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
Synchronised paddling, anyone?
Carolina isn’t just about SUP: the outrigger canoes and surfskis took over on Sunday for another loop around the infamous Graveyard course.
Pictured above are Danny Ching, Ryland Hart, Georges Cronsteadt and Travis Grant in perfect formation. How good is that shot? You couldn’t set that up if you tried. → 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.
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).
Full results from the short distance and long distance over on the official timing site.
You can also watch a full replay of our GlaGla Race Facebook Live stream.
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.
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
“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
Bernd Roediger and Fiona Wylde have put on a downwind masterclass here in Hood River, Oregon today, saluting at the Naish Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge presented by Starboard ahead of an ultra-competitive, international field of all-stars, young guns and and fresh new dark horses.
Click through for the recap and full results… → READ MORE
Australia’s Travis Grant has claimed his third Molokai-2-Oahu championship title after overpowering world number one Connor Baxter in an epic duel across the infamous Ka’iwi Channel today, setting a new race record of 3:59:52 and cementing his status as a true legend of the sport after becoming the first paddler to ever break the mythical 4-hour mark.
After an almighty, see-sawing battle that lasted almost the entire 32 miles from Molokai to Oahu, Travis pulled away in the final kilometre to claim a victory that will become an instant classic in the history pages of our sport. → READ MORE
Watch this rapid fire recap from 808photo to get an insight into the world’s greatest downwind run, also known as the annual Maui2Molokai race
Connor Baxter has overpowered an Travis Grant and James ‘Jimmy’ Casey to narrowly claim an historic eighth-straight Maui2Molokai title this afternoon, setting a new record for longest winning streak in the sport and continuing his extraordinary run as the only guy to ever win this race.
The world number one got pushed further than ever before though, with an in-form Travis leading for about the first 23 miles of the 26 mile (42km) crossing forcing Connor to dig deep in order to keep his unbeaten run alive. Jimmy was also applying the pressure on Connor, and the world number seven was still within sight of the champ as they finally hit the finish line on the south side of Molokai after just over three hours of paddling. → READ MORE
World number one Annabel Anderson and Sunova’s James Casey have taken out the weather-affected OluKai Ho’olaulea race on Maui this morning, winning the modified ‘beach race’ event at Kanaha after the standard Maliko downwind run was canceled for the second time in two days following wild and unsafe conditions.
With swirling winds and stormy weather continuing to lash the Hawaiian coast, OluKai organisers wisely opted for safety over tradition, keeping the event inside the reef at Kanaha Beach Park instead of sending competitors on what would have been a somewhat-treacherous ocean paddle from Maliko Gulch. → READ MORE