The 12 biggest stories from the past 24 days

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

“I’m pumped!” — Shak’s back as underdog Aussies aim to defend ISA teams title in China.

Yesterday we took a look at Team Australia, the squad that will be seeking a mind-boggling sixth teams title (out of a possible seven) at the ISA Worlds in China later this month. I also did some light analysis of the lineup.

The big news is that Terrene Black and Shakira Westdorp will be competing in every single SUP discipline this year, both surfing and racing, as the two-time defending teams champions (and five-time overall winners) look to retain their title against Teams France and USA.

Here’s how the humble superstar is feeling about this year’s event…   → READ MORE

Analysis: Are the Aussies still unbeatable?

Today, Team Australia’s lineup for the ISA Worlds in China (Nov 23 – Dec 2) was revealed. The five-time champions always start favourites for the overall teams title, however 2018 could be their toughest challenge since the U.S. Dream Team briefly stole their crown in 2015, with the French looking particularly strong.

Here’s some light analysis of the squad.   → READ MORE

ISA Worlds: Aussie Shakira Westdorp and Brazilian Luiz Diniz Win SUP Surfing Gold

ISA Worlds
Shak goes back-to-back: Australia’s Shakira Westdorp has defended her surfing gold medal here at the ISA Worlds in Denmark, repeating her heroics from Fiji 12 months ago to give Team Australia 1000 valuable team points after outlasting France’s Justine Dupont.

Brazil’s unheralded new superstar Luiz Diniz took out the men’s final after surfing in a different league all day, with Aussie Harry Maskell falling just one step short of giving the Aussies a golden double. Interestingly: Brazil, Australia and France all featured surfers in both the men’s and women’s finals.    → READ MORE

Quickblade Pays Tribute To The Awesome Payette River Games

Payette River Games SUP videoThe Payette River Games may have been put on ice for now, but the memories will last a lifetime. The 2015 event was a classic, and now you can relive the event with this great recap from Quickblade Paddles.

The clip, courtesy of Pat Myers, has plenty of insights from the QB athletes, including Shakira Westdorp, Kelly Margetts, Anthony Vela, Chase Kosterlitz and Candice Appleby, plus a very special mention for Jonas Leteiri, a double amputee from Brazil who inspired everyone in Idaho with his skill, spirit and determination.   → READ MORE

Michael Booth, Karla Gilbert Win The 12 Towers Ocean Race

12-towers-stand-up-paddleboard-raceAfter the original date in February was postponed thanks to Cyclone Marcia, the 12 Towers race was held today in far more inviting conditions. This was the 4th annual running of the 12 Towers, which has become the biggest race on the paddling-rich but event-starved mecca of Queensland’s Gold Coast.

A few of the top names were missing but there was still some very strong talent in the field, including one of the fastest ocean racers in the world, Beau O’Brian and the Ironwoman Queen Karla Gilbert. However it was a couple of upstarts that took the top two spots…   → READ MORE

Jake Jensen, Shakira Westdorp Win The Noosa Festival Of Surfing BOP Race

Stand-Up-Paddling-Race-Noosa-Festival-of-SurfingShakira Westdorp and Jake Jensen have taken out the Battle of the Paddle-style SUP race at the Noosa Festival of Surfing today. With 70 paddlers lining up and conditions perfect, this looked like it was a classic race.

Small 1-2ft waves, light winds and blue sunny skies made for a fun but hard fought contest. Jake, currently ranked #4 in the world, came home to take the win just ahead of rising talent James Casey, while his older brother, Jayden Jensen, was less than half a minute adrift in 3rd.    → READ MORE

#comebackshak: Why Shakira Westdorp Was The #1 Athlete At The Worlds (And How She’d Be A Contender At The BOP)

2014 ISA Worlds Nicaragua Final Day (6)Australia’s Shakira Westdorp was the best all-round athlete at the ISA Worlds in Nicaragua. No question. An amazing performance, where she scored four medals across both surfing and racing, showed just how strong this humble paddler is and what could be in store if Shak ever wanted to take racing seriously.

After reaching the final of her preferred SUP surfing, the Aussie defied expectations to claim silver in the distance and then go one better in both the short course and team relay. As Shak said in her own words: “I came here to win the surfing but ended up winning the race… Can’t believe it!”

So now how about the Battle of the Paddle?   → READ MORE

ISA Worlds Day 8: Shakira Westdorp Wins Hard Fought Gold, Casper Steinfath Channels His Inner Viking While Team Australia Make It A Three-Peat

ISA World SUP Championship - Team Australia
And that’s a wrap.

The 2014 ISA World StandUp Paddle and Paddleboard Championship has officially come to a close. Congratulations to Team Australia for making it three in a row, though everybody who competed this week deserves a round of applause. Massive event and a lot of fun here in Nicaragua.

As exciting as it was to watch the powerhouse nations put on a show, it was just as good to witness how many emerging paddleboard nations there are. Over 200 athletes from 27 nations came to Nicaragua, and as ISA President Fernando Aguerre point out after the event, this is quickly becoming the ISA’s biggest event in terms of countries competing. It’s a very good sign for the future of the sport.

Thank you for the hospitality Nicaragua. See you somewhere next year… But in the meantime here’s a full recap, results and pics of the final day, plus my takeaways from the event in general.   → READ MORE