Euro Tour. Week #6. Germany.
Eric Terrien has just won the 2014 Lost Mills, repeating his heroics from twelve months ago to claim victory ahead of a star-studded field. In a race that more than lived up to the hype, Eric won by three minutes from Danny Ching and Connor Baxter, while behind them were another dozen of the world’s very best paddlers.
This was an incredibly competitive race – perhaps the single most-elite SUP race ever held outside the States – and it didn’t disappoint. → READ MORE
Saturday, June 21 is the Summer Solstice. The longest day of the year. Quite fitting then, given that this weekend will probably be the biggest two days of the year for the SUP racing world.
Between Idaho and Germany, we’re about to witness two of the biggest races of the year that are set to feature nearly 100% of the world’s best paddlers.
The Lost Mills in Germany features the most elite lineup of talent ever seen at a race held outside the States, while the $50,000 Payette River Games look set to be one of the most entertaining events of the year. And you’ll be able to follow both races LIVE here on SUPracer.com… → READ MORE
So the SUP Champions Tour got announced 12 days ago. Generated a lot of interest. Lots of chatter, lots of excitement, lots of questions… (LOTS of questions). In short: The whole thing has received a lot of attention. In fact, the original article became a Top 10 all-time post here on SUPracer.com, literally overnight.
And with good reason.
If this thing gets airborne it’ll mark the beginning of a big new chapter in the world of stand up paddling. A new tour. A new way to help unify the racing scene. And a lot of paddlers are backing it… → READ MORE
In what is a fairly major announcement (to put it mildly), several of the biggest names in paddling have confirmed they’re working with several of the biggest races to create a new tour/ranking system for the sport of SUP racing. The basic story goes like this: There are a lot of paddlers who want to celebrate the grassroots nature of this sport by recognising and giving back to the events that have already provided so much for both them and the wider SUP community in general.
The idea is to take the seven biggest, standalone SUP races that already exist, connect them via a simple points system (where at each race, paddlers will earn x amount of points for finishing 1st, 2nd 3rd, 10th, 20th, etc…) and then rank everyone on a big ‘leaderboard’ that’s based on each paddler’s best four or five results of the year. This kind of thing – grouping the established major events together in a common tour – has been talked about on and off for as long as I can remember, but now, after a sudden burst of action behind the scenes, it’s apparently becoming a reality. It’s called the “SUP Champions Tour” and I think it’s a pretty bold new proposal.
The Champions Tour tour would see the paddlers and the events work together to try and unify the racing scene (at least to some extent) through this simple ranking system. Competitors would earn Champions Tour points based on their result at each of big races (Carolina, OluKai, BOP, etc). These points will be put up on the Champions Tour Leaderboard, which in turn will give both the paddlers and the fans something to follow throughout the season. At the end of the year we’ll be able to see where everybody ranks based solely on the major races that have, up until now, been well supported but totally isolated from each other.
That’s the idea anyway. It goes without saying that this whole thing intrigues me a great deal, not only as the person who runs SUPracer.com but as a fan of the sport in general. So over the past few days, I’ve been chatting with a bunch of the guys and girls involved with this effort in order to try and get the full story on why it’s happening, what it’s all about and where it’s going.
While the background to the SUP Champions Tour is a long and interesting tale, I think I can best sum it up like this: → READ MORE