“Trade Week” 2019: Who’s paddling for who this season?

The pre-season shuffle is virtually complete with nearly a dozen athletes changing teams ahead of the international race season.

I call it “Trade Week” in honour of the big sporting leagues (NBA, AFL, etc) that have set periods each year where players can be poached by rival teams. SUP athletes aren’t really “traded” per se, but hey, never let the truth get in the way of a catchy title ;-)   → READ MORE

Molokai PREVIEW: Who’s going to win the most prestigious race of the year?

And just like that, it’s the end of July. Where has this season gone? It seems like only yesterday we were freezing in the French Alps and getting ready to launch The Paddle League. Now it’s the end of July, the season is well over half done, and it’s suddenly time for the big one: Molokai.

The 32-mile, open-ocean channel crossing between the Hawaiian islands of Molokai and Oahu has grown to become the most prestigious (and arguably: most challenging) race in the sport of paddleboarding, whether that be standing up or laying down. And this year is set to be a cracker, with a stacked field and promising conditions lining up to create a monumental showdown for this six-star specialty event.

Race day is Sunday, but in the meantime, here’s a quick look at the top contenders for this year’s Molokai crown.   → READ MORE

Sonni Honscheid and Aussie dark horse Ty Judson have won the Bluesmiths ‘Paddle Imua’ charity downwinder on Maui

In brief: Sonni Honscheid has continued her unbeaten run in Season 2018 by claiming the 2-star Bluesmiths Paddle Imua charity downwinder on Maui this weekend, claiming her second win on the Maliko run in the space of six days and further cementing her status as the woman to beat on The Paddle League.

With Maui’s signature winds going virtually silent for the second week in a row, the famed Maliko downwind run once again turned into an 8-mile grind, with finishing times well outside the race records.   → READ MORE

The King and Queen Are BACK: Connor Baxter, Sonni Honscheid Win Grueling OluKai Ho’olaule’a on Maui (RESULTS)

Connor Baxter and Sonni Honscheid have reclaimed their OluKai crowns in tough conditions on Maui today, with light winds and big seas providing a mighty challenge for both competitors and organisers of the 10th Annual Ho’olaule’a, the third stop of the 2018 Paddle League World Tour.

Connor held off a four-pronged Aussie invasion to defeat defending champ James Casey, perennial OluKai bridesmaid Travis Grant, dark horse Ty Judson and ocean master Matt Nottage to secure his sixth OluKai belt and restart his World Title campaign after disappointing results in Carolina and Tahiti.   → READ MORE

The Top 17 Women of 2017: Here are the fastest women on the water.

Pacific paddle games

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

Downwind Domination: Bernd Roediger, Fiona Wylde Destroy International Field to Win the Gorge ‘Double Downwinder’

Gorge Paddle Challenge

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

8 Straight: Connor Baxter Overpowers Travis Grant and James Casey to Win ‘Maui 2 Molokai’ Yet Again; Annabel Anderson Women’s Champ

Connor BaxterConnor 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

Maui Pro-Am: Boothy and Sonni Take Day Two Honours; Mo Freitas and Terrene Black Win Overall (Updated Full Results)

Michael BoothIn brief: Michael Booth and Sonni Hönscheid have saluted on day two of the 5-star Maui Pro-Am after winning a long, hot, windless Maliko downwind run that tested the endurance and stamina of the small but highly elite field of assembled athletes.

Despite the relatively flat conditions, there was just enough texture on the water to break up any draft trains, with Boothy powering away from the field early and crossing the line about a minute clear of Connor Baxter. Mo Freitas was another minute further adrift in a strong performance that saw him claim the overall event crown.   → READ MORE