Villefranche Paddle Race: The new event on the French Riviera this weekend (here’s how it all started).


With Tahiti and Carolina just around the corner, this weekend marks the end of The Paddle League pre-season as a triple header sweeps New Zealand, NorCal and the French Riviera. But while the NZ SUP Championships (rebranded to the “Hoe Toa” race this year) and Santa Cruz PaddleFest (now in its 32nd year) are mainstays of the early season calendar, the Villefranche race in the south of France is fresh out of the box.

It’s always promising to see new events pop up as this sport evolves, and it’s even better when they’re in such a postcard-perfect location. Add in the event’s claim of being created by paddlers for paddlers, and I’ve been curious about the Villefranche race ever since I noticed their slick Instagram campaign a few months ago.    → READ MORE

Full Results: Mo Freitas Defeats Josh Riccio in Photo Finish to Claim the Big ‘Rincon Beachboy’ Race; April Zilg Women’s Champ

Rincon-Beachboy-paddleboard-race-Puerto-Rico-8Mo Freitas and April Zilg have taken out the 2017 Rincon Beachboy as 340 paddlers descended upon postcard perfect Puerto Rico for the 9th Annual edition of this classic race.

After just over an hour of paddling, Mo edged out the in-form Josh Riccio in a photo finish as hundreds of spectators lined the beach, while Aussie veteran Kelly Margetts held off young Frenchman Martin Letourneur by a similarly narrow margin in the fight for third; Garrett Fletcher rounded out the top five podium after outlasting Ryan Helm.   → READ MORE

Martin Letourneur, Olivia Piana Win the ‘GlaGla Race’ as 345 Paddlers Descend on Beautiful Lake Annecy in the French Alps

In brief: Martin Letourneur and Olivia Piana have taken out the 2017 GlaGla Race in the French Alps, with a massive 345 competitors descending upon a cold but sunny Lake Annecy in what was an amazing celebration of the sport.

After 13km of flat and sometimes foggy paddling, Martin edged out world number 13 Leo Nika by the narrowest of margins, winning a photo finish with an official margin of 0.6 seconds.   → READ MORE

France Goes ‘Salt Creek’ Mode as Olivia, Arthur and Titou Triumph at the National Titles

stand-up-paddleboard-racing-franceForget Salt Creek, San Fran and Doheny; France is where it’s at.

This was the scene at the 12’6 French National Titles that were held in Hossegor on the weekend, where Arthur Arutkin and Olivia Piana survived a solid chunk of the Atlantic Ocean to win the coveted Beach Race.

In the same month the WSL was in town for the Quiksilver Pro, Hossegor also provided pumping conditions for the nationals, with 4-6ft waves making this less of a race and more of a spectacle.   → READ MORE

Titouan Puyo Defeats Eric Terrien and Martin Letourneur to Win France’s Summer Cup

Summer Cup stand up paddleboarding race FranceIn brief: Titouan Puyo, Olivia Piana and Amandine Chazot have claimed victories at the “Summer Cup” in La Baule, France, with a strong lineup of the nation’s finest paddlers headlining the 6th annual edition of this beach festival.

Saturday’s course race was a tight affair, with Titou snatching the win by just four seconds from an in-form Eric Terrien, while Martin Letourneur was right on their tail all the way to the line.   → READ MORE

EuroTour Week 7: Michael Booth, Fiona Wylde Claim Big Wins in Croatia (Updated)

Paddleboard race Porec CroatiaIn brief: Starboard team mates Michael Booth and Fiona Wylde have taken out Week 7 of the EuroTour, claiming big wins at the SUPer Challenge in picturesque Poreč, Croatia this afternoon.

Boothy continued his summer-long rivalry with Connor Baxter, however this time there were no close finishes — the Aussie crossed the line more than two minutes clear of the Hawaiian. The Hasulyo Brothers, Bruno and Daniel, finished 3rd and 4th to continue their rapid rise through the ranks and give Starboard a clean sweep of the top four spots, while France’s Martin Letourneur rounded out the top five for Team Hobie.   → READ MORE

Champions of France: Titouan Puyo, Céline Guesdon Sweep National Titles, Look Ahead to 2016 Worlds

France SUP raceTitouan Puyo and Céline Guesdon are the undisputed champions of France, making a clean sweep of the national titles in St. Maxime this weekend. Titou and Celine both pulled off the double, winning Saturday’s course race before backing up a day later in the distance event.

France is one of the strongest paddling nations on the planet and the talent pool runs deep, which made the 2015 French Championships an extremely competitive affair. The 2015 Championnats de France de SUP Race act as the main selection event for the French team that will compete at next year’s ISA Worlds. The winners today go a long way towards securing a spot, with the final lineup decided next month during France’s traditional ‘Selection Week’ event.   → READ MORE

Mo Freitas, Bailey Rosen Win the Battle of the Bay

Mo Freitas stand up paddling in San FranciscoIn brief: Mo Freitas and Bailey Rosen have taken out the annual race around San Francisco’s iconic Alcatraz Island, also known as the Battle of the Bay. Mo swept both the 8.5 mile round the island loop and the shorter course race, with Bailey matching the double in the women’s.

Other stand outs were young Frenchman Martin Letourneur, who gave Mo the stiffest competition…   → READ MORE

Pacific Paddle Games: Complete Results (and Big Updates to the World Rankings)

Pacific Paddle Games Party WaveIt’s taken us a few days to come down from the high that was D-Day at Doheny, but now that the dust has settled and dings have been repaired, it’s time to sign off on this amazing event by posting the full and final results from the 2015 Pacific Paddle Games.

Click through for the full results, plus changes to the SUP Racer World Rankings…   → READ MORE

Plenty Of Waves And Wetsuits At Latest Round Of The Swell Beach Race Series

Winter Stand Up PaddlingResults 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

Fun Waves (And A Few Wipeouts) For Stop #3 Of France’s Swell Beach Race Series

Stand-Up-Paddling-in-FranceThis weekend saw #3 of the 2015 Swell Beach Race Series, a long-running tour held in the French province of Brittany. France has always been the powerhouse of European SUP racing and the Swell Beach Race Series is one of the great local tours that helps drive the sport at the domestic level.

With Swell Beach Race stalwart Greg Closier on an extended trip to California, we’ve got a guest post from Martin Letourneur, who also happens to be the winner of today’s race. Martin is one of the leaders of the new wave of European SUP racing, where the juniors are really starting to step it up and take it to the older guard.    → READ MORE

Wind, Waves And Cold Water As France’s Swell Beach Race Series Returns

Stand Up Paddle race FrancePics and results from today’s race over in France. This was stop #2 of the latest Swell Beach Race Series, an excellent, long-running tour on France’s west coast that always attracts some very talented and very enthusiastic paddlers.

Despite the freezing conditions (there’s a lot of neoprene in these photos), which wouldn’t have been helped by a stiff breeze, there were close to 50 paddlers out on the water in the picturesque village of Saint Michel en Grève.    → READ MORE

Arthur Arutkin Le Magnifique: 17-Year-Old Dominates The French Championships (But Doesn’t Receive An Invite To The Worlds)

French Championships stand up paddle racingThe 2014 French SUP Racing Championships are happening this weekend, with a spot on Team France and a ticket to the 2015 ISA World SUP Championship up for grabs.

UPDATE: We’ve just wrapped up the second and final day of competition, with Arthur Arutkin making it a clean sweep of the event. The 17-year-old took out both yesterday’s long distance event and today’s course race. Click through for full results/recap/photos…   → READ MORE

RESULTS: Titouan Puyo Wins The Presqu’île Paddle Race, Shows Once Again He’s A Machine In The Bumps

Presqu ile Paddle Race France 2014Titouan Puyo has made a clean sweep of the Presqu’île Paddle Race in France, taking out both the downwind and beach race on the weekend.

Titou, the reigning ISA Distance Race World Champ, showed once again that he’s an absolute machine in the bumps, finishing the 16km run three minutes clear of his rivals. Those rivals included many of France’s finest, such as rising star (and Battle of the Paddle ‘Most Inspirational’ award winner) Martin Letourneur, Vincent Verhoeven, Gaetan Sene and Greg Closier (who was runner-up in the 12’6 class).   → READ MORE

2014 Battle Of The Paddle RESULTS: Candice And Kai Take The Elite Race, Lina And Danny Salute In The Distance

Battle of the Paddle Salt Creek 17
We’ve just wrapped up the 2014 Battle of the Paddle here at Salt Creek, California. What a weekend… Action. Drama. Heroics. But most all: Carnage.

Yesterday’s Elite Race saw some of the most exciting stand up paddle racing ever, with a solid south swell rolling into the BOP’s new home of Salt Creek and creating some very memorable moments. Today’s Distance Race was a little mellower, however the performances were just as strong.

Click through for the full results plus the archive of our LIVE BLOG, which includes play-by-play from the racing and plenty of shots of the carnage…   → READ MORE

Greg Closier Wins The Swell Beach Race Series Finale In France

Swell Beach Race Series penfoul franceGreg Closier has notched up another victory in the long running and always entertaining Swell Beach Race Series in France. Closier came home half a minute ahead of rising star Martin Letourneur to claim the 7th and final race of the season at Penfoul Beach.

With its signature fun little waves and enthusiastic crowd of French paddlers, the Swell Beach Race Series ended the year as it began.    → READ MORE

[RESULTS] Greg Closier Wins In France As ‘Swell Beach Race Series’ Returns

2014 Swell Beach Race SeriesThe Swell Beach Series, an event that’s quickly become a bit of a staple on the French SUP racing circuit, is back again this year. While the 2014 Series actually kicked last month, the first race of the new year was held on the weekend in little hamlet of Saint-Michel-En-Grève.

The BOP-style racing Series is held in various spots around the north-west region of Brittany and regularly features a bunch of France’s finest paddlers. On the weekend it was Greg Closier who took out the win ahead of young gun Martin Letourneur, with Yoann Cornelis 3rd and former Team France representative Gaetene Sene coming home 4th.   → READ MORE

Arthur Daniel Claims Victory (And A Free Trip To America) At Final Stop Of Swell Beach Race Series

Swell Beach Race SeriesCheck 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

Eric Terrien Retains His Crown As King Of French SUP Racing

SUP Race France - 2013 Swell Beach Race Series #3France’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