final here at the ISA Worlds in Cold Hawaii, Denmark today.
The Kiwi was too strong for Olivia Piana (silver for France), Terrene Black (bronze for Australia) and Fiona Wylde (copper for Team USA), matching her victory in last weekend’s marathon and earning Team New Zealand a second gold medal and valuable points on the leaderboard of nations. → READ MORE
Annabel Anderson has won the first gold medal of the 2017 ISA Worlds in Denmark, putting on a vintage performance to break away from a large, elite field in this morning’s 18km marathon event to earn 1000 valuable team points for New Zealand.
The world number one, who had to borrow a Starboard after her equipment was lost in transit, sat with the front pack on the first of four laps around this long but rather technical course in front of Copenhagen’s famous opera house. But as the field started to whittle on the second lap, Annabel put her foot down and broke away, paddling clear to win by two minutes in a time of just over two hours.
With the Kiwi setting a lone pace out front, the real race became the battle for the silver medal, with Starboard team mates Sonni Honscheid (Germany), Olivia Piana (France) and Fiona Wylde (USA) establishing themselves as the strongest contenders after the early draft train of 11 top women started splintering in the second half of the race. → READ MORE
New Caledonia’s humble superstar Titouan Puyo has narrowly defeated Australia’s Lincoln Dews to claim the ‘Hot Lap’ race on day two of the Naish Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge here in Hood River, Oregon. World number one Annabel Anderson took out the women’s Hot Lap ahead of compatriot Penelope Strickland.
Click through for the full results… → READ MORE
Bernd Roediger and Fiona Wylde have put on a downwind masterclass here in Hood River, Oregon today, saluting at the Naish Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge presented by Starboard ahead of an ultra-competitive, international field of all-stars, young guns and and fresh new dark horses.
Click through for the recap and full results… → READ MORE
Australia’s Travis Grant has claimed his third Molokai-2-Oahu championship title after overpowering world number one Connor Baxter in an epic duel across the infamous Ka’iwi Channel today, setting a new race record of 3:59:52 and cementing his status as a true legend of the sport after becoming the first paddler to ever break the mythical 4-hour mark.
After an almighty, see-sawing battle that lasted almost the entire 32 miles from Molokai to Oahu, Travis pulled away in the final kilometre to claim a victory that will become an instant classic in the history pages of our sport. → READ MORE
Connor Baxter has overpowered an Travis Grant and James ‘Jimmy’ Casey to narrowly claim an historic eighth-straight Maui2Molokai title this afternoon, setting a new record for longest winning streak in the sport and continuing his extraordinary run as the only guy to ever win this race.
The world number one got pushed further than ever before though, with an in-form Travis leading for about the first 23 miles of the 26 mile (42km) crossing forcing Connor to dig deep in order to keep his unbeaten run alive. Jimmy was also applying the pressure on Connor, and the world number seven was still within sight of the champ as they finally hit the finish line on the south side of Molokai after just over three hours of paddling. → READ MORE
World number one Annabel Anderson and Sunova’s James Casey have taken out the weather-affected OluKai Ho’olaulea race on Maui this morning, winning the modified ‘beach race’ event at Kanaha after the standard Maliko downwind run was canceled for the second time in two days following wild and unsafe conditions.
With swirling winds and stormy weather continuing to lash the Hawaiian coast, OluKai organisers wisely opted for safety over tradition, keeping the event inside the reef at Kanaha Beach Park instead of sending competitors on what would have been a somewhat-treacherous ocean paddle from Maliko Gulch. → READ MORE
Titouan Puyo and Annabel Anderson have defended their Carolina Cup titles after an extraordinary day of racing here in Wrightsville Beach, with Titou breaking away from an all-star field over the final mile to cement his reputation as one of the absolute finest paddlers on the planet, while Annabel won the duel with Fiona Wylde to claim her fifth-straight title and officially move up to ‘legend’ status.
In an extremely grueling race that had a bit of everything, Titou made the most of the difficult conditions by powering through the downwind section and helping control the pace in the brutal upwind legs, holding off the challenge from world number two Michael Booth, team mate Travis Grant, the Tahitian army and dozens more of the world’s best. → READ MORE
We’re only a week away from the first major race of the season, the West Marine Carolina Cup in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.
We’ll previewing the big event all week in the lead-up to our race day Facebook Live stream presented by Quickblade, but in the meantime let’s take a look at some more stats from the previous editions. → READ MORE
The Countdown to Carolina is officially underway, with almost all of the world’s best paddlers getting ready to hop on a plane to Wilmington, North Carolina for the 7th Annual West Marine Carolina Cup aka the first major race of the season.
This year’s event is set to be the most competitive yet, with an absolutely stacked field of elite talent joining hundreds of amateur paddlers for a major festival of stand up paddling. → READ MORE