Lost Mills 2015: Big Additions To Europe’s Most Classic Race
In exactly 12 weeks from today, a good chunk of the world’s best stand up paddle athletes will come together in one of the more obscure SUP racing hot-spots: A lake in the middle of the Bavarian countryside.
Germany’s “Lost Mills” International SUP Race, now in its 4th year, has become one of the most prestigious stand up paddle events outside the USA. Last year was an absolute classic and this year, with the backing of the new Euro Tour and a host of very interesting upgrades, the Lost Mills looks set to be an absolute cracker.
Held on the picturesque “Brombachsee” (Lake Brombach) in the south of Germany, Lost Mills 2015 will be a week-long festival in early June that offers races for kids, weekend warriors and international pros. There will also be some solid SUP Racer World Ranking points up for grabs at this year’s event.
The main event happening on Saturday the 6th, which puts the Lost Mills on track to form a great ‘Double Header’ with Spain’s Iberdrola Bilbao World SUP Challenge (June 12-14).
These two grand events will not only be an excellent combo in their own right, they’ll also form the core of the 2015 Euro Tour, a new series established to support the sport and grow the European paddling community.
The Euro Tour covers eight races across six countries in six weeks, however the Lost Mills + Bilbao double header is certainly going to be the most-elite (and richest) part of the series.
In addition to being a headline act on the Euro Tour, the 2015 Lost Mills has a few of its own new tricks in store.
The main event is still the classic long distance race on Saturday 6th June, and once again we’ll see the return of the “Fastest Paddler On Earth” sprint time trial (where Danny Ching set a SUP world record last year). There will also be kids races, amateur races, a Chase Kosterlitz clinic and the usual beer-filled festivities at the beloved host venue: The lakeside Strandhotel Seehof.
However one of the new additions for 2015, and one that could provide the most photo opportunities all week, is the Parallel Slalom Race. The Lost Mills Slalom event will see paddlers face-off in a head-to-head knockout format. Competitors will race down a 200 metre course, snaking their way around a series of buoys along the way.
The regular version of the Parallel Slalom race, where paddlers compete side by side on their regular 14 footers, will be fun enough on its own. However even more exciting will be the Waterwolf Edition of the Slalom race…
The Waterwolf is some bizarro new invention from Europe that basically looks like a cross between a jetski and a SUP. It’s a regular board that has a little outboard motor beneath, shooting the rider forward at speeds of up to 30km/h (almost 20 miles per hour). That puts it somewhere between the WaveJet and those crazy JetSurfer things that Kai Lenny races.
Combine the Waterwolf with the Parallel Slalom course and I think we’ve got a pretty safe recipe for fun.
But even the Waterwolf Slalom race probably can’t overshadow the main event at the Lost Mills: The 16km distance race that became permanently etched in SUP racing folklore last year.
The 2014 Lost Mills distance race was not only one of the most competitive races in the world, it was also an absolute classic, though not for the reasons any of us expected…
With perhaps the largest collection of elite talent ever seen outside of the States, the race turned into an episode of the Twilight Zone after the leading dozen paddlers turned around the wrong buoy and went five minutes off course halfway through the race.
The second half of the race then became a fascinating battle, as some of the biggest names in the sport had to fight through the back-markers to regain the lead.
Danny Ching and Connor Baxter worked together with Beau O’Brian and managed to surge through the field to finish 2nd and 3rd respectively. Beau wasn’t far behind, as were Chase Kosterlitz and Georges Cronsteadt.
However many big names found themselves stuck in the pack and finished with very unfamiliar numbers beside their names: Jake Jensen 17th, Casper Steinfath 23rd, Titouan Puyo 26th.
This was not your average race.
Some paddlers claimed Eric Terrien had pulled a fast one, that by “sneaking past” the leaders instead of warning them of their mistake the Frenchman wasn’t showing fair sportsmanship. Others concluded that the top paddlers had nobody to blame but themselves. Either way, Eric went on to win by a comfortable margin and claim back-to-back Lost Mills titles.
The whole episode became known as “Lost at the Lost Mills” and is still hotly debated among the paddling community to this day.
The 2014 Lost Mills has found itself a permanent home in the pages of SUP racing history, and now the 2015 event looks set to write a new chapter. And it’s all happening from June 2nd-6th at Brombachsee, Germany.
Oh and there’s $20,000 prize money as well, in case that matters to ya. Not too shabby. The exact prize money figure is actually 20,000 Euros, though with the dollar trading so strong that “only” works out at around $20,950 on today’s rates.
So there you go: Big prize money, big names, big new race formats. The 2015 Lost Mills is happening from June 3-6 and should be one of the highlights the new Euro Tour, as well as the international racing season in general.
You can find out more on the official Lost Mills website. If you’re keen to travel from afar, look for flights to either Munich (MUC) or Nurenberg (NUE) airports. Both of those are about one hour from Brombachsee and you can catch a train straight from the airport to the lake. Too easy.
Lost Mills 2015 – Event Schedule
Tuesday 2nd June:
– Fastest Paddler On Earth practice sessions
– SUP demos
Wednesday 3rd June:
– Seehof Cup (local race)
– Chase Kosterlitz race clinic
Thursday 4th June:
– Fastest Paddler On Earth finals – 14 foot hard boards
– Fastest Paddler On Earth finals – inflatables
Friday 5th June:
– Parallel Slalom: SUP race
– Parallel Slalom: Waterwolf race
Saturday 6th June:
– Kids Race
– Erdinger Cup (Open Race – starts same time as Distance Race)
– The Lost Mills Distance Race (the main event)
Lost Mills 2014 – Long Distance Results
Men’s Top 50
1st: Eric Terrien (1:39:32)
2nd: Danny Ching (1:41:26)
3rd: Connor Baxter (1:41:41)
4th: Beau O’Brian (1:42:07)
5th: Greg Closier (1:42:25)
6th: Stefan Stiefenhöfer (1:42:33)
7th: Chase Kosterlitz (1:42:44)
8th: Leonard Nika (1:42:46)
9th: Paul Jackson (1:42:48)
10th: Maritjn van Deth (1:42:54)
11th: Branislav Sramek
12th: Paolo Marconi
13th: Dylan Frick
14th: Zane Schweitzer
15th: Martino Rogai
16th: Itzik Horesh
17th: Jake Jensen
18th: Trevor Tunnington
19th: Ricardo Haverschmidt
20th: Ike Frans
21st: Giordana Capparella
22nd: Davide Ionico
23rd: Casper Steinfath
24th: Peter Weidert
25th: Fabrizio Gasbarro
26th: Titouan Puyo
27th: Bart de Zwart
28th: Vinnicius Martins
29th: Vincent Verhoeven
30th: Patrick Thumm
31st: Bernd Sommer
32nd: Belar Diaz
33rd: Alexander Stertzik
34th: Christoph Salmhofer
35th: Federico Benettolo
36th: Friedrich Kochl
37th: Dirk Bickert
38th: Peter Tritten
39th: Kai-Nicolas Steimer
40th: Wolfgang Leeb
41st: Moritz Mauch
42nd: Martin Salmhofer
43rd: Leonardo Toso
44th: Michael Brauch
45th: Carsten Kurmis
46th: Guido Meier
47th: Gianmatteo Cau
48th: Colori Schilling
49th: Christian Keller
50th: Frank Gondek
Women’s Top 10
1st: Lina Augaitis (1:48:12)
2nd: Angie Jackson (1:49:12)
3rd: Sonni Hönscheid (1:51:30)
4th: Manca Notar (1:55:50)
5th: Laura Quetglas (1:57:02)
6th: Silvia Mecucci
7th: Carol Scheuneman
8th: Erna Stangl
9th: Susanne Lier
10th: Marion Rappl