This past SUP Race weekend in Madeira, Portugal at the Madeira Island SUP Challenge had all the ingredients for a perfect international event to finish off the 2021 Eurotour. With amazing views all along the cliffs of the town of Funchal, the course had to be one of the most picturesque of the entire European circuit!
On the women’s side, a newcomer to the international SUP Race scene, but well known in Portugal, Anabela Prioste came out of the gates super strong and lead the entire race to win by nearly two minutes over the Italian starboard team racer, Caterina Stenta from Italy in 2nd place. A few minutes later, came the young local talent from Madeira in 3rd, Veronica Silva who showed the world she is the new up and coming athlete, outrunning the ever consistent Sunova Team Rider, Susanne Lier in 4th. Closing the Top 5 was another local, Raquel Lopes.
Top 10 Women:
1. Anabela Prioste
2. Caterina Stenta
3. Veronica Silva
4. Susanne Lier
5. Raquel Lopes
On the men’s side, it was a very tight race between Starboard SUP team mates Daniel Hasulyo and Leonard Nika. The two athletes broke away from the rest of the chasing pack early in the race and did the whole race together. At the end of the race, they launched a frantic shoulder-to-shoulder sprint and it looked like Daniel had the upper hand, until a last-minute surge by Leonard Nika that saw him claim the win!
Infinity SUP team rider from Peru Itzel Delgado was also in contention in the first minutes of the race until a fall saw him lose touch with the lead. He still managed to finish only 1 minute behind Leo and Daniel. The local hero and a young paddler to watch out for at any upcoming SUP Race event, is the very talented Tomas Lacerda, 4th, who managed to break away from Danish viking and world superstar Casper Steinfath, to close out another International amd very competitive Top 5.
Top 10 Men:
Special mention and congratulations to the emerging talents from Madeira, including all the athletes from Clube Naval de Fuchal as well as other local clubs. The Junior races in the morning, in the 8-12 year old, and then 13-17 year old categories, were extremely competitive and 4 Elite Juniors claimed 4 spots in the coveted Top 10 in the Elite race.
On Sunday we had the relay race in an exciting new format that saw teams of 4 (3 Juniors+ 1 Pro) go head to head in a course where they crossed each other and right in front of all the spectators; without a doubt one of the highlights of the weekend. To no one’s surprise, the local team captain by local superstar Tomas Lacerda came away with the win.
Congratulations and big thanks also to the race director Ricardo “Sapo” Rodrigues.