“It was f#$%ing nuts! I’ve never felt so alive and focused in my life…”
That’s how Casper Steinfath described today’s epic Red Bull Heavy Water race to me shortly after he triumphantly crossed the line in San Francisco Bay, with the Danish Viking surviving massive surf at Ocean Beach to claim victory in what is surely the craziest SUP race ever witnessed.
Casper picked up a record $20,000 prize money after beating home a small but all-star field of paddlers, many of whom didn’t even finish after the event lived up to its name and delivered arguably the biggest waves ever seen in a SUP race. → READ MORE
The biggest race in the world is about to get even bigger: the Paris Crossing has added 100 additional entries this year, breaking its own previous record and setting a new and rather incredible mark of 700 paddlers standing on the same start line.
Offering the unique opportunity of paddling down the River Seine past the Eiffel Tower and other iconic landmarks, the Paris Crossing has quietly built itself into a mammoth event over the past few years by focusing the race on being a memorable experience. It’s a true “Bucket List” race if there ever was one. → READ MORE
While the off-season unofficially began two weeks ago at the Pacific Paddle Games closing ceremony, let’s face it: the SUP racing season never really ends. There are still a handful of significant events left on the season schedule between now and xmas, and that includes the second-richest race of the year: Red Bull Heavy Water in San Francisco.
In a format befitting a company company that single-handedly created the energy drink industry before going on to redefine extreme sports coverage, Red Bull Heavy Water will see paddlers race through the waves at San Fran’s iconic Ocean Beach only when the surf hits 10ft. → READ MORE
In brief: Michael Booth has defended his Japan Cup title on the black sands of Chigasaki this weekend, overpowering a small but elite field of internationals that raced alongside hundreds of weekend warriors in one of Japan’s biggest paddle events.
Boothy was too good for compatriot and PPGs podium-getter Matt Nottage, who continued his meteoric rise over the past few months with a solid runner-up finish to give Starboard yet another 1-2 result. Local hero Kenny Kaneko rounded out the men’s podium for Team JP after the results were mirrored in both the 18km marathon and knockout Survivor race. → READ MORE
Here’s a great view of the Alpine Lakes Tour race in Lake Bourget on the weekend, which was the final stop of the 2017 series. Add the first stop of next year’s Tour to your calendar right now: the famous “GlaGla Race” on Lake Annecy is set for Saturday January 20th, 2018.
It was around the 44km mark that I looked up and realised, to my horror, I was quite literally paddling backwards.
After more than six hours on the water, and wearing a t-shirt comically ill-suited for such extreme conditions, my body and mind were both screaming out for me to stop whatever I was doing and immediately seek shelter from this nightmarish headwind, piercing rain and bitter cold. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. Just get the bloody hell off this lake and into some dry warm clothes, you idiot.
Unfortunately for my body, mind, and self in general, that lake was in the middle of nowhere in one of the Netherlands’ most remote provinces. And I was in the middle of a race. → READ MORE