Starboard team rider Fiona Wylde led from start to finish and New Caledonia’s Titouan Puyo fought off countryman Noic Garioud to win long distance gold medals in perfect racing condition at the ICF stand up paddling world championships in Hungary on Friday.
Wylde could not have been more impressive in winning the women’s 18 kilometre title by more than 30 seconds from Spain’s Esperanza Barreras, with Russian SUP champion Elena Prokhorova finishing third.
Wylde, who has to manage type one diabetes during her races, adds her gold medal to two bronze medals she won at the 2019 ICF world championships.
“Really in terms of today, if I was to have a dream race, I think that would have been it,” she said.
“I’m super proud of the way I paddled today, and controlling my blood sugars, and all the preparation that went into it, it’s really special.
“We all have our challenges, we all have our challenges when we go out there, it’s just about learning how to manage them and not getting down about it. I guess I never give up.”
It took Puyo until the final sprint to the finish to shake off Garioud, with only six seconds separating the teammates at the finish. Hungarian Daniel Hasulyo finished third.
“We got some bumps out there for two sections, so it was a bit like New Caledonia for the two of us,” Puyo said.
“When I saw the bumps on the first lap I thought we could do something, but then when I saw the guys working together behind I knew we would have to push harder.
“The first lap we worked together, but I saw the rest were coming back to us. Sometimes when you work together you can lose a bit of time, so on the second lap I tried to stay in front, I especially wanted to be in front on the last buoy. Noic is a great finisher.”
Reigning world champion Michael Booth of Australia was part of a chasing pack during the men’s race, eventually finishing fifth.
The 2021 ICF Stand Up Paddling World Championships continue on Saturday on Lake Balaton, with medals to be decided in sprint and inflatable boards.
RESULTS LONG DISTANCE – ICF SUP WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS– 18KM
PUYO Titouan (FNC) 1.46.49:62
GARIOUD Noic (FNC) 1.46.55:97
HASULYO Daniel (HUN) 1.47.04:60
WYLDE Fiona (USA) 2.05.41:43
BARRERAS Esperanza (ESP) 2.06.12:24
PROKHOROVA Elena (RUS) 2.10.30:75