It’s been almost a month since I posted any news on SUP Racer.
That’s the longest break I’ve taken in the seven years I’ve been running this site. I’ll talk about why next week, but for now let’s get this show back on the road. Because the reason why SUP Racer exists is to give you an honest look at what’s happening in this great, whacky, wild, rollercoaster sport of ours.
(I think the word “honesty” has been sorely lacking from our sport in general recently. That’s also another topic for next week, but for now here’s what’s happening the past 24 days: The 12 biggest stories, in no particular order…)
Instead of Brekkie Bites, consider this as your Breakfast Banquet. → READ MORE
In brief: The quest for the inaugural Paddle League World Title has been reignited following an intense day of racing at the Mercedes-Benz SUP World Cup in sunny Scharbeuz, Germany, with Lincoln Dews and Olivia Piana unseating the established powerhouse duo of Michael Booth and Sonni Honscheid to claim memorable victories in front of a big local crowd.
In what was surely the most exciting race of the year in both the men’s and women’s fields, Lincoln outlasted Boothy in a tug-of-war for the ages, while Olivia overpowered the home-nation hero in the second half of the 10km race to put a hold on Sonni’s World Title victory parade. → READ MORE
In brief: Michael Booth has flexed his muscles once again, breaking and then holding off an ultra-strong field of international talent to claim the fifth stop of The Paddle League World Tour and week 7 of the EuroTour here in the Basque city of Bilbao.
Boothy won the Iberdrola Bilbao SUP Challenge to cement his spot on top of the world rankings, however his compatriot Lincoln Dews gave the champ a fright with a lightning fast final two kilometres that saw him break away from the 11-man chase group and get within shouting distance of the powerhouse. But in the end Boothy’s lead was simply too big, which made it a race for second that Linc deservingly won. → READ MORE
Week 6 of the EuroTour definitely delivered the goods, with San Sebastian turning on a fun, challenging and highly entertaining 12km race around this scenic seaside city that tested the competitors through a mix of flat water, waves and open ocean bumps.
The men’s showdown was once again an ocean battle between Paddle League ratings leader Michael Booth and number two seed Titouan Puyo, while the women’s event saw something of an upset as Sonni Honscheid accepted her first defeat of the season at the hands of Olivia Piana. → READ MORE
Rapid fire recap: Aussie powerhouse Michael Booth has opened his EuroTour campaign with a big win at the Agios Nikolaos on SUP event in the Greek Islands, outlasting French superstar Titouan Puyo and Brazilian workhorse Vinni Martins to claim week 4 of the European summer.
It was an all-French affair in the women’s race, however the standard tables were turned as Amandine Chazot took a great victory ahead of her higher-ranked compatriot Olivia Piana. German youngster Noelani Sach was once again impressive in the bumps en route to her second straight EuroTour podium.
Click through for the full results… → READ MORE
Full replay from week 4 of the EuroTour and the “Agios Nikolaos on SUP” event in the Greek Islands
Thanks to everyone that tuned in; see you next week in Spain!
French stars Titouan Puyo and Olivia Piana have saluted at home after winning Saturday’s part-downwind, part-sidewind “Vendée Gliss Event” on the country’s west coast as the European Summer of SUP starts to heat up.
Olivia was too strong for fellow Frenchwoman Amandine Chazot and downwind surprise packet Noelani Sach from Germany, with the latter upsetting more seasoned veterans to record her second career EuroTour podium and no doubt strongest ever result. → READ MORE
In brief: Bruno Hasulyo and Olivia Piana have taken out the inaugural Florence Paddle Games in Italy, overpowering a strong domestic field to claim the prize money and Paddle League points.
Long-standing king of Italian paddling, Leo Nika, came home second in the men’s elite race while his brother Claudio was fourth. Dark horse and event co-founder Martino Rogai split the brothers to claim the third step of the podium. → READ MORE
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