In 24 hours the island of Tahiti will be waking up and preparing itself for the 5th Air France Paddle Festival, up to 300 paddlers will be hitting the beautiful shores of Maeva Beach in the 4km, 8km and 24km event.
As well as all the local amateurs who are paddling for the stoke, there will be a mouth watering the elite race, it will be the perfect opportunity for Tahitian paddlers to pit themselves against all the incoming international stars of the SUP world! Being the first time a large contingent of internationals has competed in Tahiti, we could witness a battle royale as the “Tahitian Warriors” aim to proudly defend their home waters against the “International Superstars”, all of this combined with a US$2500 pay out for the 1st placed ladies and men paddler, plus 100 Paddle League points available, it is due to be battle of the titans!
Photo Credit: Tim Mckenna
The Race Schedule
The day will be begin with the 8km lagoon race, the elite race and then finishing with the fun race!
- Lagoon Race: 8 km
- Prone Race: 8 km
- Elite Race: 24 km
- Kids Race: 2 km
- Fun Race: 1.5 km
Photo Credit: Georgiasphoto
The confirmed athletes taking part in the elite race
Connor Baxter (world number one) Hawaii
Titouan Puyo (world number two) France/New Caledonia
Michael Booth (Australia)
Lincoln Dews (Australia)
Kenny Kaneko (Japan)
Noic Garioud (New Caledonia)
Fernando Stalla (Mexico)
Marcus Hansen (New Zealand)
…and the local pros to watch include Steeve Teihotaata, Rete Ebb, Georges Cronsteadt, Yoann Cronsteadt (defending champ), Manatea Bopp du Pont, Hapowa Mai, Keoni Sulpice (14-years-old) and Tuki Tissot (14)
Fiona Wylde (world number two)
Olivia Piana (2016 champion)
Sonni Honscheid (defending champion)
…and possibly Annabel Anderson
The Elite Race course will be confirmed 30 minutes prior to the start, it will take in both the open ocean and the lagoon, a true test of the paddling skills. The course will be determined by the conditions of the day so tune in early to find out!
Photo Credit: Tim Mckenna
Where to watch the race?
Thanks to local TV Channel TNTV, partners of the event and masters in covering tahitian outrigger races all year long with a world-class production, TotalSUP will be live streaming the Air France Paddle Race on our Facebook page with Mr TotalSUP aka Mathieu Astier on the commentaries.
An English version will be available too with The Paddle League streaming the English-language broadcast via their Facebook page with Chris Parker and Brian Meyer.
Both versions will also be available here on TotalSUP.com via a Youtube embedded player.
When to watch the race?
The 24km elite race starts at 11:30am local time on Saturday April 7, and the paddle league / TotalSUP plan to be on air around 11am, here is a guide for when to tune into
11am Saturday in Tahiti
= 11am Saturday in Hawaii
= 2pm Saturday in California
= 6pm Saturday in Brazil
= 10pm Saturday in the UK
= 11pm Saturday in France
= 6am Sunday in Japan
= 7am Sunday in Australia (East Coast)
= 8am Sunday in New Caledonia
= 9am Sunday in New Zealand
The conditions are set to be hot and flat so it will be hard one, Paddle hard people! and enjoy the race!