Last weekend, the SUP Race Cup took place in St. Maxime at the French Cote d’Azur. It is the biggest and most prestigious SUP Race in Europe, an event not to be missed, which unofficially crows the European SUP Race Champions as ultimately a race is about who was there and not about the title or prize money.
This year really everybody was there. All the top European riders plus some guest from overseas. There were over 100 starters with high profile names like Europe’s undistputed number one Eric Terrien, Top French Riders Gaetan Sene, Gregory Closier, Yoann Cornelis and Didier Leniel, Italian Hotshots Leo Nika and Fabrizio Gasbarro, Spanish Champion Belar Diaz, top UK racers Ryan James (2nd in the 2011 Eleven City Tour) and Pete Holliday from the UK, Caspar Steinfath from Denmark. Bart de Zwart came from Hawaii (winner of the Eleven City Tour 2011) and Chase Kosterlitz from the US (World Champion on 14’).
The growing popularity of the SUP Race Cup was also demonstrated by more riders from more nations that were not present last year, 15 year-old talent Manca Notar came all the way from Slovenia, after one rider last year, there were 3 riders from Germany this year. For the first time, there were also 3 riders from Austria: Austrian Champion Sigrid Baumgartner, Melanie Brandstädter and Christian Moutsakos (3rd in the 60k Ultramarathon Podersdorf). Only one rider was dearly missed: Fred Bonnef, who was in a terrible car accident on the Monday before and has a long journey of recovery ahead of him. We wish him all the best!
As always, the race was perfectly organized by Yannick Pinauld from La Cigale Surf Club. Aside from the perfect organization he had also done an awesome job in motivating everybody to come to the event. Different from last year, the setting of the event was not in the center of St. Maxime by the casino, but about 6km East at the La Cigale Surf Club. Personally, I liked that much better, it was less stressful for the riders with ample parking, showers, toilets and more space vs. the crowded city center. Saturday started with a fun competition in fancy dresses and the juniors race. It was amazing to see all the people dressed up in amazing constumes and how much power and enthusiasm the juniors had.
Eric Terrien once more proved he is not only Europe’s undisputed number one but can also beat top international riders. He came in way ahead of the rest of the field. Behind him there was a fierce battle which all the top 15 racers being very close together. Ultimately, Leo Nika came in second before Gaetan Sene, Caspar Steinfath and Bart the Zwart
For more on Eric, check out his new Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/E.T.SUP
More pics of the event will soon go online on: http://www.facebook.com/SUPguide