Olivia Piana overpowers Sonni Honscheid, Lincoln Dews outlasts Michael Booth in Germany!

Last weekend saw the 2018 Mercedes-Benz SUP World Cup held a Scharbeutz, Germany. It was the 7th stop of The Paddle League World Tour and week 9 of the EuroTour.

The event was first held in Hamburg back in 2009 making it one of the world’s oldest races, with paddlers from 26 nations had perfect weather in the seaside town of Scharbeutz on the north coast of Germany. The pier at Scharbeutz created the perfect amphitheater for spectators, combined with the amazing weather, produced a large crowd all weekend. The weekend also featured celebrity races and amateur events; stand out performers in the amateur field included Caroline Künzel (Denmark) who won the open race in just her second ever SUP event.

Photo Credit  @georgiasphoto / @paddleleague

This SUP World Cup is considered by SUP athletes to be one of the most professionally organised events in the sport, helping elevate SUP to gain more mainstream recognition with major media distribution in Germany and major backing from brands such as Mercedes-Benz and L’Oreal.

WOMEN’S ELITE RACE

The elite race was a 10 KM course race featuring 6 laps, with a stiff ocean breeze giving competitors both downwind and headwind bumps on the longer stretches, which in turn made drafting difficult and produced big time gaps on the results sheet

Photo Credit  @georgiasphoto / @paddleleague

A Victory for German Sonni Honscheid would have clinched the inaugural Paddle League World Title in home waters, but she was denied by Frenchwoman and 425 pro rider Olivia Piana. Starboard paddler Sonni looked set to claim victory after opening an early lead; the only woman who could match the early pace was Seychelle who was just a couple of board lengths behind on the opening two laps. But then Olivia found her rhythm and charged up into the lead on lap three before pulling clear in the second half of the battle for a clear win.

Olivia eventually won by a minute, denying the home crowd a national celebration but still receiving a big cheer from the fans. The difference came down to Olivia’s speed around the buoy turns and incredible ability to milk the tiny downwind bumps on the longer stretches with her 425pro boardSonni was still supremely impressive, and by arriving in 2nd place she remains in the box seat to claim the World Title later in the season.

Photo Credit  @georgiasphoto / @paddleleague

American paddler Seychelle was looking very strong in third, with another podium that caps off a big European season. Australian paddler Angie Jackson produced one of the performances of the day, coming back from a hectic and confused start which left half a dozen women starting from the back of the field; The One paddler fought all the way up to fifth but was left to lament what could have been if the start had been clearer. Starboard rider Fiona Wylde started the final lap in 7th, but fought back by riding some nice bumps, before ending up in 4th place.

Photo Credit  @georgiasphoto / @paddleleague

The tight nature of the course, although sometimes confusing as the men’s and women’s fields overlapped (women have already been promised their own separate race at next year’s event), produced some of the most exciting racing we’ve seen all season for the crowd on the beach, along the pier and watching online around the world; at one point, Sonni and Olivia were battling side-by-side just meters ahead of the duel between Lincoln and Boothy.

MEN’S ELITE RACE

Again a strong field was present for this race, creating one of the most intense races we’ve seen in a long time. Despite the incredible talent on the start line, the two most in-form athletes of the season so far, Michael Booth and Lincoln Dews, opened up a gap almost immediately and were never threatened. The race then became an extraordinary arm-wrestle as the Australian duo battled side-by-side, stroke-for-stroke from buoy to buoy.

Photo Credit  @georgiasphoto / @paddleleague

There was an ever-present feeling that Boothy would eventually break clear, just as he’s done almost every race this season, however Lincoln refused to give in and then turned the tables by making the first attacks in the second half of the contest. The DEEP and Quickblade team rider eventually broke free in the small bumps on lap five before grinding out a tense final loop to claim his first major title. Victory was particularly sweet for the underdog considering he’s been runner-up at the previous two Paddle League World tour stops  at Bilbao and Hossegor, with Lincoln, who could barely talk at the finish line after leaving nothing on the water, calling it a “huge relief” to finally hit the top step of the podium

The Aussie boys were full of compliments for each other, with Lincoln saying “It was an honour to race against Boothy, he’s been the man to beat the past 12 months,” and Boothy humbly adding that “Lincoln paddled fantastic and was the best man on the day; I did everything I could but he just kept pulling away”.

Photo Credit  @georgiasphoto / @paddleleague

Behind the battle royale at the front of the field, Arthur Arutkin raced solo virtually start to finish to claim a very impressive third place, while Connor Baxter picked up another top five result that would be a delight to anyone else but wasn’t the one he was looking for. Kiwi paddler and NSP paddler Marcus Hansen continued to shed his dark horse status by rounding out the top five on a day when many established names finished outside the top 10 or even top 20. Starboard rider Bruno Hasulyo continued showing his good form in varied conditions by claiming sixth, while consistent Frenchman Martin Vitry took 7th place for the fourth time this year

Photo Credit  @georgiasphoto / @paddleleague

At the back of the back Georges Cronsteadt came in at 8th place, Noic Garioud in 9th and Josh Riccio in 10th all raced superbly and would have won most mid-level events with their performances–the fact they were only just inside the top 10 highlights just how strong the field is in Europe these days; big names such as Mo Freitas and last year’s World Cup runner-up Casper Steinfath were left stranded outside the top 10 after an intense hour of racing.

Next weekend, is the final stop in Finland with the VI Sieravuori SUP Masters!

Results

ELITE WOMENS TOP 10

1st: Olivia Piana (1:01:07) Team: France/425

2nd: Sonni Honscheid (1:02:28) Team: Germany/Starboard

3rd: Seychelle (1:03:20) Team: USA/SIC

4th: Fiona Wylde (1:03:33) Team: USA/Starboard

5th: Angie Jackson (1:04:58) Team: Australia/ONE

6th: Yuka Sato (1:05:37) Team: Japan/Starboard

7th: Kate Baker (1:05:44) Team: UK/ONE

8th: Annie Reickert (1:08:08) Team: Hawaii/Naish
9th: Lena Ribeiro (1:09:58) Team: Brazil/SIC

10th: Noelani Sach (1:10:04) Team: Germany/NSP

 

ELITE MEN TOP 10

 

1st: Lincoln Dews (0:52:24) Team: Australia/DEEP

2nd: Michael Booth (0:52:55) Team: Australia/Starboard

3rd: Arthur Arutkin (0:53:37) Team: France/Fanatic

4th: Connor Baxter (0:54:17) Team: Hawaii/Starboard

5th: Marcus Hansen (0:54:40) Team: New Zealand/NSP

6th: Bruno Hasulyo (0:54:54) Team: Hungary/Starboard

7th: Martin Vitry (0:55:15) Team: France/SIC

8th: Georges Cronsteadt (0:55:16) Team: Tahiti/425

9th: Noic Garioud (0:55:19) Team: New Caledonia/Sunova

10th: Josh Riccio 0:55:39) Team: USA/F-ONE

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