Travis Grant has outlasted Hawaii’s Connor Baxter to defend his Molokai-2-Oahu title and claim a fourth crown in the world’s most prestigious paddleboard race, while fellow Aussie Terrene Black has saluted for the second time after overpowering three-time champ Sonni Honscheid in a fantastic battle across the infamous ‘Channel of Bones’. → READ MORE
And just like that, it’s the end of July. Where has this season gone? It seems like only yesterday we were freezing in the French Alps and getting ready to launch The Paddle League. Now it’s the end of July, the season is well over half done, and it’s suddenly time for the big one: Molokai.
The 32-mile, open-ocean channel crossing between the Hawaiian islands of Molokai and Oahu has grown to become the most prestigious (and arguably: most challenging) race in the sport of paddleboarding, whether that be standing up or laying down. And this year is set to be a cracker, with a stacked field and promising conditions lining up to create a monumental showdown for this six-star specialty event.
Race day is Sunday, but in the meantime, here’s a quick look at the top contenders for this year’s Molokai crown. → 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
The seemingly-unstoppable Sonni Hönscheid stands on the brink of history at home in Germany this weekend, with the Starboard Dream Team rider set to clinch The Paddle League World Title if she’s victorious on Sunday afternoon.
After a barnstorming Season 2018 that’s already included wins in Tahiti, Carolina, Hawaii, Japan and France, Sonni can close the door on the title race with a win at the Mercedes-Benz SUP World Cup in Scharbeutz. → 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
In brief: Sonni Honscheid has continued her unbeaten streak in season 2018 to five events after claiming the Kerama Blue Cup on Japan’s Zamami Island. Sonni was too strong yet again, however yesterday’s win wasn’t as dominant as her previous four after home nation hero Yuka Sato gave the German some serious competition.
Seychelle hung on against a fast-finishing Lina Augaitis to claim third step on the podium, while number two seed Fiona Wylde faded late to finish fifth. → READ MORE
In brief: Sonni Honscheid has continued her unbeaten run in Season 2018 by claiming the 2-star Bluesmiths Paddle Imua charity downwinder on Maui this weekend, claiming her second win on the Maliko run in the space of six days and further cementing her status as the woman to beat on The Paddle League.
With Maui’s signature winds going virtually silent for the second week in a row, the famed Maliko downwind run once again turned into an 8-mile grind, with finishing times well outside the race records. → READ MORE
Connor Baxter and Sonni Honscheid have reclaimed their OluKai crowns in tough conditions on Maui today, with light winds and big seas providing a mighty challenge for both competitors and organisers of the 10th Annual Ho’olaule’a, the third stop of the 2018 Paddle League World Tour.
Connor held off a four-pronged Aussie invasion to defeat defending champ James Casey, perennial OluKai bridesmaid Travis Grant, dark horse Ty Judson and ocean master Matt Nottage to secure his sixth OluKai belt and restart his World Title campaign after disappointing results in Carolina and Tahiti. → READ MORE
In brief: Sonni Hönscheid has shown she’ll be very hard to stop in the hunt for The Paddle League World Title this season, taking out today’s Quiksilver Waterman Carolina Cup and recording her second straight victory after a similarly-dominant display in Tahiti two weeks ago.
Despite going up against one of the strongest women’s fields ever assembled, Sonni was in a class of her own today. She reeled in the fast-starting Fiona Wylde after the first mile before breaking away 30 minutes later and paddling the final eight miles solo. The German powerhouse crossed the line three minutes clear of impressive runner-up Olivia Piana while Fiona was all smiles in third.
There were fantastic performances right throughout the field, with most competitors describing the conditions as “fun” despite the grueling nature of the ‘Graveyard’ course. Strong north-east winds whipped up solid downwind bumps for the final three miles, with hometown hero April Zilg looking strong in fourth place and fast-finishing Seychelle rounding out the elite top five.
More to come…
German powerhouse Sonni Honscheid has flexed her muscles and shown she’s a genuine contender for The Paddle League World Title this year, dominating the women’s field in sweltering conditions to claim back-to-back Air France Paddle Festival titles in Tahiti.
Sonni broke the field in the opening 10 minutes and paddled solo right around the 24km course, setting up a clean sweep of the podium for Team Starboard as Japanese dark horse Yuka Sato finished and impressive third and the gutsy Fiona Wylde outlasted Olivia Piana to claim third. → READ MORE
Go behind the scenes at “boot Düsseldorf” aka one of the world’s biggest boat shows, which is held in Germany in the depths of winter each January.
The German-speaking vlogger turned Maui local, Mike Jucker, was on the scene and caught up with the likes of Bernd Roediger, Fiona Wylde, Casper Steinfath, Sonni Honscheid and Zane Schweitzer as some of paddling’s biggest names got stuck into the indoor wave pool and other assorted expo festivities.
As with all of Mike’s vlogs, this is well worth a watch if you want to go behind the scenes in our sport.
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
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
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