As the global social and sporting shutdown caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus continues, we’re beginning to see more and more SUP races affected. Europe is increasingly under lockdown, while virtually all countries are enacting draconian restrictions on travel and public gatherings that have made most stand up paddle events impossible to run.
Here are the latest updates as of Monday 17 March. This story is quickly evolving so check back for regular updates… → READ MORE
In brief: The spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to affect the world of stand up paddling, with the beginning of the international season all but on hold after several events were forced to cancel or postpone.
The United States, China, Japan and several countries in Europe including Spain and France have confirmed event cancellations/postponements. And now two of the biggest races in the world have joined that list.
Today, the Air France Paddle Festival in Tahiti and Brazil’s massive Aloha Spirit Festival in Ilhabela both announced they were postponing their upcoming events. → READ MORE
Noic “Chicken” Garioud and Karla Gilbert have claimed the 12 Towers ocean race in Australia today, with more than 150 paddlers enjoying a firing downwind run along Queensland’s famed Gold Coast to cap off a big weekend at Australia’s premiere paddling event.
Nobody got near Noic. The New Caledonian was in a league of his own. It was a masterclass. A clinic. A dominant performance from a 17-year-old athlete who shows maturity well beyond his years both on and off the water. Noic was reading the bumps so well that he probably took fewer paddle strokes than anyone else in the race. → READ MORE
Full replay of today’s big ocean downwind race in Australia, the “12 Towers”. Conditions were almost perfect with firing winds and beautiful downwind bumps for the approximately 13km course along Queensland’s Gold Coast.
(video not loading? watch the replay direct on Facebook)
In brief: We had a super fun surf race to kick off the 12 Towers Ocean Festival on Australia’s Gold Coast today 🌊💥 It was so good to see this kind of format back in Australia — it really reminded me of the good old Battle of the Paddle days.
The Queen of the towers, Karla Gilbert, was too strong for New Zealand’s Brianna Orams and local gun Ke’ale Dorries despite being older than the combined age of her rivals. Ty Judson snuck through a tight pack to claim the men’s paddle battle ahead of the new darkhorse on the block, Johnny Hagan, and New Cal super junior Noic Garioud. → READ MORE
They say there’s “something in the water” in Australia. The sparsely-populated
country continent has somehow managed to produce a significant chunk of the world’s best paddlers over the past decade despite having a population half the size of California. But for all the talent, one thing Australia seems to lack is international events. There are plenty of grassroots clubs and regional events that keep the sport ticking along, but Australia has never matched Europe or the U.S. when it comes to marquee events. There are really only two — 12 Towers and King of the Cut. And the former is happening this weekend.
The 12 Towers is probably the longest-running stand up paddle event in Australia. And it’s arguably the most prestigious. Since 2012, a who’s who of paddling royalty have claimed the title, from Travis Grant to Titouan Puyo to Michael Booth to Terrene Black and Karla Gilbert.
Who will add their name to the famous trophy this year? You’ll find out on Sunday as we bring you the 12 Towers ocean race LIVE from Australia’s Gold Coast. → READ MORE
In an announcement that will surely spread delight among the international ocean paddling community, one of the toughest races in the world just got a lot easier (and a lot more fun). The famous Air France Paddle Festival, long known as the premiere international race on an island long known as the world’s premiere paddling nation, has changed course this year. Literally.
The infamous 23km long distance race, an often flat-water affair whose hot, brutal conditions have eaten the world’s best paddlers alive over the years, is now an 18km downwinder. There’s also a foil race added to the schedule alongside the 8km open race (which will remain a largely flat-water course inside the lagoon). → READ MORE
No words required. Just watch this drone footage from the GlaGla Race mass start and enjoy the spectacle that was “the gathering” in the French Alps on Saturday (thanks to the drone hero: @yoannaerostudioproduction)
GlaGla! 🥶 Congratulations Sonni Hönscheid, Titouan Puyo and every single one of the record 637 paddlers who completed a memorable bucket list race around Lake Annecy here in the freezing cold but very sunny French Alps today! 🇫🇷🗻🌞 The 2020 GlaGla Race was something truly special with a gigantic start line creating an amazing sight at the beginning of the race and an extraordinary final 500 metres from Titou producing an exciting finish 💥
Titou seemed to be out of contention as his NSP teammate Ty Judson along with Leo Nika and Tom Auner set a scintillating pace with 1km to go, but despite rounding the final 500 metre buoy in sixth place, the New Caledonian somehow found a better line to the finish and snuck into the lead with 100 metres to go. It was such a clever move that we didn’t even realise on the live stream commentary that he’d replaced his teammate at the front. An incredible victory. Great to see darkhorses such as Portugal’s Renato Queiros, Ukraine’s Oleksii Sidenko and French junior Marius Auber all cracking the top 10.
Sonni defended her title in the women’s race with a signature powerhouse performance 💪 The German was ultimately too strong for Fiona Wylde, while French darkhorse Fanny Tessier showed she’ll be one to watch this year. We’re sorry we couldn’t show more of the women’s race on the live stream, something we’ll try hard to fix for next year…
Thank you everyone who watched online in record numbers, and a big “merci beaucoup” to ‘8 Mont Blanc’ TV for producing the show and providing us with epic live drone footage. And thank you to Benoit Mouren and all his team for organising such a special event.
1. Titouan Puyo 🇫🇷🇳🇨 1:24:56
2. Leo Nika 🇮🇹 1:25:01
3. Tom Auber 🇫🇷 1:25:02
4. Ty Judson 🇦🇺 1:25:09
5. Martin Vitry 🇫🇷 1:25:11
6. Normen Weber 🇩🇪 1:25:27
7. Renato Queiros 🇵🇹 1:26:07
8. Ludovic Teulade 🇫🇷 1:26:08
9. Oleksii Sidenko 🇺🇦 1:26:36
10. Marius Auber 🇫🇷 1:26:47
1. Sonni Hönscheid 🇩🇪 1:34:18
2. Fiona Wylde 🇫🇷 1:35:00
3. Fanny Tessier 🇫🇷 1:35:16
4. Olivia Piana 🇫🇷 1:37:30
5. Ella Oesterholt 🇳🇱 1:38:13
6. Siri Schubert 🇨🇭 1:38:41
7. Anna Tschirky 🇨🇭 1:40:36
8. Alex Tyrer 🇬🇧 1:43:02
9. Erica Revil 1:43:26
10. Tanja Ecker 🇩🇪 1:43:41
It can be hard to comprehend until you experience it for yourself, but there’s a freezing-cold lake in the French Alps that’s home to one of the biggest races in the world. The humble-yet-mighty “GlaGla Race” has snowballed over the years into the first big gathering of the season, and this year a record 620 paddlers have signed up for the ice-cold adventure.
The term “glagla” basically means “teeth-chattering cold” in French, and this year isn’t going to disappoint. The temperature will drop to -7°C (19°F) on Saturday evening, though during the race it’ll be a relatively mild +4°C (39°F).
But if you can’t make it to beautiful Lake Annecy, or if you just prefer to retain the feeling in your toes when you paddle, you can sit back and watch the 2020 GlaGla Race from the warm comfort of your own home on Saturday. → READ MORE
The first major race of the season is just over a week away. Join us in the French Alps for the massive “GlaGla Race” — I’ll be dusting off the baguette microphone and live-streaming the big gathering on The Paddle League from 10am on Saturday the 18th January.
Here’s a beautiful recap from the latest round of the Alpine Lakes Tour in Europe.
A few weeks ago, the Tour premiered a new concept called the “Alpine Paradise Race” high up in the Italian Alps. Competitors had to hike through the wilderness just to get to the start line, with the pre- and post-race festivities taking place in a mountain refuge hut. → READ MORE
Apparently there’s a 50-year-old Glenfiddich single malt Scotch whiskey that sells for £30,000 a bottle. We might have to increase the budget of the Great Glen Challenge next year, because I’m pretty sure that drink was the only thing we could have offered Nessie to calm her down on Sunday.
The Loch Ness Monster was angry this year, and the mythical creature vented her fury on 70 stand up paddlers that dared enter her watery domain in the highlands of Scotland. What was forecast to be a 92km (57 mile) paddle through calm, beautiful countryside turned into a brutal test of strength, stamina and sheer grit as Nessie whipped up howling headwinds on her home waters. → READ MORE
Just when you thought the SUP racing season might be winding down, BANG!
It looks like the next two days will be the biggest weekend of the year as six international events take centre stage. From Scotland to Sardinia and Osaka to the Alps, let’s call it “Super Saturday” in September (even though one of these events insists on running Sunday).
Here’s what to keep an eye on. → READ MORE
In brief: Bruno Hasuluyo has claimed his third SUP 11-City Tour title and Lena Ribeiro her second after an epic week of paddling around the Dutch province of Friesland. → READ MORE