While much of the paddling world is still on event lockdown, Europe has been tentatively returning to the water over the past two months. We saw the 11-City Tour in almost all its glory last week, and every weekend there are race photos popping up on Instagram. But it seems the French have been more dedicated than most.
The Alpine Lakes Tour (home of the famous GlaGla Race) resumed two months ago and held another event in mid-August, before the country’s west coast saw four-straight weeks of solid racing that culminated with a classic hit-out in the surf on the weekend. The endless summer in France will continue on to the Fort Boyard Challenge next week followed by the Alpine Lakes hosting the flat-water French Championships on Lake Annecy (same spot as GlaGla) in October, the Corsica Paddle Trophy the week after that, a final Alpine event in November, and then, tentatively, the Paris Crossing in December. → READ MORE
GlaGla! 🥶 Congratulations Sonni Hönscheid, Titouan Puyo and every single one of the record 637 paddlers who completed a memorable bucket list race around Lake Annecy here in the freezing cold but very sunny French Alps today! 🇫🇷🗻🌞 The 2020 GlaGla Race was something truly special with a gigantic start line creating an amazing sight at the beginning of the race and an extraordinary final 500 metres from Titou producing an exciting finish 💥
Titou seemed to be out of contention as his NSP teammate Ty Judson along with Leo Nika and Tom Auner set a scintillating pace with 1km to go, but despite rounding the final 500 metre buoy in sixth place, the New Caledonian somehow found a better line to the finish and snuck into the lead with 100 metres to go. It was such a clever move that we didn’t even realise on the live stream commentary that he’d replaced his teammate at the front. An incredible victory. Great to see darkhorses such as Portugal’s Renato Queiros, Ukraine’s Oleksii Sidenko and French junior Marius Auber all cracking the top 10.
Sonni defended her title in the women’s race with a signature powerhouse performance 💪 The German was ultimately too strong for Fiona Wylde, while French darkhorse Fanny Tessier showed she’ll be one to watch this year. We’re sorry we couldn’t show more of the women’s race on the live stream, something we’ll try hard to fix for next year…
Thank you everyone who watched online in record numbers, and a big “merci beaucoup” to ‘8 Mont Blanc’ TV for producing the show and providing us with epic live drone footage. And thank you to Benoit Mouren and all his team for organising such a special event.
1. Titouan Puyo 🇫🇷🇳🇨 1:24:56
2. Leo Nika 🇮🇹 1:25:01
3. Tom Auber 🇫🇷 1:25:02
4. Ty Judson 🇦🇺 1:25:09
5. Martin Vitry 🇫🇷 1:25:11
6. Normen Weber 🇩🇪 1:25:27
7. Renato Queiros 🇵🇹 1:26:07
8. Ludovic Teulade 🇫🇷 1:26:08
9. Oleksii Sidenko 🇺🇦 1:26:36
10. Marius Auber 🇫🇷 1:26:47
1. Sonni Hönscheid 🇩🇪 1:34:18
2. Fiona Wylde 🇫🇷 1:35:00
3. Fanny Tessier 🇫🇷 1:35:16
4. Olivia Piana 🇫🇷 1:37:30
5. Ella Oesterholt 🇳🇱 1:38:13
6. Siri Schubert 🇨🇭 1:38:41
7. Anna Tschirky 🇨🇭 1:40:36
8. Alex Tyrer 🇬🇧 1:43:02
9. Erica Revil 1:43:26
10. Tanja Ecker 🇩🇪 1:43:41
Welcome back to the ‘FourTwentySix,’ the oddly-named new column on SUP Racer that aims to find the “stories behind the stats” by performing deep analysis of the world rankings database.
One of the main goals of the SUP Racer World Rankings is to find the world’s number one paddler. It’s a complex system that uses a lot of algorithms and a lot of results from around the world. There are currently 6000+ paddlers and 100+ events in the system, but underpinning the entire leaderboard is a simple idea: That a paddler’s “Best 5” results of the year will determine their total world ranking points.
But the “Best 5” method only tells part of the story… → READ MORE
Who were the best-performing European paddlers in Europe during season 2019?
Given that Europe is now the epicentre of our sport, and considering it produces about half of the world’s best athletes, I thought it might be fun and interesting to analyse which Euro paddlers ranked highest at their “home” events.
So I’ve taken the World Rankings, trimmed all the non-European athletes and races, and come up with a new leaderboard to determine the “King” and “Queen of Europe”. → READ MORE
Team Starboard super duo Michael Booth and Fiona Wylde have claimed this week’s EuroTour race with emphatic victories against both a strong field and a draining hot sun in the Greek Islands.
Boothy claimed the ‘Corfu Emerald Cup’ to bounce back from his big mistake at last week’s battle of Bilbao and put an exclamation mark on his status as the world’s strongest paddler, while Fiona was a little too strong for Italian wildcard and rising star Caterina Stenta. → READ MORE
Titouan Puyo and Fiona Wylde have surfed their way to victory in week 3 of the EuroTour, claiming the Vendée Gliss Event on France’s west coast.
Titou out-surfed fellow Frenchman Arthur Arutkin and week 2 winner Michael Booth to even the score with the Aussie powerhouse at one European win apiece.
Meanwhile, Hood River hero Fiona Wylde felt right at home in the bumps, coasting clear to defeat Sunova’s Amandine Chazot and Maui wunderkind Annie Reickert en route to her second French win in seven days. → READ MORE
Starboard superstars Michael Booth and Fiona Wylde have started their summer seasons in style, saluting at the “Azur Paddle Days” EuroTour event in Villefranche, France this afternoon.
Boothy edged out regular sparring partner Titouan Puyo by about 10 seconds after an hour of paddling, while Titou’s team-mate from NSP, Ty Judson, was close behind in third. Martin Vitry took top honours for the home team in fourth, while Carolina runner-up Bruno Hasulyo had to settle for fifth in a sign of how tough the summer clashes are going to be. → READ MORE
In brief: Karla Gilbert has won her sixth 12 Towers title while Lincoln Dews cemented his world number one status by vanquishing a strong pre-season field on Australaia’s Gold Coast today.
The iconic ocean race offered competitors a solid downwind run to make up for last year’s “no-winder,” with Lincoln proving too strong in the bumps for a field that included his two major sparring partners from last season, Michael Booth and Titouan Puyo. → READ MORE
The Aussie Titles wrapped up today in Queensland. Here’s how it went down for one of the most competitive paddling nations on the planet. → READ MORE
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…
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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.