Italians melting away the winter chill with Battle of the Team 2018

A true team paddle event has emerged in Tuscany, Italy, organised by Italian paddlers Martino Rogai and Susak Molinero, The event Battle of the Team (B.O.T) has been developed to share the paddle passion, it consists of 6 teams organising 6 different races over the winter period, a chance for Italy’s finest and passionate paddlers to join in battle to gain points for their paddle schools! A true team event!

Starting in 2015, in Florence with a circuit that only consisted of 1 race the circuit has grown in statue and now involves more than 6 schools from the region of Tuscany and 1 from Umbria. TotalSUP talks to blistering paddler Susak Molinero about the B.O.T

Hi Susak, Can you introduce the B.O.T?

We created the B.O.T to race over winter, it has given the opportunity for local paddlers, athletes, amateus and lovers of Stand Up Paddling alike all to meet up, train together and to compete alongside each other, it keeps our adrenaline flowing over the winter period, and is a great motivation to train hard over the winter.

We have 4 categories, pro male and female (8-12 km), then amateur male and female (3-5km), all boards up to 14” are allowed. This season we are thinking of introducing 2 new categories, Junior pro and Junior amateur!

The format of the race is that you race on behalf of your team. Each individual paddler wins points for their team,  In each event the best three team are rewarded and the teams then will be given a rank the end of the tour. The important aspect is that it is the team that wins and not the just the individual athlete. Unity is Strength!! We have done this so that every club encourages involvement from every member, and it seems to be working!  The best thing about our format is that you don’t have to best for yourself, you have to do your best for your team! 

We have 6 clubs/schools that host the races, they are Spot 1 SUP, SUP Salivoli, Firenze SUP, Circolo Velico Antignano, SUP Trasimeno, Castiglione SUP Experience, with Team Calasole, Maremma SUP Aventura coming along to join in the fun!

When are the races held?

The 1st event on the winter tour was held on 17th December in Cecina (Livorno), we had 37 paddlers on the water, The next was on the 28th January where we raced in our home spot on the beach of Salivoli in Piombino (Livorno) and there were 38 paddlers!!

After that, the next race was on the 11th February 11th on Trasimeno lake in Passignano (Perugia) in the Umbria region close to Tuscany, with 26 paddlers on the water! We had one race scheduled on the 25th February on the Arno river at the “Queen city” of Florence, but we had to cancel because of all the snow and the freezing conditions.  But it has been reschedule for for Sunday 4th March.

We have 2 two other BOTs left in the series, one in Castiglione della Pescaia (Grosseto) on the 11th marchand the last one in Antignano (Livorno) onthe 25th march.

We have great support from paddlers who are normally found on the international circuit such as Martino Rogai (the founder of the BOT), Paolo Marconi, Claudio Nika, Federico Esposito, Riccardo Rossi, Chiara Nordio, Caterina Stenta, Susak Molinero, plus there are alot of weekend warriors out!

How do you register?

You register on site at each race, it is better to know beforehand how many paddlers will be competiting. The registration fee is 20 euro, this goes towards the costs for the clubs to organize the event. At each race we provide shower facilties, the insurance, drinks, lunch and aperitives, the perfect way to spend the day talking and sharing the same passion!!

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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