France is one of the strongest paddling nations in the world, period. They’ve long been the powerhouse of Europe, while their athletes often mix it with the best on the world stage. A full-strength Team France would probably be the biggest threat to the ruling triumvirate (Australia/US/Hawaii). But despite some big names in the 2015 squad, the French team is lacking in one critical area. And this highlights a wider problem with the ISA World Stand Up Paddle And Paddleboard Championship… → READ MORE
Results and photos from the latest round of the Swell Beach Race Series, France’s long-running, always-entertaining and usually-freezing-cold SUP race tour held in the province of Brittany biannually.
As always there was a lot of neoprene on display as a few dozen brave souls battled cold water and some solid waves to complete the 5 lap, 7km race. Coming out on top was young gun Arthur Daniel… → READ MORE
There are some great shots of the ruins on Alcatraz Island as well as the grandeur of the Golden Gate Bridge. There are also a few very good angles that show just how bumpy it can get in San Fran (and apparently this was a “calm” day by the Bay’s standards). → READ MORE
Saturday saw the 8.5 mile distance race, which took competitors around the iconic Alcatraz and under the Golden Gate Bridge. Completing the 8.5 mile loop the quickest was Chase Kosterlitz, who came home ahead of his two road trip buddies and Coast Guard rescuees, Arthur Daniel and Belar Diaz. Over on the women’s side it was Canada’s Shannon Bell taking the win ahead of Halie Harrison and Jen Fuller. → READ MORE
Thanks to Arthur Daniel for sharing – the Frenchman has been hanging out in Oregon with Chase Kosterlitz and Belar Diaz (the other two guys in this vid) and scoring plenty of great runs down the famed Columbia River Gorge at Hood River. → READ MORE
We’ve just wrapped up the second and final day of the 2014 Naish Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge, with Connor Baxter and Annabel Anderson dominating an all-star field in what will surely be remembered as one of 2014’s best events.
After their respective victories in Saturday’s Course Race, the Starboard duo made it a clean sweep by claiming today’s unique “Double Downwind” event. With the winds lighter than usual for the Gorge (but much better than we’d feared last night), the elite field battled their way up the Columbia Gorge in back-to-back downwind runs. The majority of the world’s top athletes were on show today, which gave us some intense racing and a great spectacle (especially from my vantage point out on the media boat). → READ MORE
Lake Tahoe always has and always will be one of the most scenic places in the world to go paddling. Although the Nalu race has lost some of its elite shine from past years, it still attracts a healthy crowd of racers. This year that crowd included French whipper snapper Arthur Daniel, who had a crazy fast start in the race last weekend. → READ MORE
Arthur Daniel was clearly in no mood for a draft fest at last weekend’s Tahoe Nalu Paddle Festival. The young Frenchman sprinted off the line, using the choke stroke to gap the field immediately. That was a gap that would never be closed… This video shows Arthur’s start perfectly: Watch how quickly the other guys fade into the background. → READ MORE
After two days of great racing, Eric Terrien has held onto his crown as the King of France, but only just… Titouan Puyo (aka Ti2) has shown he’s an international star and that his win in Nicaragua was definitely no fluke. After a horror start, the New Caledonian almost chased down Eric in Saturday’s downwind/upwind/sidewind Beach Race, while today the tables were turned with Titou coming home first ahead of Leo Nika and Eric.
Sonni Hönscheid showed great form to make it a clean sweep of the women’s field, beating home Manca Notar in both the 7km Beach Race and 17km Distance event. Click through for full results, pics and recap from the French Riviera… → READ MORE
While Eric Terrien was kicking off the Euro Tour with a win on Mallorca this past weekend, his fellow countrymen were battling it out back home in France. The 6th annual Northpoint Classic, a SUP event that combines surfing and racing into one big weekend, was held in the village of Goulien on the country’s west coast and enjoyed some picture-perfect race conditions.
With sunny skies, light winds and small waves, the 50+ paddlers battled it out around the 8km technical course for just under 50 minutes.
In a tight finish, young gun Arthur Daniel took the win in a time of 48 minutes, 39 seconds, just 7 seconds in front of event organiser and French paddling stalwart, Greg Closier. The first hand account that we received sums it up like this: → READ MORE
France has long been the epicenter of SUP racing in Europe and, as we saw in Nicaragua a few days ago, is home to some of the world’s fastest paddlers. Though now it’s gaining a new reputation of being a downwind hotspot, with several extreme downwind runs being pioneered on both sides of the country.
The latest action came from the west coast, where the annual “Grand Prix Guyader” downwinder scored some macking conditions. The 16km course across the bay near Douarnenez was met with 30 knot winds and a 2 metre swell to boot… → READ MORE
Despite a growing scene right across the continent, France is definitely still the main engine room for SUP racing Europe, being home to probably half a dozen of the region’s fastest 10 guys as well as a good chunk of the actual races. One of the regular French tours is the Swell Beach Race Series in Brittany, which, despite often being held in freezing conditions, always attracts a good mix of talented and newbie paddlers alike.
I love following this particular little tour because we get to see who is in form and who has improved from one race to the next. For example today’s winner, Arthur Daniel, seems to be getting quicker and quicker and is definitely a name to watch in the future. → READ MORE
Eric Terrien has won another SUP race in France, surprising absolutely nobody but showing he’s in good form ahead of a big month on the road. Eric took out the Raid Paddle Race yesterday in the west coast city of Vannes, pushing his new (and very uniquely coloured) 12’6 race board clear of a strong field, eventually finishing half a minute in front of rising star Arthur Daniel. Eric’s original French sparring partner, Gaetene Sene, was third and the rehabilitated Greg Closier claimed fourth.
There was little time for Eric to celebrate though; today he starts his travel to Brazil where he’ll compete in the World Series opener next week. After that it’s straight to Abu Dubai for the All Stars event, before a brief pit-stop at home and then another trans-Atlantic flight, this time to Nicaragua where in early May he’ll be representing France for the third straight year at the ISA Worlds. → READ MORE
Remember how France decided to go all out in selecting their team for the 2014 ISA Worlds? In addition to their National Titles five weeks ago, the governing body (French Surf Federation) organised a week-long series of racing and training that’s essentially a second (and final) round of qualification to decide who flies to Nicaragua next May.
Ten of the best paddlers in France (and, by extension, ten of the best in Europe and even some of the very best in the world) will be battling it out over the next five days in a series of short and long distance races. A win is worth zero points, 2nd place = 2 points, 3rd place = 3 points, and so on… Each paddler’s best four out of six results (four races this week plus the two races from last months Nationals) are tallied up and then the two guys / one girl with the lowest score will be invited to compete for Les Bleus in Nicaragua. → READ MORE
At the same time as the Aussie SUP Titles were happening in Queensland on the weekend, on the other side of the world there was another elite battle taking place, with glory, bragging rights and a trip to the 2014 ISA World Champs on the line there as well.
The French National SUP Titles (“Championnats de France Stand Up Paddle”) have just wrapped up and produced plenty of SUP racing action as well as a couple of interesting surprises. Held in the picturesque town of Carnet on the South of France, the championships featured the best paddlers from one of the strongest SUP nations there is.
The talent pool is France is runs deeper than probably any other nation outside the “Big 3” (Cali/Hawaii/Aus) so this was always going to be a tough event. However nobody would have predicted these results. On the opening day, hot favourite and undisputed king of French stand up paddle racing, Eric Terrien, was defeated by the unheralded Titouan Puyo in the 18km Distance Race, while young gun Arthur Arutkin also crossed the line ahead of the reigning champ. Eric would have his revenge on day two though, with a sweet victory in the Beach Race ensuring he still has one foot in the door on the plane to Nicaragua. → READ MORE
Check out the race results and some very cool photos from the fifth & final stop of the 2013 Swell Beach Race Series in France, where Arthur Daniel claimed another race victory as well as the overall Series crown. Runner-up was Yoann Cornelis followed very closely by Martin Letourneur, while Solange Pruvost won the women’s race.
I raced against Arthur, Yoann and Martin this year and can tell you from first hand experience that France is full of talent. These guys are fast and a lot of them still have years of paddling in front of them (three of the top four on the weekend were juniors). So while Frenchman Eric Terrien has been flying the flag for Europe the past few years, keep your eye on several of his compatriots to make a big move up in the SUP world over the next year or two. → READ MORE
France’s Swell Beach Race Series continued yesterday, with European #1 Eric Terrien making his series debut and showing straight away that he’s still the King of SUP Racing in his home country. The air looked cold.
The water looked cold. Yet there were still almost 40 die hard SUP racers out in the water, including almost all of France’s top guys. As well as Terrien there was also international elite paddlers such as Gaetene Sene, winner of the first two events Greg Closier, and young gun Arthur Daniel. So click through for full race results, plus some great photos of the action… → READ MORE