The kids are taking over 😳 avg. age on the 12 Towers men’s podium? 16 years, 4 months…

Want to hear a scary statistic? The average age on the men’s podium in yesterday’s 12 Towers downwind event was 16 years, 4 months.

That’s an age when most kids are still a year away from graduating high school. An age when you’re not even supposed to drink, let alone win an international ocean race. This stat is all the more extraordinary given a) the mature level of talent that finished behind the top three, and b) that ocean racing requires endurance and experience — two things that often come with age.

But despite technically being classified as “boys,” Noic Garioud, Ty Judson and Shuri “Shrimpy” Araki paddled like men at this year’s 12 Towers Ocean Festival. Noic is just 17 years of age. Shrimpy is only 13. For some context: fourth-place James “Jimmy” Casey seems positively ancient at 28.   → READ MORE

12 TOWERS: Noic Garioud puts on a masterclass, Karla Gilbert wins title #7 and a 13-year-old shocks the veterans

Noic “Chicken” Garioud and Karla Gilbert have claimed the 12 Towers ocean race in Australia today, with more than 150 paddlers enjoying a firing downwind run along Queensland’s famed Gold Coast to cap off a big weekend at Australia’s premiere paddling event.

Nobody got near Noic. The New Caledonian was in a league of his own. It was a masterclass. A clinic. A dominant performance from a 17-year-old athlete who shows maturity well beyond his years both on and off the water. Noic was reading the bumps so well that he probably took fewer paddle strokes than anyone else in the race. ⁣   → READ MORE

Bringin’ back the BOP: 12 Towers weekend starts with super fun surf race; Ty Judson, Karla Gilbert win in the waves

In brief: We had a super fun surf race to kick off the 12 Towers Ocean Festival on Australia’s Gold Coast today 🌊💥 It was so good to see this kind of format back in Australia — it really reminded me of the good old Battle of the Paddle days.

The Queen of the towers, Karla Gilbert, was too strong for New Zealand’s Brianna Orams and local gun Ke’ale Dorries despite being older than the combined age of her rivals. Ty Judson snuck through a tight pack to claim the men’s paddle battle ahead of the new darkhorse on the block, Johnny Hagan, and New Cal super junior Noic Garioud.   → READ MORE

EuroTour: Ty Judson and Olivia Piana have won the ‘World SUP Festival’ in Spain

In brief: Team NSP’s Ty Judson has put on an ocean paddling masterclass to claim the World SUP Fetival in Costa Blanca, Spain. The humble young Australian broke away early on the 15km crossing between the small island of Tabarca back to the mainland, finishing over a minute clear of determined duo Enzo Bennett (Tahiti/425) and Vinni Martins (Brazil/JP).

Brazilian dark-horse (though I think he’s officially graduated from that title) Guilherme dos Reis took fourth while his brother-from-another-mother David Leao won the junior division. Frenchman Ludovic Teulade, fresh off a record-attempting six-hour downwinder across the Mediterranean, rounded out the top five in a strong field of around 200 paddlers.

Team Rogue’s Olivia Piana bounced back from a 3rd and 4th place finish in the past two EuroTour events to claim a strong win, with only Susak Molinero (Spain; RRD) able to stay within sight of the powerful Frenchwoman. Italy’s Caterina Stenta (RRD) was impressive in third.

The event was highlighted by a surge in junior participation, with 15-year-olds Anna Tschirky (Switzerland; F-One) and Duna Gordillo (Spain; Starboard) both finishing top 10 in the women’s main event, while the short-course Grom Races featured over 50 future champions in a bright showing for the sport.

Full results on the EuroTour site; full recap coming soon…

TOP 10 WOMEN
1st: Olivia Piana Rogue
2nd: Susak Molinero RRD
3rd: Catherina Stenta RRD
4th: Melanie Lafenetre Infinity
5th: Susanne Lier F-One/QB
6th: Laura Quetglas Starboard/QB
7th: Noelani Sach NSP
8th: Sheila Sirvent Starboard/QB
9th: Anna Tschirsky F-One/QB
10th: Duna Gordillo F-One/QB

TOP 10 MEN
1st: Ty Judson NSP
2nd: Enzo Bennett 425
3rd: Vinnicius Martins JP
4th: Guilherme dos Reis SIC
5th: Ludovic Teulade Oxbow
6th: Giordano Bruno SIC
7th: Paolo Marconi RRD
8th: Kelly Margetts Sunova/QB
9th: Federico Esposito Infinity/QB
10th: Liran Machlev NSP

Azur Paddle Days: Fiona Wylde, Michael Booth claim victory in France

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

Analysis: Are the Aussies still unbeatable?

Today, Team Australia’s lineup for the ISA Worlds in China (Nov 23 – Dec 2) was revealed. The five-time champions always start favourites for the overall teams title, however 2018 could be their toughest challenge since the U.S. Dream Team briefly stole their crown in 2015, with the French looking particularly strong.

Here’s some light analysis of the squad.   → READ MORE

Seychelle, Boothy win the Battle of the Bay in San Francisco

In brief: Aussie powerhouse Michael Booth has flexed his muscles to win the annual race around the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco today. The current world number one paddled clear of the small but highly elite field to claim the win the 2018 Battle of the Bay a minute ahead of his highly under-rated compatriot Ty Judson (Team NSP).

The women’s contest was a lot closer, with Seychelle being pushed all the way to the line by young SIC team mate Jade Howson, while Fiona Wylde rounded out the podium in this 4-star Paddle League regional event.

More to come on Monday morning… For now you can get full results over on The Paddle League.

Sonni Honscheid and Aussie dark horse Ty Judson have won the Bluesmiths ‘Paddle Imua’ charity downwinder on Maui

In brief: Sonni Honscheid has continued her unbeaten run in Season 2018 by claiming the 2-star Bluesmiths Paddle Imua charity downwinder on Maui this weekend, claiming her second win on the Maliko run in the space of six days and further cementing her status as the woman to beat on The Paddle League.

With Maui’s signature winds going virtually silent for the second week in a row, the famed Maliko downwind run once again turned into an 8-mile grind, with finishing times well outside the race records.   → READ MORE