It was around the 44km mark that I looked up and realised, to my horror, I was quite literally paddling backwards.
After more than six hours on the water, and wearing a t-shirt comically ill-suited for such extreme conditions, my body and mind were both screaming out for me to stop whatever I was doing and immediately seek shelter from this nightmarish headwind, piercing rain and bitter cold. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. Just get the bloody hell off this lake and into some dry warm clothes, you idiot.
Unfortunately for my body, mind, and self in general, that lake was in the middle of nowhere in one of the Netherlands’ most remote provinces. And I was in the middle of a race. → READ MORE
Daniel Hasulyo has shown that both of the Hasulyo Brothers are world beaters, matching brother Bruno’s heroics in Denmark by destroying the individual time trial on the final day of the 2017 SUP 11 City Tour presented by Mistral to claim victory in one of the toughest races on the planet, and in doing so give Team Starboard back-to-back 1-2 finishes in what was a grueling race even by 11 Cities standards.
Italy’s rising dark horse Martino Rogai was third, while Tahitian va’a superstar Rete Ebb finished the week strong for Team Mistral by picking up a third in the time trial that saw him take fourth overall.
Brazil’s Lena Ribeiro came home third in today’s 27km race against the clock, however the Brazilian had done enough hard work early in the week to maintain her lead all the way to the finish. Lena edged out her Mistral team mate Petronella van Malsen, with the home nation hero accepting the runner-up spot for the second year in a row. → READ MORE
Nine brave paddlers have survived gale force winds and extreme exhaustion to complete the epic, 200+ kilometre “Non-Stop” 11 City Tour around the Dutch province of Friesland this week, as finishing times ranged from 24 to 32 hours while several others were forced to abandon their quests.
Dutchman Niek van der Linde won in a remarkable time of 23 hours 59 minutes and 48 seconds, coming home almost an hour ahead of 11 Cities veteran and pre-race favourite Bart de Zwart, while Frenchman Olivier Darrieumerlou finished runner-up for the second time after completing his odyssey in 24 hours 14 minutes.
Former champion of the five-day race Janneke Smits was the sole woman to finish the non-stop challenge this year, crossing the line after 31 cold and grueling hours out on the water. → READ MORE
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
The countdown to “The Ultimate Challenge” in the world of stand up paddling is officially on: we’re just 100 days away from the 9th Annual SUP 11 City Tour, the adventure race that pushes paddlers to the limit both physically and mentally through five long stages across five very long days.
Covering 220km, the 11 Cities has become an iconic part of the racing calendar by offering a unique event that is as much a personal challenge as it is a race. From September 13th-17th, paddlers from across Europe and all around the world are going to wind their way through the rural Dutch province of Friesland while experiencing a rollercoaster of emotions: you will love and hate the 11 Cities at the same time. → READ MORE
The European Summer of SUP has been a blast so far, but most of my time has been spent on the media boat following the action rather than being part of it. It’s been a hell of a lotta fun, but I’ve also been itching to get out from behind the live stream camera and onto the water.
That all changes next week, because I just signed up for the Vuelta Ibiza – the five day, 125km stage race that’s basically a smaller, warmer version of the famed 11 City Tour. → READ MORE
Two weeks ago, I sent out a survey to each of the world’s top-ranked paddlers asking which events they’d be competing in this year. The goal was to paint a picture of the biggest races in the world, which I think is not only an interesting insight for everyone in the sport to analyse, it also helps me to set clear ‘star ratings’ that will produce an ever more accurate World Rankings leaderboard.
Here are the results… → READ MORE
Up for a unique paddling adventure next June? Want to spend a week on a beautiful island in the Mediterranean? Of course you do, and now here’s your chance.
The Vuelta Ibiza, a little-known but very enticing race on the Spanish island of the same name, has just partnered with the classic SUP 11 City Tour to create a double header of epic stage races in Europe next year. → READ MORE
I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of team racing in sports that are otherwise an individual pursuit.
For example, I never really understood the Tour de France growing up and in turn never much cared for it. But after watching it closely one summer and understanding how it all works, I came to be fascinated by the spectacle. And there’s surely nothing more fascinating in the Tour de France than the teams.
So why don’t we see the same thing in SUP racing? → READ MORE
The epic adventure that is the SUP 11 City Tour has been completed for another year, however the memories will linger long.
The 8th annual edition of this iconic race saw records on all fronts, from the massive participation (almost 200) to the number of countries represented (27) to the incredible amount of sunshine the competitors were bathed in (the weather was perfect this year), this small, rural corner of the Netherlands certainly turned it on over the past week. → READ MORE
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
Boss Man’s note: Yesterday I previewed the SUP 11 City Tour, aka “The Ultimate Challenge”, the classic five day stage race that begins tomorrow in the Netherlands. It’s one of the grandest events in the world of stand up paddling.
But while I’ve had a bit of experience with this race myself, absolutely nobody can match the experience of Bart de Zwart, the four-time champion who tomorrow will line up for his eighth-straight 11 City Tour; he’s been there every year since this race began way back in 2009. So on the eve of the race, I asked Bart to share some of his personal insights into what makes this race unique and special. Here’s what he had to say… → READ MORE
“The Ultimate Challenge” is about to begin again. On Wednesday morning, a hundred odd paddlers will be gathered on the water in Leeuwarden, a small city in the rural Dutch province of Friesland. Staring down in front of them will be 220 kilometres (136 miles) of canals and lakes, along with eleven cities (or mostly towns) that make up one of the most special races in the world of stand up paddling: The SUP 11 City Tour.
Now in its eighth year, the 11 Cities has grown to become one of the true classics on the international calendar. The race occupies a unique position in the world of SUP, providing paddlers with an extreme test: Five straight days of racing with an average of more than 40km (25 miles) per day. → READ MORE
Discover the unique world of ultra long distance stand up paddle racing with four-time 11 City Tour champion and all-round SUP explorer Bart de Zwart… → READ MORE
Entries are now open for the 2016 SUP 11 City Tour, with exactly 200 days until the start of what is arguably the toughest stand up paddle race on earth.
For the uninitiated, the 11 City Tour is a five-day, 220km (136 miles) race through the rural Dutch province of Friesland. It’s a grueling experience, both physically and mentally, but also an extremely rewarding one — it’s actually quite “fun” in its own special way. → READ MORE
If 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
The 2015 SUP 11 City Tour is done, and what a crazy rollercoaster it was. Congratulations to Steeve Teihotaata and Seychelle Hattingh for reigning supreme, though everybody that completed this year’s race deserves huge credit.
Click through for the final standings and full recap from this crazy adventure… → READ MORE