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
Team NSP’s star duo Travis Grant and Titouan Puyo dominated the excellent “Paddle Summer Cup” event in La Baulle, France last weekend, finishing 1-2 in both the long course and beach race events to highlight their class and keep the young guns at bay for at least one more year.
Travis made it a clean sweep of the event after narrowly pipping the home-nation hero in both disciplines, finishing 13 seconds clear in the distance before grinding out a similar gap in the beach race. → READ MORE
In brief: Michael Booth has flexed his muscles once again, breaking and then holding off an ultra-strong field of international talent to claim the fifth stop of The Paddle League World Tour and week 7 of the EuroTour here in the Basque city of Bilbao.
Boothy won the Iberdrola Bilbao SUP Challenge to cement his spot on top of the world rankings, however his compatriot Lincoln Dews gave the champ a fright with a lightning fast final two kilometres that saw him break away from the 11-man chase group and get within shouting distance of the powerhouse. But in the end Boothy’s lead was simply too big, which made it a race for second that Linc deservingly won. → 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
Rapid fire recap: Aussie powerhouse Michael Booth has opened his EuroTour campaign with a big win at the Agios Nikolaos on SUP event in the Greek Islands, outlasting French superstar Titouan Puyo and Brazilian workhorse Vinni Martins to claim week 4 of the European summer.
It was an all-French affair in the women’s race, however the standard tables were turned as Amandine Chazot took a great victory ahead of her higher-ranked compatriot Olivia Piana. German youngster Noelani Sach was once again impressive in the bumps en route to her second straight EuroTour podium.
Click through for the full results… → READ MORE
Full replay from week 4 of the EuroTour and the “Agios Nikolaos on SUP” event in the Greek Islands
Thanks to everyone that tuned in; see you next week in Spain!
French stars Titouan Puyo and Olivia Piana have saluted at home after winning Saturday’s part-downwind, part-sidewind “Vendée Gliss Event” on the country’s west coast as the European Summer of SUP starts to heat up.
Olivia was too strong for fellow Frenchwoman Amandine Chazot and downwind surprise packet Noelani Sach from Germany, with the latter upsetting more seasoned veterans to record her second career EuroTour podium and no doubt strongest ever result. → READ MORE
In brief: Michael Booth has survived a nail-biting finish to win the 2018 Quiksilver Waterman Carolina Cup, outlasting fast finishes from Travis Grant and Mo Freitas after two hours of epic racing around Wrightsville Beach this afternoon.
Boothy powered home in the final three miles – which turned into a full downwind leg this year – to claim “The biggest win of my career so far” and redeem himself for a poor performance here 12 months ago as well as a very frustrating runner-up finish in Tahiti two weeks ago.
The win sends Boothy to the top of The Paddle League World Rankings and cements him as one of the clear favourites for this year’s world title.
The front pack of 18 guys stuck together for the first 10 miles of the race, with the pace fairly calm and mellow in the flat water back straights, however the field scattered in the final open ocean leg. Only Travis and Mo along with Titouan Puyo could match Boothy’s pace, however despite throwing everything at the Aussie powerhouse in the final minute, Trav and Mo had to settle for second and third respectively just a few seconds behind the winner.
More to come…
As the countdown continues to this weekend’s big Quiksilver Waterman Carolina Cup, we just finished our “Fireside Chat” Facebook Live stream with the NSP/Surftech crew here in Wrightsville Beach.
Watch a full replay above to hear from two-time defending champ Titouan Puyo, Molokai hero Travis Grant, last week’s giant-killer Marcus Hansen and the legend Joe Bark, then tune in for the race day livestream from 10am Saturday.
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
There must be something in the water in New Caledonia.
The small, semi-autonomous Pacific island nation with a population of just 278000 (98.85% smaller than Australia’s) took home an incredible four of the top five men’s spots in yesterday’s Down Under Double Downwinder.
Inspired by their pioneering superstar Titouan Puyo, a new generation of New Caledonian paddlers are emerging on the international stage with under-18s Noic Garioud and Clement Colmas continuing their meteoric rises. → READ MORE
We had a quick chat with NSP/Quickblade team rider Titouan Puyo after his big win at the SUPs Down Under ‘Double Downwinder’ on the Gold Coast today, where Titou led an onslaught by the tiny but powerful Pacific island nation of New Caledonia.
New Caledonia, whose population is barely more than 1% that of Australia’s, took four of the top five spots to completely own the home team, with only runner-up Lincoln Dews getting in the mix.
I asked Titou why New Cal produces so many good paddlers, plus what his plans are for season 2018 and which race he REALLY wants to win…
Titouan Puyo showed he’s still the king of New Caledonia, but there are no shortage of heirs apparent after the tiny Pacific island nation blew away the Aussies at the SUPs Down Under event on Queensland’s Gold Coast today.
New Caledonia took four of the top five spots in the men’s race, with Titou being joined by Noic Garioud (3rd), Clement Colmas (4th) and the new downwind dark horse (or “le cheval noir”) Ben Riviere. Only runner-up Lincoln Dews managed to get in between the “Cagous” and salvage some pride for the home team, while Angie Jackson took out the women’s ahead of her ONE team mate Kate Baker. → READ MORE
How do you design a winning race board? Who’s going to win Molokai this year? And which one is better: Australian or French wine? 🤔
These are the big questions we asked Alain Teurquetil, the head designer of NSP and the man behind Titouan’s winning Carolina board and Travis’ magic Molokai design, for this week’s episode of the PADDLE VLOG.
For a closer look at the boards featured in this week’s episode, head over to the official site and check out the all-round NSP Puma and the downwind-friendly Sonic.
Michael Booth and Yuka Sato picked up a bag full of pre-season Paddle League points on the Gold Coast this weekend, with the Starboard duo overcoming a hot field and even hotter conditions to salute at the 7th Annual 12 Towers Ocean Race.
Boothy overpowered world number two Titouan Puyo (NSP/QB) and fast-finishing Lincoln dews (DEEP/QB), while Yuka stunned the strong Aussie women led by dark horse Kate Baker (ONE) and international star Terrene Black (ECS/QB). → READ MORE
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
Highlights from the big ‘King of the Cut’ downwind showdown in West Oz on the weekend, where Jake Jensen and Angie Jackson made it a clean sweep for Team ONE. → READ MORE
In brief: Jake Jensen and Angie Jackson have claimed victories at the Stand Up Surf Shop “King of the Cut” downwind showdown in Western Australia this afternoon, defeating a star-studded cast of ocean masters to give Team ONE a double victory.
Jake was too fast for defending champ and downwind dynamo Titouan Puyo, while last weekend’s Doctor winner James Casey hit the podium once again with another classy performance. Michael Booth and Molokai hero Travis Grant rounded out the top five in a field that featured most of Australia’s best, a few international guns and dozens of weekend warriors enjoying WA’s famous conditions. → READ MORE
France has highlighted yet again why it’s considered a powerhouse in the world of paddling, with the French National Titles showcasing an incredible depth of talent as a mix of superstars and young guns shared the podiums on the weekend.
Held in the Mediterranean town of Cap d’Agde, the 2017 edition of the “Championnat de France de Stand Up Paddle” produced four new champions, with Martin Vitry, Titouan Puyo, Melanie Lafenetre and Amandine Chazot sharing the spoils and staking a claim for a spot on Team France at the 2018 Worlds. → READ MORE