April 28, 2018
by Christopher Parker (@wheresbossman)

Florence Paddle Games: Bruno Hasulyo, Olivia Piana Victorious in Italy (Full Recap + Results)

Susak Molinero and Olivia Piana at the Florence Paddle Games

In brief: Bruno Hasulyo and Olivia Piana have taken out the inaugural Florence Paddle Games in Italy, overpowering a strong domestic field to claim the prize money and Paddle League points.

Long-standing king of Italian paddling, Leo Nika, came home second in the men’s elite race while his brother Claudio was fourth. Dark horse and event co-founder Martino Rogai split the brothers to claim the third step of the podium.

Susak Molinero was runner-up in the women’s and looks to be in good form again this year, while the under-rated Melanie Lafenetre from France (GlaGla Race champ) was third ahead of local lass Chiara Nordio.



UPDATE: here’s the full recap from Martino

There’s also a massive photo gallery over on The Paddle League’s Facebook.

The Florence Paddle Games has been finally an amazing event, I’m so happy and proud of it. Probably the most exciting race in Italy ever, we followed the scheduled giving the right focus to everybody.

We started on Saturday morning with the Amateur long distance, 6 km (2 laps of the Racing track between Florentine bridges) and immediately this race has been emotional for me with my young brother Diego at his first SUP race taking the win in our city.

After the Amateur we had the women Pro Uffizi Sup Race, 15 km (5 laps). The choice to let the Pro Women start alone has been so bold. We would like girls could have the same chance to be watched by such crowded place as the center of Florence does. The women race has been so fascinating, with Olivia and Susak taking the lead and working together until the final lap when Olivia made a gap that took her to the victory.

But the main battle has been for the third place between Melanie Lafenetre and Chiara Nordio, they fought all the time until the breathless sprint (we posted the video on Facebook and Instagram) that made this race more exciting. We think the girls deserved to have the racing field on their own for two hours, their race has been so fun to watch and sometimes we lose this battle of ladies because of they happen at the same time of male races.

Bruno Hasulyo and Leo Nika lead the front pack in Florence

The men Pro Uffizi Sup Race has started just after the last woman finish. More than 30 top paddlers of Italy were present. The top Italians were there with Leonard Nika, Paolo Marconi, Giordano Bruno Capparella, Davide Ionico, Claudio Nika and Martino Rogai (only Federico Esposito missed the event cause sickness). The world Champion Bruno Hasulyo was there. He has lived in Florence for 12 years, despite of his Hungarian passport, Bruno is a real Florentine boy. And we had some other international paddlers from Israel, Slovenia, Greece, Canada.

The start has been so fast, the racing track was made with a lot of buoy turning that made this race a sort of Technical Race in the flat water. It’s like a F1 circuit in the town, with 5 laps to rule under a so crowded place. All the bridges and banks of the river were full of people watching this race getting fascinated of this sport.

After the first lap the first train has been formed with Bruno, me, Leonard Nika and Claudio Nika fighting until the finish line for the first place. During the last lap Leonard me and Bruno started sprinting, at the end Bruno won the race with Leo second and I got third. Behind us, a lot of other battles took place as the amazing battle for 5th place and prize money between Paolo Marconi and Liran Machlev from Israel. This made the entire race so interesting to watch and the crowd had appreciated this format.

On Sunday we had the Junior Uffizi Cup, with an interesting battle between the best young paddlers from Italy. But has been more like a party with all the kids so fascinated to could paddle close to the champions as Bruno, Paolo, Giordano, Susak, etc. And we also had the Florence Fun Race powered by Starboard, a really fun sprint race in the best scenery just in front of Ponte Vecchio.

I’m so proud of this race, my main goal launching it was to show to the Italian and international SUP community how nice is paddling in Florence. But also how much important is involve the public in this sport, and Florence as a lot of place in the world could become a sort of stadium of SUP, with a competition format close to the motorsports. And we are so proud about the girls race, they could race finally with all the attetion from the crowd and they deserved it, I hope to have more girls next year to make the female race even more fascinating. And of course the kids race and the Fun Race. Everything was cool in this race.
I really hope to have you next year and to have more riders. We are going to work hard to launch soon the 2019 date 😉



2018 Florence Paddle Games: RESULTS

1Olivia Piana20.00Open
2Susak Molinero15.00Open
3Melanie Lafenetre12.00Open
4Chiara Nordio10.00Open
5Caterina Stenta8.50Open
6Laura Dal Pont7.00Junior
7Giulia Dal Pont6.00Junior
8Anna Occhiogrosso5.00Master
9Anna Dal Pont4.50Junior



1Bruno Hasulyo20.00Open
2Leonard Nika15.00Open
3Martino Rogai12.00Open
4Claudio Nika10.00Open
5Liran Machlev8.50Open
6Paolo Marconi7.00Open
7Giordano Capparella6.00Open
8Filippo Mercuriali5.00Open
9Davide Ionico4.50Open
10Reza Nasiri4.00Open
11Fabrizio Gasbarro3.60Open
12Alberto Araldo3.20Open
13Francesco Mazzei3.00Senior
14Tommaso Pampinella2.80Senior
15Riccardo Rossi2.60Junior
16Aljaz Pozes2.40Open
17Vincenzo Manobianco2.20Senior
18Giorgio Dal Pont2.00Open
19Francesco Alpino1.80Senior
20Luca Palla1.60Grand Master
21Alberto Scardigli1.50Grand Kahuna
22Giorgio De Feo1.40Senior
23Gianni Salamanca1.30Open
24Flavio Vendramin1.20Open
25Alessio Macchia1.10Open
26Paolo Pacelli1.04Senior
27Mario Tagarelli0.98Master
28Massimiliano lo Duca0.92Kahuna
29Marco Block0.86Kahuna
30Diego Agostini0.80Kahuna
31Emanuele Pillitteri0.76Grand Kahuna

* we’ll try to update results with the full times