Welcome back to Paddlecast. I was really excited to release a two-part episode with Annabel Anderson yesterday and today. We had a great chat last week — I talked with Annabel for more than two hours about what she’s been up to over the past couple of years and her thoughts on the sport in general. But I messed up the recording and the audio got jumbled 🙈
I’m going to see if we can get back on the phone with Annabel this week (she’s a fascinating person). But until then, I decided to fill in today’s episode with a little “Storytime with SUP Racer”… → READ MORE
4x Molokai champ and all-round legend of the sport Travis Grant dropped by the Paddlecast studio for a chat. Hear Trav’s insights about the early days of SUP, life in Hawaii and what motivates him to compete. You can also listen and subscribe to Paddlecast on Spotify. → READ MORE
Defending champion and four-time winner Travis Grant has withdrawn from this year’s Molokai-2-Oahu race through injury, throwing the door wide open for what is surely the most prestigious title in our sport.
Travis, the 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2018 Molokai champ and many tipsters’ favourite to claim a record fifth crown next week, injured his ribs while steering a six-man outrigger canoe in the 4th of July race at Waikiki. The ever-humble Aussie gave himself time to recover but the injury wasn’t improving, telling me on Messenger this afternoon that “I can barely even paddle right now, let alone race a distance like that.” → READ MORE
Travis Grant has outlasted Hawaii’s Connor Baxter to defend his Molokai-2-Oahu title and claim a fourth crown in the world’s most prestigious paddleboard race, while fellow Aussie Terrene Black has saluted for the second time after overpowering three-time champ Sonni Honscheid in a fantastic battle across the infamous ‘Channel of Bones’. → 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
Connor Baxter and Sonni Honscheid have reclaimed their OluKai crowns in tough conditions on Maui today, with light winds and big seas providing a mighty challenge for both competitors and organisers of the 10th Annual Ho’olaule’a, the third stop of the 2018 Paddle League World Tour.
Connor held off a four-pronged Aussie invasion to defeat defending champ James Casey, perennial OluKai bridesmaid Travis Grant, dark horse Ty Judson and ocean master Matt Nottage to secure his sixth OluKai belt and restart his World Title campaign after disappointing results in Carolina and Tahiti. → 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.
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.
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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.
Last month, we traveled to France for one of the biggest races in the world: the epic “GlaGla” race on the very beautiful (and absolutely freezing cold) Lake Annecy. Joining us in the French Alps was Travis Grant, the 3x Molokai champion and all-round legend of the sport (who’s used to the much warmer waters of Hawaii).
We stayed at the NSP house in the mountains where we went snowboarding, ate far too much cheese, and enjoyed an awesome side-trip around an awesome race. In the first of our Paddle Vlogs, here’s how it looked behind the scenes…
Tom Auber and Melanie Lafenetre have won the 2018 GlaGla Race, as hundreds of paddlers braved the freezing cold French Alps to produce one of the largest races our sport has ever seen.
Tom claimed victory for the home nation after a frantic finish with Leo Nika — it was a literal photo finish, which is heartbreaking for Leo as it repeats the exact same scenario from 12 months ago. Italian Martino Rogai was just behind in third after pushing hard over the final kilometres, while Molokai hero Travis Grant had to settle for fourth place following a high-paced sprint to the line. The lead quartet stuck together for almost the entire 14km race, with Federico Esposito and Yanis Maire the only ones who could stay within shouting distance.
In the women’s it was all Melanie, with the 17-year-old from St. Maxime opening a commanding lead early and never looking back.
But the real story from this year’s GlaGla adventure was just how many paddlers stood on the start line. With just under 500 paddlers signed up for this crazy, cold water classic, the GlaGla is officially one of the biggest (by one measure it’s the #2 race in the world right now).
A massive “merci beaucoup” to Benoit and the crew from the Alpine Lakes Tour, as well as title sponsor Red Paddle Co, for helping make this amazing event happen. See you back in the French Alps in January 2019!
2018 is only hours old, but we’re already gearing up for the first big race of the season. And by big, I mean BIG.
One of my funnest adventures of 2017 was a last-minute trip to the French Alps to experience a truly unique stand up paddling event: The GlaGla Race. Held on the near-freezing waters of beautiful Lake Annecy and surrounded by tall, snow-capped peaks, the GlaGla Race is part-race/part-adventure, and this year it’s expected to attract more than 400 brave competitors to this chilly corner of France. → 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.
“It was f#$%ing nuts! I’ve never felt so alive and focused in my life…”
That’s how Casper Steinfath described today’s epic Red Bull Heavy Water race to me shortly after he triumphantly crossed the line in San Francisco Bay, with the Danish Viking surviving massive surf at Ocean Beach to claim victory in what is surely the craziest SUP race ever witnessed.
Casper picked up a record $20,000 prize money after beating home a small but all-star field of paddlers, many of whom didn’t even finish after the event lived up to its name and delivered arguably the biggest waves ever seen in a SUP race. → READ MORE