Air France: Marcus Hansen Produces Stunning Comeback to Defeat Michael Booth and the Tahitian Warriors at First Stop of The Paddle League World Tour

Marcus Hansen has announced himself as a genuine contender on the international stage, producing a stunning comeback for Team NSP to overpower Starboard’s Michael Booth and defeat a big field of Tahitian Warriors at the Air France Paddle Festival.

As the first stop on The Paddle League World Tour, the 5th Annual Air France race drew a strong international crowd to compete against the Tahitians, and the battle royale didn’t disappoint. With weather that can only be described as too good, paddlers were met with mercilessly-hot blue skies, light winds and high humidity for a challenge that tested both physical and mental limits.

But in the end it was Marcus who conquered the torture chamber, saluting in an event that produced several rollercoaster stories.    → READ MORE

The ‘Top 17 of 2017’ – These guys were the best paddlers in the world this year.

Gorge Paddle Challenge
SUP Racer quietly celebrated its 6th birthday a couple of weeks ago (time flies), and if one thing has defined this site over the past half a dozen years it’s the world analysis.

I love analysing this sport. It all began with one of the earliest posts on the site: The Top 11 of 2011. That story got a lot of attention and helped kickstart SUP Racer as we know it, and from there it followed with year-end “best of” lists in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

And now it’s time for the Top 17 of 2017…   → READ MORE

Next Stop… The Netherlands for the Epic “11 City Tour” Five Day Stage Race (UPDATED)

SUP 11 City Tour

We’re currently on the road from Denmark to the rural Dutch province of Friesland for one of the most epic and challenging events of the year: the five day, five stage, 200km SUP 11 City Tour.

To long-time readers of SUP Racer, the 11 Cities needs no introduction. It’s one of the classics on the calendar, offering bold competitors a challenge that is as much a mental test as it is a physical one.

Now in its 9th year, that mental test gets even tougher with the introduction of individual time trials, which will cement this race’s reputation as the “Tour de France of SUP.”   → 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

Yoann Cronsteadt Upsets Tahiti’s Finest to Win Air France Paddle Festival; Sonni Hönscheid Women’s Champ (Full Results)

Air-France-Paddle-Festival-TahitiIn brief: Yoann Cronsteadt has upset the titans of Tahitian stand up paddling to claim the 2-star Air France Paddle Festival ahead of his well-known brother Georges and fellow internationals Steeve Teihotaata and Rete Ebb, while Sonni Honscheid has saluted in the women’s race.

Click through to see the full results from Tahiti…   → READ MORE

11 City Tour: Bruno Hasulyo, Seychelle Hattingh Conquer ‘The Ultimate Challenge’ in the Netherlands (UPDATED)

11 City Tour stage 4
Starboard’s Bruno Hasulyo (Hungary) and Mistral’s Seychelle Hattingh (USA) have conquered “The Ultimate Challenge” after five days and more than 200kms of (125 miles) of paddling through the Dutch countryside, winning the 8th Annual SUP 11 City Tour to add another chapter to the story of this unique and very special race.

After establishing a big lead on the first stage, Bruno and his brother Daniel spent the next four days defending their advantage against reigning champ Steeve Teihotaata (Mistral/Tahiti), while Italian Martino Rogai (Jimmy Lewis) and New Zealand’s Marcus Hansen (NSP) were the other top five standouts.   → READ MORE

Battle of the Brands – Lost Mills Edition: Titouan Puyo’s Heroics Help Team NSP Edge Past Naish

Battle of the Brands 2016 Lost Mills

Following the big Battle of Bavaria on Saturday, there’s been plenty of movement on the Battle of the Brands leaderboard. The big news is that NSP has edged past Naish to take over the number 2 ranking, with Titouan Puyo putting in a heroic performance on the weekend to defend his Lost Mills points from 2015.

Titou finished runner-up at the Lost Mills last year but almost didn’t race on the weekend after battling illness all week. But not only did he take his place on the start line, he battled all the way to the finish with Michael Booth and Connor Baxter, ensuring he held onto almost all of his points from 2015 and allowing NSP to move past the yellow boards from Maui.

Other big movers include Team Hobie, who’s been very well represented on the EuroTour so far, and Team Mistral, who crack the Top 15 thanks to big efforts from Seychelle Hattingh and Steeve Teihotaata. Take a look at the full Battle of the Brands Leaderboard

WATCH: Highlights from the SUP Race Cup in St. Maxime (EuroTour Week 3)

Video St. Maxime SUP Race Cup 2016Check out the full highlights reel from the French Riviera, where the 7th Annual SUP Race Cup in St. Maxime marked Week 3 of the 2016 EuroTour presented by Starboard.

Most of the footage focuses on the 15k distance race on Sunday, where Michael Booth paddled away from the all-star field to announce himself as a genuine contender on the world stage.    → READ MORE

World Rankings Update: Michael Booth Goes Top 20 after Strong Showing in St. Maxime

St Maxime SUP Race Cup EuroTourFollowing a fun weekend of racing on the French Riviera, we’ve seen a bit of movement on the SUP Racer World Rankings.

On the men’s Top 100 leaderboard, the machine of St. Maxime, Michael Booth from Australia, jumps +18 spots to crack the world’s top 20 for the first time. And he’s almost guaranteed to rise even further at the big Lost Mills showdown next weekend…    → READ MORE

EuroTour Week 3: Michael Booth Surges to Victory on Day 2 in St. Maxime; Baxter, Hönscheid Win Overall

Michael Booth St Maxime EuroTour
Australia’s Michael Booth has officially ditched his “dark horse” label, winning the long distance race here in St. Maxime with a commanding performance that saw him finish a minute clear of Connor Baxter, Titouan Puyo and Steeve Teihotaata.

Boothy broke the elite field at around the 4km mark and paddled for more than an hour on his own to claim a memorable victory. Click through for a full recap, overall results and replay of the live stream…   → READ MORE

Updates to the World Rankings following Big Races in Japan and Tahiti (plus ISA Worlds Dropped)

Stand Up Paddling World Rankings SUP
Following the 4-star Victoria Cup in Japan and the 2-star Air France Paddle Festival in Tahiti, there have been some big changes to the SUP Racer World Rankings.

The big movers this week: Victoria Cup champ Casper Steinfath leapfrogs Mo Freitas, Kai Lenny and Danny Ching Lenny into the #4 spot, his highest ever world ranking. Steeve Teihotaata debuts in the Top 100 at #52 following his victory over Titouan Puyo and the titans of Tahiti on Saturday, while runner-up Rete Ebb is another big mover.

There were plenty of other changes this week, so check out the latest World Rankings for more. Further compounding the leaderboard changes: The 2015 ISA Worlds just hit its 12 month expiration date, which means it was dropped from the rankings database this week.

Steeve Teihotaata Defeats Titouan Puyo and the Titans of Tahiti to Win the Air France Paddle Festival (Updated with Full Results)

Air France Paddle FestivalSteeve Teihotaata has taken out the 2016 Air France Paddle Festival in Tahiti, defeating hot favourite Titouan Puyo as well as fellow Tahitian titans Rete Ebb, Georges Cronsteadt and Tamarua Cowan to announce himself as a genuine contender on the international stage.

Following two hours of downwind and flat water paddling around Tahiti’s north-west coast, and after a close battle first with both Titou and Rete, Steeve produced an amazing performance over the final kilometre, pulling clear to win in a time of 1:58:17, one minute clear of a tight race for second.   → READ MORE

The Dark Horses: 16 Paddlers to Watch in 2016

James Casey stand up paddleboardingThese are exciting times for the world of stand up paddle racing, with fresh faces and new names set to energise the sport and shake up the world rankings this year.

With dozens of world class athletes crossing over from other sports and a new generation of hungry juniors eager to prove themselves, I believe we’re on the verge of a new wave of elite paddling talent. So with the first major race of the season just six days away, it’s time for a bit of crystal ball gazing to predict who will make the biggest leap up the leaderboard in 2016.   → READ MORE

Top 15 of 2015: The Most Popular Videos of the Year

2015-stand-up-paddling-videosAs the year draws to a close and we reflect back on 12 months of paddling adventures, one thing that stands out is just how many awesome SUP videos were released in 2015.

From Carolina to Oregon to Doheny to Paris to Perth and virtually everywhere in between, there have been a tonne of awesome edits from the paddling community this year. Here are 15 of the best…   → READ MORE

Watch the 11 City Tour in All Its Grand Glory

SUP-11-City-Tour-videoIf you’re not too busy for the next 47 minutes and 58 seconds, sit back and watch this very good (and very comprehensive) recap of the 11 City Tour.

Courtesy of indie filmmaker Greg Fulks, this reel does a great job of capturing the spirit of the 11 Cities, one of the longest and toughest races in the sport. The 2015 edition was a particular challenge, with brutal winds and piercing rain hammering competitors at certain points (we’ll never forget the morning of stage 2…).   → READ MORE

WATCH: Inside the World’s Greatest Paddling Team

EDT va'a Tahiti outrigger canoe paddlingIf your knowledge of the paddling world ends when the words “stand up” are dropped from the equation, probably not. But if you’ve ever spent five minutes in the world of outrigger canoeing (or its Tahitian equivalent, va’a), the name “EDT” instantly conjures up images of a team filled with mythical ocean warriors that win virtually every race they enter.

If you’re interested to know more about these warriors, you can now watch this great little documentary that’s full of insights into how Team EDT trains and competes, and why they’re just so damn good.   → READ MORE