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

King of the Cut Race Highlights

Highlights from the big ‘King of the Cut’ downwind showdown in West Oz on the weekend, where Jake Jensen and Angie Jackson made it a clean sweep for Team ONE.   → READ MORE

King of the Cut: Jake Jensen Dethrones Titouan Puyo, Angie Jackson Overpowers Karla Gilbert to Win Australia’s Biggest Race

Jake Jensen

In brief: Jake Jensen and Angie Jackson have claimed victories at the Stand Up Surf Shop “King of the Cut” downwind showdown in Western Australia this afternoon, defeating a star-studded cast of ocean masters to give Team ONE a double victory.

Jake was too fast for defending champ and downwind dynamo Titouan Puyo, while last weekend’s Doctor winner James Casey hit the podium once again with another classy performance. Michael Booth and Molokai hero Travis Grant rounded out the top five in a field that featured most of Australia’s best, a few international guns and dozens of weekend warriors enjoying WA’s famous conditions.   → READ MORE

James Casey Outlasts Jake Jensen and Michael Booth to Win ‘The Doctor’ in Windy West Oz

The-Doctor-ocean-raceJames “Jimmy” Casey has shown once again why he’s considered a world-class open ocean paddler, taking out ‘The Doctor’ race in Western Australia in record time today ahead of Jake Jensen and Michael Booth.

Jimmy’s victory adds to his impressive run of results in Hawaii earlier this season, where he scored victories at OluKai and Maliko plus a podium finish at M2M. The Sunova team rider didn’t have it all his own way today though — he hit the beach just a minute clear of Jake, while Michael Booth was close all day to finish just another two minutes adrift.

All three of the boys finished under the magic two hour barrier.   → READ MORE

Aussie Titles: Boothy, Lincoln, Angie and Karla Earn Victories (and an Invite to the 2018 Worlds)

Australian SUP Titles Gold Coast 2017In brief: Lincoln Dews has taken out the second race of the Aussie Titles on the Gold Coast today, winning the beach race ahead of James Casey and yesterday’s marathon champ Michael Booth to secure a spot on Team Australia for the fifth time in six years.

It was pretty close between the top three guys all the way, but Linc showed why his runner-up finish at the PPGs beach race was no fluke to add another national title to his collection. Yesterday’s runner-up, Matt Nottage, was kept down in fifth after the unheralded Ty Judson snuck onto the top four podium with a determined effort.   → 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

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

FPV Downwinder: Watch James Casey Effortlessly Glide along the South Side of Molokai

hawaii-downwind-stand-up-paddleboarding-videoWatch James Casey effortlessly glide along the south side of Molokai on his Sunova unlimited alongside fellow Aussie (and Sunova’s head designer) Marcus Tardrew.

Jimmy filmed this clip during the Molokai4Molokai race last Sunday, which was held a day after the M2Molokai Challenge where he and Marcus finished 1st and 2nd respectively. The M4M race goes along the south shore of Molokai island, a stretch of open ocean often described as the finest downwind run on the planet.   → READ MORE

James Casey, Annabel Anderson Win the M2Molokai Challenge as Team Sunova Sweeps Top Spots

James Casey downwind stand up paddling HawaiiIn brief: Aussie James Casey has continued his winning ways in Hawaii, with the 2017 OluKai champ taking out the M2Molokai Challenge on the weekend as the ocean paddling world gears up for a big double header later this month.

Jimmy completed the 42km (26 mile) crossing from Maui to Molokai in a time of 3 hours, 19 minutes and 9 seconds, narrowly avoiding an upset at the hands of his Team Sunova board designer Marcus Tardrew, a lesser-known but extremely talented downwind paddler who crossed less than a minute later. Maui’s Kody Kerbox restored some pride for the home team by snagging third place.

Annabel Anderson was in a league of her own in the women’s race, claiming the win in 3:39:05, with Andrea Moller runner-up and stars-of-the-future Kali’a Alexiou and Lara Claydon enjoying a close battle for the third step on the podium.   → READ MORE

Terrene Black, Connor Baxter Win a Rollercoaster Weekend in Japan

Connor BaxterAustralia’s Terrene Black has made it two from two on the APP Tour, mirroring her Maui result at the Japan Pro-Am after outlasting Fiona Wylde, Candice Appleby and Sonni Honscheid in a weekend of rollercoaster results and conditions that produced a virtual tie in the small but elite women’s field.

The result boosts Terrene into the ultra-exclusive ‘Top Five Club’ on the updated World Rankings, with the Japan Pro-Am scoring 38% on the women’s Race Index.   → READ MORE

James Casey, Annabel Anderson Win the Weather-Affected OluKai ‘Beach Race’ on Maui (RESULTS)

OluKai-2017World number one Annabel Anderson and Sunova’s James Casey have taken out the weather-affected OluKai Ho’olaulea race on Maui this morning, winning the modified ‘beach race’ event at Kanaha after the standard Maliko downwind run was canceled for the second time in two days following wild and unsafe conditions.

With swirling winds and stormy weather continuing to lash the Hawaiian coast, OluKai organisers wisely opted for safety over tradition, keeping the event inside the reef at Kanaha Beach Park instead of sending competitors on what would have been a somewhat-treacherous ocean paddle from Maliko Gulch.   → READ MORE

James Casey and Kelly Margetts Join ‘Sunova’ as a New Race Team Is Born

Sunova
Sunova has officially signed top international athletes James Casey and Kelly Margetts alongside designer Marcus Tardrew, with the Aussie trio helping establish a new race team and completing the long list of new year’s athlete team changes in the process.

With roots in Australia but now based in Thailand, Sunova’s entry comes as the racing scene witnesses a major shakeup, with some of the top teams dropping off while several new boutique brands quickly rise through the ranks.   → READ MORE

The ‘Top 16 of 2016’ — The Best Paddlers in the World This Year

Bilbao World SUP Challenge Connor Baxter
What a year it’s been for our sport, with great performances by incredible athletes at big events all around the world making for an exciting season of racing.

But who was the best? Who dominated all season long? Who were the standout stand up athletes this year? It’s time to reveal the Top 16 of 2016…   → READ MORE

The Japan Cup, Day 2: Annabel Anderson, Mo Freitas Claim the Survivor Race

Japan Cup stand up paddle board race
Annabel Anderson and Mo Freitas have claimed lucrative wins on the second and final day of the Mynavi Japan Cup here in Chigasaki.

Under grey, drizzly skies, which stood in stark contrast to Saturday’s draining hot sun, Mo surged to victory on the final, 10-man lap of the short, sharp survivor course, holding off the Aussie quartet of James Casey, Michael Booth, Toby Cracknell and Matt Nottage. Hometown hero Kenny Kaneko finished just outside the money in sixth.   → READ MORE

#M2O: Post-Molokai Reflections (and Photos) from 38 of the World’s Best Paddlers

Molokai 2 Oahu Kai Lenny Travis GrantThe boards are back on the rack, the boats are back in the harbour and the trophies are up on the mantelpiece. Molokai-2-Oahu is done for another season, however the memories from this year’s epic will live on forever. The most prestigious race in the world certainly lived up to its hype this year, with the 20th annual crossing of the Ka’iwi Channel proving to be the fastest, most competitive and most exciting edition yet.

I could wax lyrical about this storied event, however nobody says it better than the paddlers themselves, the ones who were actually out there battling in the Channel of Bones for pride and glory. So to give you a better insight into what M2O really means, here’s a selection of post-Molokai reflections from the world’s best paddlers…   → READ MORE

Post-Molokai World Rankings

Kai Lenny Molokai to Oahu

After the epic crossing of the Ka’iwi Channel from Molokai to Oahu yesterday, we’ve updated the leaderboards on the SUP Racer World Rankings with the latest results.

The most significant moves come from the M2O champions, with Kai Lenny jumping +3 to world number four, while Sonni Hönscheid becomes the new world number two after her third-straight Molokai-2-Oahu title.

Other big movers include Jimmy Casey, who cracks the world’s top 10 for the first time following a supremely impressive fourth place finish (where he was less than a minute behind three-time Molokai winner Connor Baxter). Jimmy’s compatriot and fellow top five giant killer, Toby Cracknell, is +10 this week and becomes the highest-ranked paddler with less than the minimum five best results, meaning he could easily crack the top 20 with one more decent result.

Molokai “Preview & Predictions” — Who’s Going to Win the Most Prestigious Race of the Year?

Molokai 2 Oahu paddleboard race
We’re just over 24 hours away from the most prestigious race of the season, and what a race it’s shaping up to be. The 20th annual crossing of the Ka’iwi Channel between Molokai to Oahu is already destined for the history books, but a record level of talent and a few last-minute twists should ensure we’ll be talking about this one for many years to come.

The Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championships, aka M2O or just simply Molokai, has become the ultimate event of the international stand up paddle racing season. The race has taken on an almost mythical status over the years, and it’s surely one of the toughest trophies in the sport to get your hands on. Becoming a Molokai champion makes you an instant hero, while many paddling legends have built their reputations by conquering this epic, dangerous, thirty-two mile stretch of open ocean between these two imposing Hawaiian islands.   → READ MORE