May 19, 2015
by Christopher Parker (@wheresbossman)

The International SUP Racing Season Keeps On Rolling, Next Stop: The Euro Tour

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Eric Terrien @ the SUP Race Cup, France // photo (C) Michel Terrien

The SUP Race Cup is a French classic… (photo: Michel Terrien)

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We may still be coming down from the high of the ISA Worlds, and directly before that OluKai and the Carolina Cup, however it’s already time to look ahead at the next big race. Or rather, the next big races. As Sayulita returns to its quieter ways, a good chunk of the paddling world now turns its gaze towards Europe.

Starting this weekend, the Euro Tour officially kicks off the summer racing season in Europe, where many of the world’s best will compete alongside the hometown heroes in some of the funnest paddling destinations on the planet.

Covering eight races across six countries in six weekends, the Euro Tour is a simple concept: Combine the great races of Europe, whether they be six star international headliners or simple local affairs, into a unified tour. Connect them with a common rankings leaderboard and a common board class (14′). Get a bunch of the world’s best athletes racing alongside the local kids and weekend warriors. Have fun.

It sounds cliched, but the Euro Tour was created to “support the sport” and help develop the local paddling communities across Europe. This is very much a grassroots affair: There is no TV coverage and no million dollar prize purse. This is not Formula 1. It’s about promoting the fun and adventure of SUP racing from the ground up.

But it’s about more than just paddling…

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Port Adriano SUP race Mallorca spain

The Port Adriano takes in some of the most scenic coastlines you’ll ever paddle

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The Euro Tour is about travel and adventure. It’s about meeting new friends and reconnecting with old ones. Experiencing new cultures. Making memories that linger well after you’ve crossed the finish line.

I love Europe in the summertime. There’s no better place to be. Exploring the beautiful coasts of a paradisaical Mediterranean island (Week 1), sipping wine in the south of France (Week 2), drinking beer in Bavaria (Week 3), pintxos and patxaran in the Basque Country (Week 4), the list goes on.

Tomorrow I’ll be flying to the Spanish island of Mallorca for the first stop of the Tour, my personal favourite the Port Adriano SUP Race, before continuing on to the UK, Germany and then back to Spain (Bilbao) in Week 4. It’s going to be an amazing ride and, if you can’t make it to Europe yourself, we’re going to share as much of the fun times with you.

This is the first official year of the Euro Tour, however it’s always existed in some form. Ever since this sport took off some six odd years ago, there has always been a series of great races during the European summer, it’s just that now they have a place to call home.

The Euro Tour doesn’t include every big SUP race in Europe, though it supports most of them. There are great events happening virtually every weekend from April through til September – the sport really is starting to flourish in this part of the world – and perhaps the Euro Tour will expand in 2016, but for now this looks like a mighty fine start.

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The Lost Mills sits deep in the heart of Bavaria (photo: Prade Design)

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And while the Euro Tour is about all paddlers – from the kids that’ll have their own races at each event to the weekend warriors that’ll get to compete against their heroes – it is worth mentioning how many big names have already signed on for the adventure: Connor Baxter, Travis Grant, Jake Jensen, Georges Cronsteadt, Lina Augaitis, Titouan Puyo, Chase Kosterlitz, Angie Jackson, Paul Jackson, Beau O’Brian, Fiona Wylde, Jimmy Terrell, Sonni Honscheid, Fernando Stalla, Bicho Jimenez, Eric Terrien, Casper Steinfath. To name just a few.

Connor. The world number one. He’ll be at Port Adriano, St. Ives, Lost Mills and Bilbao. Fresh off his gold medal at the Worlds, can he continue his winning form in Europe?

Travis. The Carolina Cup champion. He did the informal Euro Tour in 2013, taking a big win in France and podiums everywhere else he went. We’ll get to see him go head to head with Connor (and many other big guns) at Port Adriano this weekend, before he heads to France where he’ll look to regain his SUP Race Cup crown from the Frenchies.

Bicho. The hero of Sayulita. Was his silver medal in the distance race a fluke, or is this kid now officially on the top level? We’ll find out over the next four weeks.

Sonni. She’s the reigning Molokai champ. Hard to beat in any conditions. Can Lina, Angie and Europe’s finest keep up?

Titou. He’s sitting on the verge of a top 10 world ranking. Can he continue his stellar form at “home” against Connor, Travis, Georges, Chase, Jake, and a dozen more of the world’s best?

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2013 SUP Race Cup beach race

Connor leading out the field at the 2013 SUP Race Cup (photo: Michel Terrien)

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All of these big names will be battling the dark horse locals for pride, prestige and the title of Euro Tour champion. It’s going to be a fun adventure, and you can follow it all right here on SUP Racer.

We’ll be previewing the Euro Tour every day this week (tomorrow: the leaderboard and ranking system revealed), before covering the racing and the behind-the-scenes, day-to-day adventures from Euro land all the way through til the end of June. In the meantime, here’s a look back at the event postcards we announced earlier in the year.

It’s going to be a super fun adventure, and I hope you can join the ride. The summer of SUP starts now…

2015 Euro Tour

Week 1: Port Adriano SUP Race, Mallorca, Spain, May 23 & 24

Week 2: St’Ives Bay Celtic Cup, Cornwall, England, May 30 & 31

Week 2: SUP Race Cup, St. Maxime, France, May 30 & 31

Week 3: The Lost Mills, Bavaria, Germany, June 4-6

Week 4: Bilbao World SUP Challenge, Spain, June 13 & 14

Week 5: Deep SUP Race, Noja, Spain, June 20 & 21

Week 5: Adriatic Crown, Marotta, Italy, June 20 & 21

Week 6: Happy Summer SUP Race, Namur, Belgium, June 27 & 28

Port Adriano

St. Maxime

St. Ives

Lost Mills


Adriatic Crown