Flight of Les Cagous: Noic, Titou and Clement on top as New Caledonia dominates French Championships

The ‘kagu’ is a bird native to the islands of New Caledonia. Known as cagou in French and nicknamed the “ghost of the forest” due to its ash-white coat, it has become the symbol of the island’s sporting teams who often compete under the banner of ‘Les Cagous’ (“The Kagus”). It’s a somewhat ironic mascot though — the cagou is almost flightless, yet three of the island’s athletes have reached such great heights.

On a chilly Saturday in the French region of Creuse, on an artificial lake more than 200km from the nearest ocean, the New Caledonian trio of Noïc Garioud, Titouan Puyo and Clement Colmas finished 1, 2 and 3 at the French Distance Championships. The race was held 17,000 kilometres away from the postcard-perfect lagoon that surrounds the main island of New Caledonia (which is an overseas “collective territory” of France), but Les Cagous looked right at home on the water.   → READ MORE

Who else wants to paddle 100km next week? Australia’s ‘Clarence 100’ ultra-marathon goes virtual

If you’ve been following SUP Racer’s coverage of the ultras and thought to yourself, “I’d also like to suffer,” then this is your lucky week. Because next weekend, October 8-10, there’s going to be a special, virtual edition of the Clarence 100 that anyone in the world can join.

The Clarence 100 is a three-day, ultra-marathon stage race in Australia. It’s usually held on the Clarence River in October and sees hundreds of skis and SUPs make the pilgrimage through the Clarence Valley through the inland farm country all the way down to the ocean. It’s a great event and a perfect distance if you’re an ultra-endurance rookie: The 100 is long enough to give you a real mental & physical test but short enough that any half-fit paddler can still complete it (eventually).    → READ MORE

ULTRA CHAMPIONS: Paul Cox, Joe Mann win the ‘Great Alabama 650’ in record time of 4 days, 17 hours

Atlanta’s Paul Cox and Joe Mann from Kansas City have conquered this year’s wild, crazy, beautiful Great Alabama 650 to defend their event title and set an extraordinary new race record of 4 days, 17 hours, 04 minutes.

As the sun rose over the finish line at historic Fort Morgan on the edge of the Gulf on a windy Thursday morning, Paul & Joe took their final strokes to complete a victory that will take a Herculean effort to better.

These guys led from start to finish in a masterclass performance, opening up a 10-mile gap on day one (Saturday) and spending as much time racing the clock as their rivals. But in a climactic finish to a wild race, the leaders were almost overtaken on the home stretch by two-time solo champ Bobby Johnson and his new tandem partner Rod Price who roared back into late contention.   → READ MORE

Welcome to the ‘Great Alabama 650’ — 10 days of beauty and madness in the deep south

When you think of paddling in the United States, you probably see images of Hood River in Oregon, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina or the original home of the sport at Dana Point, California.

Alabama ain’t going to be on your list. But after you find out what’s happening there over the next 10 days, it probably will be. Because tomorrow begins the longest annual paddle race in the world: The Great Alabama 650.   → READ MORE

Ultra Month: 715 kilometres down, 1248 to go…

Niek van der Linde paddled 23 hours through the fields of Friesland, Emmanuelle Marcon flowed down the Dordogne river in France for 11 hours, and somewhere in the remote wetlands of upstate New York, canoe teams completed their own 145km quest in times between 12 and 22 hours.

September is “Ultra Month” with seven adventures in four countries totalling almost 2,000 kilometres across the span of just 22 days. Four “races” were completed last week, so we’ve already paddled 715km yet still have a mind-boggling 1,248km to go (or, for our American friends that refuse to adopt metric: “444 miles down, 775 to go…”).   → READ MORE

Dutch duo Joep van Bakel and Ella Oesterhelt have won the SUP 11-City Tour

In brief: After five days and more than 200 kilometres of paddling through the fields of Friesland, Joep van Bakel has claimed the 2021 SUP 11-City Tour to become the first men’s champion from the host nation since Bart de Zwart in 2014. Joep was kept honest all week by the dark horse Belgian Kjell de Bruyn who finished just two minutes behind after nearly 22 hours total paddling. The result completes Joep’s rise through the 11 Cities ranks after finishing fourth in 2018 and runner-up in both 2019 and 2020.

Ella Oesterhelt defended her comfortable lead over Germany’s Tanja Ecker on the final stage Sunday – the 27km time trial from Dokkum back to Leeuwarden – to claim her maiden 11 Cities crown and join a long line of Dutchwomen who have saluted at this event, including race founder Anne-Marie Reichmann, Janneke Smits and Petronella van Malsen.

Click here for the full podiums and check sup11citytour.com later today for the final times of every finisher. Congratulations to everyone who conquered the “Mt. Everest of SUP”!