The SUP 11 City Tour (or simply the “11 Cities”) is a five-day stage race held annually in the Netherlands. Covering more than 200km, the SUP 11 City Tour is one of the longest and toughest stand up paddle board races in the world…

You’ll Love It, You’ll Hate It, and You’ll Come Back For More Next Year: Inside the Epic 11 City Tour

11 City Tour

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 Takes 11 City Tour Title from Brother Bruno; Brazil’s Lena Ribeiro Hangs on to Claim Women’s Crown (UPDATED)

Daniel Hasulyo
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

11 Cities: Lena Ribeiro, the Hasulyo Brothers Extend Leads on Mercifully Calm Second Stage

The @sup11citytour from above by @georgiasphoto for @starboardsup. Today's second stage was the complete opposite of yesterday: In place of piercing rain we enjoyed glorious blue skies, and instead of hellish headwinds it was a mixture of sheet glass and even some merciful little downwind stretches. After establishing a mammoth lead of 17 minutes on that brutal 50km opening stage, the Hasulyo Brothers @brunohasulyo and @danielhasulyo played defense and sat alongside a strong lead pack for the first 41 of 42km. Showing frightening levels of fitness, the dynamic duo still managed to sprint away at the end to narrowly capture yet another stage win, but @martinorogai (3rd overall), @reteebb, @bruno_tauhiro, @rafaelalexandre1 and @ricardohaverschmidt were all looking good today as well. The brothers now have a gap of about 18 minutes and seem virtually unstoppable in their quest for back-to-back 1-2 finishes. Once again, the top placings in seemingly every division were dominated by the Starboard and @mistral_int teams, with Mistral's Brazilian sensation @lenagribeiro extending her lead over talented teammate @petronella_van_malsen to a total of about 20 minutes and cementing her dark horse status in the process. The former king of the 11 Cities @bartdezwart, who opted to join the amateur "competition" division this year after draining himself in the 24hr non-stop tour earlier in the week, paddled virtually the whole day on his own to handily win his class and beat most of the elite guys in the process. The competition division is by far the biggest, with about 60 guys battling for bragging rights and personal victories in this mind-boggling four day test of physical and mental strength. Battling harder than most is SUP Racer's honourary team mate @caiogebaravaz, with the 2x SUP surfing world champ showing that he's pretty handy on a race board as well after leading the division's main pack for the first 30km today before crossing in a more than respectable 5th place. There have been plenty of commendable performances all the way through the field the past two days, while everyone the simply finishes this epic odyssey thoroughly deserves a medal…

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Full recap coming soon. Follow the SUP 11 City Tour on Facebook for more.

CLICK HERE for Friday’s stage results.

Hasulyo Brothers, Lena Ribeiro Establish Big Leads on Day 1 of Wet and Wild 11 City Tour

Congrats to the Hasulyo Brothers for smashing out a big win for Team @starboardsup in today's 50km opening stage of the @sup11citytour, and very well done to Brazil's @lenagribeiro from Team @mistral_int for claiming a massive early advantage on the women's leaderboard. Though really, anyone and everyone that simply finished today's race deserves a medal: Those were some of the toughest paddling conditions I've ever seen. The 11 City Tour has experienced more than its fair share of gnarly weather over the past nine years, but I can't imagine anything being much tougher than that. The event is billed as "The Ultimate Challenge" and today it certainly lived up to that title. The second half of today's 50km (31 mile) stage featured a seemingly-endless string of lakes that were getting battered by merciless 25 knot headwinds and stinging rains that soaked us to the bone and shattered whatever was left of the draft trains. At one point I'm pretty sure I was going backwards, and at several points my body and mind were screaming out for me to quit. Everyone I spoke to after the race seemed to have a similar experience, and most of us limped over the finish line more than seven hours after we started. Actually, I'm a little surprised I finished at all… It was a bloody nightmare out on those lakes, but it was also extremely satisfying (or at least it was at the finish). And in a weird and twisted way, I think I actually had fun out there today… I hope so anyway, because we've got three more days of this great big adventure still to come!! #sup11citytour #headwindsfromhell #cloudywithachanceofbiblicalfloods photo: @georgiasphoto ⛈️💥😳

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Full recap coming soon. Follow the SUP 11 City Tour on Facebook for more.

CLICK HERE for Thursday’s stage results.

11 Cities Update: Non-Stoppers Complete 24 Hour Epic; Gnarly Winds Cancel First 5-Day Stage

11-City-Tour-Friesland
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

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

Countdown: The 11 City Tour Is Only 100 Days Away (Time to Start Training…)

SUP 11 City Tour

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

Next Stop… Ibiza for the ‘Vuelta’ (Or: “Why Did I Just Sign up to Paddle 345km?”)

Es Vedra, IbizaThe 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

World Rankings: Here Are SUP Racer’s Star Ratings for Season 2017 (aka the Biggest Races in the World This Year)

Pacific Paddle Games

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

The ‘Vuelta Ibiza’ Partners with the 11 City Tour to Create 2017 Stage Race Double Header in Europe

cala-xarraca-beach-ibiza-spainUp 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

Team SUP Racing: The Future?

11 City TourI’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

220kms in 27 Minutes: Daily Video Highlights from Every Stage of the 11 City Tour

SUP 11 City TourThe 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

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

“This Race Will Change You” — Bart de Zwart’s Interesting Insights into the 11 City Tour

SUP 11 City Tour

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 11 City Tour – The “Ultimate Challenge” – Takes Centre Stage in the Netherlands This Week

SUP 11 City Tour 2015“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

Entries Now Open for the 11 City Tour – the ‘Tour de France of SUP’

SUP 11 City Tour 2015Entries 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

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