December 3, 2016
by Christopher Parker (@wheresbossman)

Titouan Puyo Crowned King of the Cut, 15-Year-Old Clément Colmas Stuns Top Aussies to Finish 2nd; Karla Gilbert Takes Women’s Title

King of the Cut

Titouan Puyo and Clement Colmas en route to a 1-2 finish for New Caledonia at the King of the Cut (photo credit: Shaw Goh)

Team NSP’s Titouan Puyo has taken out the Stand Up Surf Shop ‘King of the Cut’ race in Western Australia, earning a clean sweep of Downwind Week after victory at The Doctor last weekend and cementing his reputation as one of the world’s greatest downwind paddlers.

In an incredible 1-2 finish for the tiny island nation of New Caledonia, 15-year-old dark horse Clément Colmas stunned Australia’s finest to claim the runner-up spot less than a minute behind his compatriot and half a minute ahead of defending champ and Starboard team mate Matt Nottage.

After a dozen or so guys stuck within shouting distance of each other along the opening 5-10kms of the 24km downwind course, the leaders began to stretch out the field as the wind increased and the bumps started running bigger. Nottage was still up in the lead alongside Titou and Clement well in the second half of the race, however the New Cal duo managed to find the right bumps to break away in the closing stages.

While Titou’s victory gives him a memorable finish to a season that saw him claim the Carolina Cup title, sweep the EuroSUP championship and reach the pointy end of the world rankings, the biggest story is surely Clément’s performance. The youngster was on our radar after his strong result at the French Downwind Champs six weeks ago, however this is a true breakout performance on par with Bernd Roediger’s epic runner-up finish to Connor Baxter at this year’s Gorge Double Downwinder.

Consider these numbers, which should be give the other top ocean athletes something to worry about: Clément, the son of windsurf legend and early Starboard collaborator JL Colmas, is 7 years younger than Connor Baxter, 10 years younger than Titou and almost two decades younger than Travis Grant and Danny Ching.

Just outside the podium was another Starboard athlete in 2013 & 2014 champ Beau O’Brian. Titou’s under-rated NSP team mate from New Zealand, Marcus Hansen, crossed in 5th, while the 2016 ISA world champ Michael Booth (Starboard) was 6th.

Rounding out the top 10 in this highly competitive field was James Casey (JP), Lincoln Dews (JM), Jake Jensen (Fanatic) and Will Lee.

King of the Cut

Matt Nottage and Clement Colmas dueled back and forth along the entire 24km course (photo: Woolacot/SUPWA)

Not only did the lead change several times but so too did the virtual top 10. And that’s the great thing about downwind races: Unlike flat water grinds, where the results are far easier to predict, downwinding adds a bunch of new variables and subtleties that can have a big impact on finishing times.

Sam Parker won the battle of the unlimiteds for Team NSP over Sunova’s Marcus Tardrew, however neither was able to claim the line honours bounty, with the duo crossing the line 6th and 8th respectively (though in fairness, conditions were probably too light for the bigger boards to utilise their natural advantage).

Outside the top two, New Caledonia had a third paddler in the mix who, just like Clément, could be a name to watch in the future: Noic Garioud, who finished top 15 in the 14′ division at his first international race. He’s only 14 years old.

The potential showed by Titou’s compatriots led to the champ joking post-race that he’d be announcing his retirement in order to make way for the youngsters.

Karla Gilbert

Karla Gilbert crosses the line to claim victory (photo: Woolacott/SUPWA)

Queen Karla

In the women’s King of the Cut (Queen of the Cut?), Karla Gilbert dashed Angie Jackson’s hopes of a third straight crown, with the Naish team rider comfortably winning the title in 1 hour 14 minutes. Karla has long been one of Australia’s most dominant ocean paddlers, not just in the SUP world but stretching back more than two decades to her time as Australia’s queen of lifeguard racing.

Angie, the defending champ and ONE team rider, had to settle for third today, with the very impressive Marie Buchanan from Great Britain getting the jump on her in a see-sawing battle for 2nd. Just like many of the other competitors, Marie was clearly feeling at home in the bumps on her Starboard Ace. This is probably her biggest result to date and is a deserving reward for her years of ocean experience (Marie is also a competitive windsurfer).

Team Oz rep Terrene Black (ECS) was 4th, while Olympic sailing gold medalist Belinda Stowell-Brett (Starboard) rounded out the top five.

The women’s field at this year’s King of the Cut was quite small in relation to the men’s, however in a positive sign for the future there were more than twice as many women as last year.
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Although the wind wasn’t all-time it was certainly strong, blowing at 15-20 knots to whip up plenty of big bumps and give competitors a solid downwind run. Coincidentally, Titou’s winning time was almost identical to Matty’s fast run from 12 months ago (1:48:28 vs 1:48:21), so there must have been plenty of great glides on offer.

It was a big day for both NSP and Starboard, with the two teams claiming the top seven spots across the line. Team NSP got the victory thanks to Titou, however Starboard had the next three finishers. The iconic Starboard Ace and the new NSP Sonic ocean race board were clearly the boards of choice.

There were also “dugout” style downwind boards on show from ONE, JP Australia and Sunova, with the design trend of 14′ downwind boards in Australia now very clearly established.

Team Naish got a bit of joy thanks to Karla’s victory in the women’s race; she was the only finisher inside the top 5 men or women that was riding a flat-deck board.

Titouan Puyo

Titouan Puyo from Team NSP gliding to victory (photo: Woolacott/SUPWA)

As the headline act of West Oz Downwind Week, the King of the Cut is the most prestigious downwind race in the world outside of Hawaii and Oregon. This year’s race featured over 100 paddlers for the first time, including more than two dozen unlimited entrants in what is surely a record for an ocean race not held in Hawaii. That included half a dozen of the big blue NSP ‘Molokai’ boards that Travis Grant made famous in Hawaii, along with plenty of the classic SIC Bullet designs and the new entrant in the unlimited arena: Sunova.

Scroll down for the full results and allocation of points for the SUP Racer World Rankings (which will be updated as soon as we get our hands on the results from Paris).

Thanks to the crew from SUPWA (Stand Up Paddle Western Australia) for pulling off another great race and continuing to grow the downwind scene in Australia. From all reports the King of the Cut is a favourite among the paddlers. If you like chasing bumps, this is a race you should pencil in on your bucket list.

You can find a few more photos over on Facebook thanks to Shaw Goh.

King of the Cut

2016 King of the Cut champions Karla Gilbert and Titouan Puyo (photo credit: Alain Teurquetil)

Titouan Puyo

Titou claimed the cash for both the elite race win and line honours (photo credit: Alain Teurquetil)



2016 Stand Up Surf Shop ‘King of the Cut’ Results

Conditions: 15-20 knot downwinder
Course: 24km
Race Index: 30%
Jump to the women’s results

1Titouan Puyo1:48:2814'30.00EliteNSP4:31 min/km
2Clement Colmas1:49:1014'22.50EliteStarboard4:32 min/km
3Matt Nottage1:49:4014'18.00EliteStarboard4:34 min/km
4Beau O'Brian1:50:3414'15.00EliteStarboard4:36 min/km
5Marcus Hansen1:52:1214'12.75EliteNSP4:40 min/km
6Sam Parker1:52:53Unlimited0.00Over 40NSP4:42 min/km
7Michael Booth1:53:4214'10.50EliteStarboard4:44 min/km
8Marcus Tardrew1:53:53Unlimited0.00OpenSunova4:44 min/km
9James Casey1:53:5914'9.00EliteJP Australia4:44 min/km
10Lincoln Dews1:55:4714'7.50EliteJM Paddleboards4:49 min/km
11Jake Jenson1:56:4214'6.75EliteFanatic4:51 min/km
12William Lee1:56:4714'6.00Elite?4:51 min/km
13Wesley Fry1:57:0614'5.40Elite?4:52 min/km
14Kelly Margetts1:58:1214'4.80Over 40Sunova4:55 min/km
15Paul Jackson1:58:5114'4.50EliteONE4:57 min/km
16Ben Tardrew1:59:3714'4.20EliteONE4:59 min/km
17Noic Garioud1:59:4314'3.90Under 40Sunova4:59 min/km
18Tim Cyprien2:01:5514'3.60EliteFanatic5:04 min/km
19Tomoyasu Murabayashi2:05:0514'3.30EliteStarboard5:12 min/km
20Dale Chapman2:05:18Unlimited0.00Over 40NSP5:13 min/km
21Peter Dorries2:07:1514'3.00Over 50?5:18 min/km
22Paul Simmons2:09:2214'2.70EliteStarboard5:23 min/km
23Phil Gregory2:09:26Unlimited0.00Over 40?5:23 min/km
24Mark Huxley2:09:30Unlimited0.00Over 40?5:23 min/km
25Steve Walker2:11:2414'2.40Over 40ONE5:28 min/km
26Rob Walton2:13:31Unlimited0.00Over 40?5:33 min/km
27Sean Bicknell2:14:01Unlimited0.00Over 40?5:35 min/km
28Nico Schenk2:14:0214'2.25EliteONE5:35 min/km
29Jackson Shaw2:14:55Unlimited0.00Open?5:37 min/km
30Alain Teurquetil2:15:03Unlimited0.00Over 40NSP5:37 min/km
31Scott McCluskey2:15:0914'2.10Over 40-5:37 min/km
32Cameron McKay2:15:11Unlimited0.00Open-5:37 min/km
33Andrew Shield2:15:37Unlimited0.00Over 40-5:39 min/km
34Adam Fahey2:16:07Unlimited0.00Over 40-5:40 min/km
35Jason Oliphant2:16:21Unlimited0.00Open-5:40 min/km
36Kieran O'Riordan2:17:15Unlimited0.00OpenNSP5:43 min/km
37Craig Winnett2:17:1614'1.95Over 50-5:43 min/km
38Greg Kerr2:18:03Unlimited0.00Over 40-5:45 min/km
39Olivier Garioud2:18:2614'1.80Over 40-5:46 min/km
40Julius Wright2:18:5314'1.65Under 40-5:47 min/km
41John Gerlach2:19:2514'1.56Over 50-5:48 min/km
42Luke Jenkins2:19:2714'1.47Over 40-5:48 min/km
43Lee McLean2:19:4514'1.38Elite-5:49 min/km
44Gordon Stimson2:19:52Unlimited0.00Over 40-5:49 min/km
45Sean Avni2:20:25Unlimited0.00Over 40-5:51 min/km
46Sam McCullough2:21:1814'1.29Under 40-5:53 min/km
47Peter Pridmore2:22:1914'1.20Over 40-5:55 min/km
48Luke Hallam2:25:1214'1.14Under 40-6:03 min/km
49Evan Green2:25:23Unlimited0.00Open-6:03 min/km
50Rob Gittoes2:27:1814'1.08Over 50-6:08 min/km
51Damian England2:27:3314'1.02Elite-6:08 min/km
52Mark Buchanan2:28:0514'0.96Over 40-6:10 min/km
53Samuel Maurice2:30:0514'0.90Elite-6:15 min/km
54Gordon Salvage2:30:3914'0.84Over 40-6:16 min/km
55Paul Cribb2:31:08Unlimited0.00Open-6:17 min/km
56Joe Fry2:31:3314'0.78Over 40-6:18 min/km
57John Engel2:32:1914'0.72Over 50-6:20 min/km
58Alessio Voliani2:33:3614'0.66Over 40-6:23 min/km
59Matt Blakers2:33:4114'0.60Under 40-6:24 min/km
60Paul Shepherd2:35:08Unlimited0.00Over 40-6:27 min/km
61Kent Wright2:35:3514'0.57Over 50-6:28 min/km
62Justin Ormonde2:36:01Unlimited0.00Over 40-6:30 min/km
63Dave White2:36:0214'0.54Over 40-6:30 min/km
64Steve McCullough2:37:4614'0.51Over 50-6:34 min/km
65Mark Hall2:38:0314'0.48Over 40-6:35 min/km
66Ben Chaneeto2:38:4214'0.45Over 40-6:36 min/km
67Scott Corrigan2:38:4714'0.42Under 40-6:36 min/km
68Paul Hepworth2:40:2414'0.39Under 40-6:41 min/km
69Glenn Simmonds2:41:2014'0.36Over 40-6:43 min/km
70John Townsend2:42:15Unlimited0.00Over 40-6:45 min/km
71Shane Bray2:42:52Unlimited0.00Open-6:47 min/km
72Shane Lynch2:44:4714'0.33Over 50-6:51 min/km
73Tony Strang2:45:0914'0.30Over 50-6:52 min/km
74Chris Ting2:45:56Unlimited0.00Over 40-6:54 min/km
75Brian Jefferys2:46:1014'0.00Over 50-6:55 min/km
76Tony Sycamore2:46:2814'0.00Under 40-6:56 min/km
77Blair Harrison2:47:35Unlimited0.00Open-6:58 min/km
78Remi Roques2:48:1314'0.00Over 40-7:00 min/km
79Steve Brown2:48:4914'0.00Over 50-7:02 min/km
80Jun Hao Lo2:49:2514'0.00Under 40-7:03 min/km
81Robert Bullen2:51:5514'0.00Under 40-7:09 min/km
82Jonathan Wilson2:53:5214'0.00Over 50-7:14 min/km
83Jono King2:54:3214'0.00Under 40-7:16 min/km
84Phil Pretty2:56:3514'0.00Over 50-7:21 min/km
85Dan Meyer3:00:3514'0.00Over 40-7:31 min/km
86Craig Hubbard3:25:5914'0.00Over 40-8:34 min/km
87Chris Le Messurier3:26:0614'0.00Over 50-8:35 min/km


1Karla Gilbert2:14:4814'Pro ClassNaish30.00
2Marie Buchanan2:18:4614'Pro ClassStarboard22.50
3Angela Jackson2:18:5014'Pro ClassONE18.00
4Terrene Black2:21:3714'Pro ClassECS15.00
5Belinda Stowell Brett2:22:4414'Pro ClassStarboard12.75
6Cristiana Chessa2:35:2714'Over 40-10.50
7Ke'ale Dorries2:40:1614'Pro Class-9.00
8Jade Lane2:40:1714'Pro Class-7.50
9Charlotte Spicer2:42:3414'Over 40NSP6.75
10Jackie Nicholl2:42:4614'Pro Class-6.00
11Sue Dorries2:45:0714'Over 40-5.40
12Chloe Walkerdene2:56:2314'Pro ClassJP Australia4.80
13Nicole Jones2:58:2014'Over 40-4.50
14Kerry Davenport3:09:2914'Over 40-4.20
15Tracey Mouque3:27:09.314'Over 40-3.90