Air France Paddle Festival Results: Marcus Hansen Wins, Sonni Honscheid Retains Title!

The 2018 race season kicked off last weekend with the Air France Paddle Festival. Over 300 paddlers were in the water for the 8 KM Lagoon Race, 4 KM Fun Race and 24 KM Elite Race. The elite race was as predicted long and hot, with Marcus Hansen arriving 1st for the men and Sonni Honscheid finishing strong to retain her Air France Paddle Festival Crown.

Video Credit: The Paddle League

In the men’s race under grueling heat and temperatures starboard racer Micheal Booth held a good distance for much of the race, until Marcus Hansen staged an huge comeback¬†in the final 500 m as he appeared to find another gear allowing himself to overtake Boothy, who subsequently finished the race in 2nd place. Mean while Tahitian Mistral rider Steeve Teihotaata paddled a great race and put the island nation on the podium by arriving in 3rd place, with Titouan Puyo from NSP arriving in 4th and¬†Manatea Bopp du Pont from Sunova finishing 5th for the second year in a row.

Photo credit: The Paddle League

Recent Hoe Toa Paddle champion Lincoln Dews set out on a good pace against Boothy but came in outside the top 10.¬†In an extraordinary performance, 13-year-old Starboard rider Keoni Sulpice was challenging the lead pack for much of the race until he finished his water pack with 10 KM to go and quickly began to fade and arrived in 11th place.¬† The elite men’s race was certainly a tough one with many paddlers pulling out due to the intense conditions, including current world number starboard rider Connor Baxter.

Photo credit: The Paddle League

In the ladies 24 KM race starboard had a clean sweep on the podium with rider Sonni Honscheid coming 1st and thus onto holding onto her Air France Paddle Festival title, The German Machine broke away early in the race and finished with just over a 3 minutes difference between herself and 2nd placed Yuka Sato, a remarkable achievement considering the conditions. Japanese paddler Yuka Sato put herself to the top of the leader board on the Paddle League world rankings with her 2nd placed finish, a great start to her season!

Photo credit: The Paddle League

In the rest of the pack Fiona Wylde battled with French powerhouse Olivia Piana to secure 3rd place, the 425pro paddler Olivia claimed 4th place in a race where several paddlers retired from heat exhaustion, including Molokai champ Penelope Strickland. 


ELITE MEN (24km)

1st: Marcus Hansen (2:16:45) — New Zealand

2nd: Michael Booth (2:17:20) — Australia

3rd: Steeve Teihotaata (2:18:17) — Tahiti

4th: Titouan Puyo (2:19:00) — New Caledonia

5th: Manatea Bopp du Pont (2:20:06) — Tahiti

6th: Enzo Bennett (2:20:15) — Tahiti

7th: Rete Ebb (2:20:56) — Tahiti

8th: Hapowa Mai (2:21:05) — Tahiti

9th: Georges Cronsteadt (2:21:51) — Tahiti

10th: Niuhiti Buillard (2:22:27 20) — Tahiti



1st: Sonni Honscheid (2:35:27) — Germany

2nd: Yuka Sato (2:38:52) — Japan

3rd: Fiona Wylde (2:44:33) — USA

4th: Olivia Piana (2:48:16) – France

5th: Sylvana Ozbolt (2:49:18) — Tahiti

6th: Hinarii Yiou (3:03:46) — Tahiti

7th: Sandrine Berthe (3:14:450 — Tahiti

8th: Lauriane Bisch (3:18:03) — Tahiti


For Full Results Follow This Link

Click Here to watch the race again with the video brought to us from our friends at the paddle league!

Thanks to Air France, The Paddle League and everyone involved in organising and supporting the event.


About the Author

Helen Trehoret

SUP, OC1, V6, Surfski ... and field hockey coaching, Helen is a busy British mother of two who lives in Bretagne, France with a passion for all things Ocean. Helen runs Barrachou SUP, a SUP tour company specialized in excursions around Bretagne and Scotland.

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