The pre-season shuffle is virtually complete with nearly a dozen athletes changing teams ahead of the international race season.
I call it “Trade Week” in honour of the big sporting leagues (NBA, AFL, etc) that have set periods each year where players can be poached by rival teams. SUP athletes aren’t really “traded” per se, but hey, never let the truth get in the way of a catchy title ;-) → 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
World number number two Lincoln Dews and number three Fiona Wylde have each produced a clean sweep in Chigasaki, surviving the challenging combination of an international field and typhoon swell to claim the 300-strong Mynavi SUP Japan Cup and earn another 40x Paddle League points along the way.
Fiona first vanquished home-nation hero Yuka Sato in the 10K challenge on Saturday, before the Starboard Dream Team rider backed it up with a clean sheet in Sunday’s Survivor Race to take a big chunk of the gender-equal $27,000 prize purse.
Meanwhile Lincoln, up against half a dozen all-star internationals and plenty of dark horse locals, cemented his favouritism for next month’s season-ending showdown in California after claiming both days. → READ MORE
Seychelle has taken out the 10th anniversary edition of the classic SUP 11 City Tour, putting in a superhuman performance on the final time trial to claim her third title after a roller-coaster battle with Japan’s Yuka Sato.
The Floridian won the first stage and looked on track for the title early, before Yuka blasted a big win on day two and then extended her lead on day three’s 12km time trial. The pendulum swung back to Seychelle on Saturday, day 4, when Yuka’s overall lead was cut down to 2 minutes 30 seconds after the Japanese dark horse was unable to keep touch in the second half of the day’s 43km stage. → 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
In brief: Sonni Honscheid has continued her unbeaten streak in season 2018 to five events after claiming the Kerama Blue Cup on Japan’s Zamami Island. Sonni was too strong yet again, however yesterday’s win wasn’t as dominant as her previous four after home nation hero Yuka Sato gave the German some serious competition.
Seychelle hung on against a fast-finishing Lina Augaitis to claim third step on the podium, while number two seed Fiona Wylde faded late to finish fifth. → READ MORE
German powerhouse Sonni Honscheid has flexed her muscles and shown she’s a genuine contender for The Paddle League World Title this year, dominating the women’s field in sweltering conditions to claim back-to-back Air France Paddle Festival titles in Tahiti.
Sonni broke the field in the opening 10 minutes and paddled solo right around the 24km course, setting up a clean sweep of the podium for Team Starboard as Japanese dark horse Yuka Sato finished and impressive third and the gutsy Fiona Wylde outlasted Olivia Piana to claim third. → READ MORE
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
Yesterday we looked at the fastest men on the water, now it’s time to cap off the year with a look at the quickest ladies.
It was a big year for women’s racing with several athletes hitting the podiums for the first time to inject some fresh storylines into an aging saga. There was also the unmissable #ipaddleforequality movement in October, which aims to give women a more equal share of the prize money purse and which briefly broke stand up paddling’s little corner of the internet. → READ MORE
James “Jimmy” Casey has shown once again why he’s considered a world-class open ocean paddler, taking out ‘The Doctor’ race in Western Australia in record time today ahead of Jake Jensen and Michael Booth.
Jimmy’s victory adds to his impressive run of results in Hawaii earlier this season, where he scored victories at OluKai and Maliko plus a podium finish at M2M. The Sunova team rider didn’t have it all his own way today though — he hit the beach just a minute clear of Jake, while Michael Booth was close all day to finish just another two minutes adrift.
All three of the boys finished under the magic two hour barrier. → READ MORE
In brief: Michael Booth has defended his Japan Cup title on the black sands of Chigasaki this weekend, overpowering a small but elite field of internationals that raced alongside hundreds of weekend warriors in one of Japan’s biggest paddle events.
Boothy was too good for compatriot and PPGs podium-getter Matt Nottage, who continued his meteoric rise over the past few months with a solid runner-up finish to give Starboard yet another 1-2 result. Local hero Kenny Kaneko rounded out the men’s podium for Team JP after the results were mirrored in both the 18km marathon and knockout Survivor race. → READ MORE
Connor Baxter has shown yet again why he’s almost permanently ranked number one in the world, pulling clear in the closing stages of today’s windy, unpredictable and exciting distance race here at the Mercedes-Benz ‘SUP World Cup’ in Scharbeutz, Germany to narrowly claim the overall event title ahead of Lincoln Dews and Arthur Arutkin.
After battling through five laps of the bumpy course, where the howling offshore wind produced everything from downwind to sidewind to headwind conditions that splintered the field early and produced big time gaps on the results sheet, Connor somehow found another gear in the final few hundred metres to win by about four board lengths. → READ MORE
Annabel Anderson and Mo Freitas have claimed lucrative wins on the second and final day of the Mynavi Japan Cup here in Chigasaki.
Under grey, drizzly skies, which stood in stark contrast to Saturday’s draining hot sun, Mo surged to victory on the final, 10-man lap of the short, sharp survivor course, holding off the Aussie quartet of James Casey, Michael Booth, Toby Cracknell and Matt Nottage. Hometown hero Kenny Kaneko finished just outside the money in sixth. → READ MORE