San Sebastian: Olivia Piana overpowers Queen Sonni, Boothy wins epic duel with Titou in one of the best races of the year…

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

Zamami: Sonni Honscheid Goes Five Straight; Connor Baxter Outlasts Young Gun Garioud

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

Sonni Honscheid and Aussie dark horse Ty Judson have won the Bluesmiths ‘Paddle Imua’ charity downwinder on Maui

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

The King and Queen Are BACK: Connor Baxter, Sonni Honscheid Win Grueling OluKai Ho’olaule’a on Maui (RESULTS)

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

Sonni Hönscheid Dominates Elite Field, Claims Second Straight World Tour Victory

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…

Sonni Hönscheid Tames the Tahitian Sun to Defend Her Air France Paddle Festival Title

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

Winter Wave Pools: Mike Jucker’s Behind-the-Scenes Vlog from Germany’s Biggest Boat Show

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.

The Top 17 Women of 2017: Here are the fastest women on the water.

Pacific paddle games

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 Claims First Gold of the ISA Worlds in Denmark Ahead of Sonni, Olivia and Fiona (UPDATED)

ISA

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

Michael Booth and Olivia Piana Win Week 8 of the EuroTour at the SUP World Cup in Germany (UPDATED)

Michael-BoothIn 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

Warriors on the March: Tahitians Dominate the Lost Mills as Steeve Teihotaata and Sonni Honscheid Claim Victory

Lost MillsIn brief: As if we needed any more of a reminder that Tahiti’s powerful paddling warriors are on the verge of dominating long distance SUP racing in the same way they’ve done for years in the outrigger world, just take a look at the Lost Mills results from the weekend where Tahiti claimed all four top spots courtesy of Steeve Teihotaata, Georges Cronsteadt, Enzo Bennett and Bruno Tauhiro.

Going a couple of spots better than they did in Carolina, where Georges was 3rd and Steeve finished 4th, Tahiti’s star duo were clearly too strong for everyone else in the field except for fellow Tahitian Enzo Bennett, better known as a sprinter but clearly someone who has some endurance potential after he hung onto the lead pack right to the line.   → READ MORE

Michael Booth, Olivia Piana Win Week 6 of the EuroTour in Bilbao

BilbaoMichael Booth has taken a virtually unassailable lead in the race for the 2017 EuroTour championship title, with the Aussie powerhouse claiming his second straight win at the Bilbao Paddle Challenge as key rivals Connor Baxter and Titouan Puyo faultered.

After a hectic start in front of Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum, where several of the main contenders were boxed out by a deep field of European dark horses, Boothy soon moved to the front and controlled much of the 14km course up and down the central city river.    → READ MORE

Thonon: Michael Booth, Sonni Honscheid Claim the Crossing from Switzerland to France (Full Results)

EuroTour

In brief: Michael Booth has cemented his reputation as the strongest stand up paddler on the planet, taking out week 5 of the EuroTour in impressive fashion after breaking an elite field that included Connor Baxter, Titouan Puyo, Georges Cronsteadt, Mo Freitas and many more of the world’s best.

After the opening stages of the race were marked by the presence of rival draft trains spread out in parallel, the contest soon settled down into a more traditional draft train, with the front pack at one point turning into an unsustainable 21-man convoy.

Boothy broke the field relatively early today – at about the 4km mark of the 18km crossing between Switzerland and France – and would never be caught, slowly extending his lead all the way back to the finish line in the host town of Thonon-les-Bains.   → READ MORE

EuroTour Week 4: Connor Too Good for Boothy and Titou; Sonni Holds on against Olivia Piana in Hossegor (Updated Full Results)

Hossegor Paddle Games - Olivia Piana

Connor Baxter has just won the Beach Race to make it a clean sweep of the weekend and claim the 2017 Hossegor Paddle Games overall title ahead of his key EuroTour rivals and fellow world-beaters Michael Booth and Titouan Puyo.

In the women’s, Frenchwoman Olivia Piana showed her true potential to take out the beach race ahead of yesterday’s winner Sonni Honscheid. But Olivia fell painfully short of the overall title, losing to Sonni by just 3 seconds on the tie-breaker time countback.   → READ MORE