World number three and Pacific Paddle Games vice-champion Olivia Piana has signed with Tahitian-born brand 425 Pro, departing Starboard to help spearhead one of the newer teams alongside the legendary Georges Cronsteadt.
This is a huge pick up for the ‘425’ stable, which was formed in Tahiti a couple of years ago and is now based out of Bali. Olivia has enjoyed a meteoric rise through the ranks after returning to the sport 24 months ago, with France’s finest finishing season 2017 ranked number three in the world after scoring second place at the PPGs. Her massive year also included podiums in Carolina and Denmark plus a string of victories on the EuroTour. → READ MORE
Yesterday we looked at the fastest men on the water, now it’s time to cap off the year with a look at the quickest ladies.
It was a big year for women’s racing with several athletes hitting the podiums for the first time to inject some fresh storylines into an aging saga. There was also the unmissable #ipaddleforequality movement in October, which aims to give women a more equal share of the prize money purse and which briefly broke stand up paddling’s little corner of the internet. → READ MORE
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
Boss Man’s note: We’ve got one last race to finish the year, and it seems we’ve saved the best – or at the very least: the toughest – for last. IRONMANA is a week-long, multi-discipline race in the postcard-perfect Tahitian islands. This year the event moved from Bora Bora to the equally epic Huahine, and once again it’ll feature a smorgasbord of tough racing including SUP, prone, outrigger and swimming.
We call it “Five Days of Pain in Paradise,” and over the next week we’ll take you inside the belly of the beast with daily updates and insights from Starboard veteran Bart de Zwart. → READ MORE
Annabel Anderson has once again cemented her status as the world’s best paddler after a powerful performance in the ‘beach race’ final here at the ISA Worlds in Cold Hawaii, Denmark today.
The Kiwi was too strong for Olivia Piana (silver for France), Terrene Black (bronze for Australia) and Fiona Wylde (copper for Team USA), matching her victory in last weekend’s marathon and earning Team New Zealand a second gold medal and valuable points on the leaderboard of nations. → READ MORE
Annabel Anderson has won the first gold medal of the 2017 ISA Worlds in Denmark, putting on a vintage performance to break away from a large, elite field in this morning’s 18km marathon event to earn 1000 valuable team points for New Zealand.
The world number one, who had to borrow a Starboard after her equipment was lost in transit, sat with the front pack on the first of four laps around this long but rather technical course in front of Copenhagen’s famous opera house. But as the field started to whittle on the second lap, Annabel put her foot down and broke away, paddling clear to win by two minutes in a time of just over two hours.
With the Kiwi setting a lone pace out front, the real race became the battle for the silver medal, with Starboard team mates Sonni Honscheid (Germany), Olivia Piana (France) and Fiona Wylde (USA) establishing themselves as the strongest contenders after the early draft train of 11 top women started splintering in the second half of the race. → READ MORE
Connor 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
In brief: Michael Booth and Olivia Piana have put an exclamation point on their European summers of SUP, with the Starboard duo taking out week 9 of the EuroTour here at the SUP World Cup in Scharbeutz, Germany.
Boothy won the 10k distance race here on Sunday morning in impressive style, while Olivia fought all the way with her team mate Sonni Honscheid before pulling clear in the final few hundred metres. → READ MORE
Fiona 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
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 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
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
Australia’s Michael Booth has proven yet again that he’s the strongest distance race paddler on the planet, overpowering world number one Connor Baxter and Carolina Cup champion Titouan Puyo to claim the 18km event on day 2 here in St. Maxime, France, earning the overall ‘SUP Race Cup’ title and gaining an early advantage on the EuroTour Leaderboard in the process.
With beautiful blue skies and flat, glassy conditions greeting the assembled field of international stars, European dark horses and local contenders this morning (which stood in stark contrast to the cyclonic winds in Saturday’s beach race), this was always going to be Boothy’s type of race.
It was 12 months ago this weekend that the Starboard rider announced himself as the strongest distance racer in the world, and after a few disappointing results early in season 2017 he was clearly keen to reassert his dominance. → READ MORE
It’s International Women’s Day, and while we try and promote the women’s side of the sport as much as possible every day here at SUP Racer, we felt it was a good time to give the fastest females some extra credit.
So here it is, our Insta slideshow highlighting 10 of the best women on the water in the world of paddleboarding. → READ MORE
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
After revealing the Top 16 Men of 2016 yesterday, now it’s time to analyse the best-performing women.
It’s been an interesting season for the women’s sport, with some absolutely incredible performances from amazing athletes in exciting races. But at the same time there’s been a noticeable lack of growth in participation at the elite level relative to the men, which makes producing an accurate world rankings and authoritative power rankings somewhat difficult. → READ MORE
While the Aussies comfortably reclaimed the Team Champions Trophy at last week’s ISA Worlds in Fiji, giving them four titles in five years, there was another nation at this year’s championship event that was almost just as dominant and, at least by one measure, even more impressive.
Team France. → READ MORE