The ‘Top 17 of 2017’ – These guys were the best paddlers in the world this year.

Gorge Paddle Challenge
SUP Racer quietly celebrated its 6th birthday a couple of weeks ago (time flies), and if one thing has defined this site over the past half a dozen years it’s the world analysis.

I love analysing this sport. It all began with one of the earliest posts on the site: The Top 11 of 2011. That story got a lot of attention and helped kickstart SUP Racer as we know it, and from there it followed with year-end “best of” lists in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

And now it’s time for the Top 17 of 2017…   → READ MORE

The Incredible Stats Behind Team Starboard’s Mammoth ‘Battle of the Brands’ Victory

Team Starboard's Sonni Honscheid, Olivia Piana and Fiona Wylde
Led by perennial world number one Connor Baxter, and with exceptional support from vice-captain Fiona Wylde and deputies Michael Booth and Olivia Piana, Team Starboard absolutely blizted our VMG Battle of the Brands leaderboard this season.

That Starboard won a fourth-straight Battle of the Brands title is no real surprise. Anyone that follows our sport with more than half an eye could tell you how dominant the blue boards are. But this wasn’t just a victory, it was a massacre.   → READ MORE

Battle of the Bay: Annabel Anderson, Connor Baxter Victorious in Iconic San Francisco

Battle of the Bay
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

Photo Finish: Mo Freitas Claims Emotional Victory from Team Mate Connor Baxter; Casper Steinfath Takes Bronze (Full Results)

Mo Freitas and Connor Baxter

Mo Freitas has surged to an extraordinary and quite emotional victory on finals day in Cold Hawaii following a “you couldn’t script this” photo finish with team mate and close friend Connor Baxter, as Team Hawaii plucked an incredible gold-silver result from an intense and exciting beach race here on the penultimate day of the 2017 ISA Worlds.

Mo battled hard the entire race to finally get a shot at Connor, who had controlled the tempo from the first buoy to the final lap of the gold medal decider along with defending champ Casper Steinfath, in the final 50 metres of this frantic and fast-paced affair.    → READ MORE

Hungarian Hero: Bruno Hasulyo Beats World’s Best to Win ISA Marathon Race from Connor, Titou and Brother Daniel (UPDATED)

Bruno Hasulyo

Hungary’s Bruno Hasulyo has officially announced himself as one of the sport’s best athletes after claiming the marathon race here at the ISA Worlds in Copenhagen today, holding off Hawaii’s Connor Baxter in an exciting finish to a very tough and hugely competitive 18km grind.

After showing hints of greatness over the past two years, this is clearly the biggest win to date for Bruno, while it’s also a very well deserved reward for one of the most-dedicated and hardest-training athletes on the circuit.

The win was made all the more sweet after Bruno’s bother Daniel, who helped set the early pace, crossed the line in 4th place, behind France’s Titouan Puyo, to claim the copper medal for Hungary and give both the team and family an historic podium double.   → READ MORE

Travis Grant Overpowers Connor Baxter to Win Epic Molokai Duel in Record Time; Penelope Strickland Stuns Favourites to Claim Women’s Crown

Travis Grant

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

Watch: From Maui to Molokai in 30 Seconds


 
Watch this rapid fire recap from 808photo to get an insight into the world’s greatest downwind run, also known as the annual Maui2Molokai race in Hawaii.

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

Maui2Molokai #8: Connor Baxter Is on the Verge of Greatness

Maui-2-Molokai-stand-up-paddle-race-videoIn brief: As if we needed any further proof that Connor Baxter is the greatest stand up paddler on the planet, I present you with exhibit a: This coming Saturday afternoon, Connor will line up on the west coast of Maui for the start of the 2017 Maui2Molokai race, arguably the greatest ocean race and definitely the best downwind run in the world of paddling.

If the world number one can reach Molokai before anyone else on Saturday afternoon he won’t just win this year’s M2M, he’ll set an almighty record that may never be beaten. That’s because Connor is going for an incredible 8th-straight Maui2Molokai title. And this is only the 8th year of the event. Or in other words: no other guy has ever won this race.    → READ MORE

EuroTour Week 9: Connor Baxter, Susak Molinero Win Epic Downwinder in the Canary Islands

Marcus HansenIn brief: World number one and freshly-minted “unicorn” Connor Baxter has taken out week 10 of the EuroTour, claiming what looked to be one of the funnest races of the summer: a 15km, open ocean downwind crossing between Lanzarote and Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands.

New Zealand’s Marcus Hansen was an impressive runner-up, relishing the ocean conditions as strong winds whipped up the Canaries’ signature downwind runners, while Paolo Marconi was third for Team Italia.   → READ MORE

Michael Booth’s Big Summer in Europe: Aussie Star Overpowers World’s Best to Claim the ‘EuroTour’ Crown

Michael Booth

As a mix of light rain and sporadic sunshine drifted in across the Baltic Sea and onto the sands Scharbeutz, Germany late Sunday morning, Australia’s Michael Booth could be seen doing what he does best: paddling away from a group of other world-class paddlers to record yet another win on the European Summer of SUP, aka the EuroTour.

With his victory at Scharbeutz on the weekend, Boothy added an exclamation point to an incredible European campaign that saw him win almost every major race en route to claiming the overall EuroTour champion’s title. Along the way, he defeated the likes of Connor Baxter, Titouan Puyo and a dozen or so more of the world’s best in addition to virtually all of Europe’s finest. And he did it in style.   → READ MORE

Mercedes SUP World Cup: Connor Snatches the Overall Title from Lincoln and Arthur; Fiona Edges Out Olivia (FULL RESULTS)

Mercedes Benz SUP World Cup in GermanyConnor Baxter has shown yet again why he’s almost permanently ranked number one in the world, pulling clear in the closing stages of today’s windy, unpredictable and exciting distance race here at the Mercedes-Benz ‘SUP World Cup’ in Scharbeutz, Germany to narrowly claim the overall event title ahead of Lincoln Dews and Arthur Arutkin.

After battling through five laps of the bumpy course, where the howling offshore wind produced everything from downwind to sidewind to headwind conditions that splintered the field early and produced big time gaps on the results sheet, Connor somehow found another gear in the final few hundred metres to win by about four board lengths.   → READ MORE

Fiona Wylde, Lincoln Dews Claim Day 1 of the Mercedes SUP World Cup in Germany

Fiona-Wylde-and-Lincoln-DewsFiona Wylde and Lincoln Dews have taken top honours on day one of the Mercedes-Benz SUP World Cup in Germany, out-sprinting an elite field of European and international stars to salute in the seaside town of Scharbeutz.

Fiona won an intense side-by-side battle with fellow pocket rocket Manca Notar, with the youngsters paddling clear of Olivia Piana, Angie Jackson, Terrene Black, Susak Molinero, Yuka Sato and Sonni Honscheid in the eight-woman final.

Manca looked like taking the race early on, opening up a lead on the second leg of the short, tight “M-shaped” course, before Fiona reeled her in and finally passed her on the sprint back in to the beach.   → READ MORE

Boothy Overpowers Connor, Bruno and Titou to Punctuate His EuroTour Dominance; Olivia Piana Goes Back-to-Back

Michael Booth stand up paddling
In brief: Michael Booth has firmly cemented his reputation as the strongest paddler on the planet, with the Aussie powerhouse taking out the showdown in San Sebastian this afternoon to make it four wins in the past five weeks and cement his spot on top of the 2017 EuroTour Leaderboard

In a race that had a bit of everything – flat water, open ocean, waves, downwind bumps – and which was described by most finishers as the funnest contest of the year, Boothy outlasted Connor Baxter and Bruno Hasulyo to salute for the third week in a row, while defending champ and early race leader Titouan Puyo fought hard in the second half after getting unlucky in the waves to eventually finish just off the podium but just ahead of Trevor Tunnington.   → READ MORE

Michael Booth, Olivia Piana Win Week 6 of the EuroTour in Bilbao

BilbaoMichael Booth has taken a virtually unassailable lead in the race for the 2017 EuroTour championship title, with the Aussie powerhouse claiming his second straight win at the Bilbao Paddle Challenge as key rivals Connor Baxter and Titouan Puyo faultered.

After a hectic start in front of Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum, where several of the main contenders were boxed out by a deep field of European dark horses, Boothy soon moved to the front and controlled much of the 14km course up and down the central city river.    → READ MORE

EuroTour Week 4: Connor Too Good for Boothy and Titou; Sonni Holds on against Olivia Piana in Hossegor (Updated Full Results)

Hossegor Paddle Games - Olivia Piana

Connor Baxter has just won the Beach Race to make it a clean sweep of the weekend and claim the 2017 Hossegor Paddle Games overall title ahead of his key EuroTour rivals and fellow world-beaters Michael Booth and Titouan Puyo.

In the women’s, Frenchwoman Olivia Piana showed her true potential to take out the beach race ahead of yesterday’s winner Sonni Honscheid. But Olivia fell painfully short of the overall title, losing to Sonni by just 3 seconds on the tie-breaker time countback.   → READ MORE