Last weekend (23rd and 24th June) Hossegor hosted the annual Hossegor Paddle Games in France. This was the 9th stop of the Euro Tour and 6th major of The Paddle League Tour. The focus was on Saturdays elite race which was a long distance 7 KM challenge that included paddling in flat water, open ocean, wind and small waves.
(Re)Watch the Action
Day 3: Technical Races & Dash for Cash
Video starts at 8:50 – Men’s finish at 57:00 – Women’s finish at 1:50:00
The event had one of the strongest fields we’ve seen all year plus tough conditions which produced a very intense contest. Culminating in home nation hero Titouan Puyo and Sonni Honscheid becoming victorious! Plus Spanish rider Jurgi Zulaika and French enduro sensation Florent Dode each winning a flight ticket and much to KXT Watermana in December!
Heavy confusion and frenetic jet ski action at the start of the race left some paddlers at the back of the pack and slightly bemused. NSP paddler Titouan Puyo recovered from the chaotic start and powered through the field from 40th into 1st, Aussie Lincoln Dews was the early leader and held his form all the way, battling with Titou before securing his second runner-up finish in two weeks. After rounding the last buoy Titouan came storming in making the most of the on coming wind swell taking 1st position.
The Hungarian Hasulyo Brothers continued their strong form this season to claim 3rd and 4th. The conditions out at sea were certainly pushing the paddlers to their limits with the side chop, however it still allowed for a great contest between the top paddlers.
New Zealand and Starboard paddlers Marcus Hansen continues to show his World Tour win in Tahiti was no fluke by rounding out the top 5. At this point NSP paddler Titouan takes over from Michael Booth on top of the Euro Tour Leaderboard, however with a spare race in hand, Boothy is likely to strike back next weekend!
In the women’s elite race Sonni Honscheid return to the top of the podium with a strong performance, after breaking away early in the messy water that was whipped up by both moderate winds and over-enthusiastic jet ski riders she cruised to victory with over a minute between her and 2nd placed Olivia Piana.
Home nation hero 425pro paddler Olivia Piana and starboard paddler Fiona Wylde and had a close battle around the zig-zagging second half of the course, but the home nation hero eventually pulled clear to claim second place. Sonni is now the runaway ratings leader on The Paddle League World Tour. However Olivia holds an unbeatable lead on the women’s EuroTour Leaderboard.
While Saturday was remembered for both incredible performances and confusion within the race start, Sunday ended on a very positive note with the introduction of the new Paddle League “Dash For Cash” event. Over 50 athletes lined up 250 meters off the beach for a straight-line sprint in through the small surf.
Once they hit the sand, paddlers sprinted up to the finish line and dived for the “cash cans” — bottles filled with a random amount of money between €20 and €200. It was a very fun, lighthearted way to end the event that left a memorable impression — hopefully we’ll be seeing this format again in the near future!
Jurgi Zulaika and Florent Dode win their Air Tahiti Nui trip to the KXT Watermana Liquid Festival 2018 !
The awards ceremony was capped off with a special announcement by our own Mathieu Astier, Mr TotalSUP at TotalSUP and the Waterman World Tour. Former Spanish national junior champion Jurgi Zulaika and endurance athlete Frenchman Florent Dode were awarded a free plane ticket courtesy of Air Tahiti Nui each to the KXT Watermana event in Huahine on the 26th November till the 2nd December. Both paddlers were awarded the prize in recognition of their waterman abilities, spirit and commitment to the sport.
TotalSUP would like to thank Tahitian waterwoman and ATN ambassador Puatea Ellis for bringing the tickets to the event in person! Thanks to all the candidates who applied via TotalSUP! More tickets will be delivered at 2 events more via The Paddle League which will be announced soon, as well as other endurance sport events selected by TotalSUP. This is in partnership with Tahiti Tourisme, Air Tahiti, Société de Navigation Polynésienne – Hawaikinui – Nukuhau. So, watch out for future events so we can send more paddlers to Tahiti throughout the season in partnership with the Waterman Tahiti Tour !
The Hossegor Paddle Games 2018 Results
Here are Results for Saturdays 7km!
Womens 7km Results
Amateur 7 km Results
Note from the Paddle league and Euro Tour Organisers
While we want to highlight the incredible performances of the top athletes, we also must address some unfortunate incidents that left a mark on the event — we have included the following official statement released together by The Paddle League and the EuroTour
Thank you to everyone that was part of the 2018 Hossegor Paddle Games. It was a challenging weekend of racing with some great performances and fun new formats on show, however there were also major issues that we want to address.
There were several incidents with the organisation of Saturday’s elite race, in particular the procedure for the race start and misconduct of official boats and jet-skis, as well as the quality of the local livestream production, which we find unacceptable for an international-level race in terms of fairness, safety and respect.
We want to make it clear that The Paddle League and the EuroTour take full responsibility no matter what the cause, and also that we’ll be better focused on collaborating with event organisers that can help us deliver major, world-class events in the future to ensure this never happens again. The health & integrity of the sport is always our top priority, therefore neither The Paddle League nor the EuroTour will be working with events such as the Hossegor Paddle Games in the future.
We thank the athletes and fans for their patience and understanding — we’ve learned some lessons that we believe can only help make the sport better in the long term. As always, you’re welcome to message The Paddle League and EuroTour directly with any questions, comments and general feedback.
Looking ahead, we’re excited to be reaching the peak of the European Summer of SUP in Germany next weekend, and we look forward to seeing you all on the water over the remainder of the season!
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