March 8, 2020
by Christopher Parker (@wheresbossman)

12 TOWERS: Noic Garioud puts on a masterclass, Karla Gilbert wins title #7 and a 13-year-old shocks the veterans

Winners are grinners — fun day at the 12 Towers (photo: @georgiasphoto/@paddleleague)

Noic “Chicken” Garioud and Karla Gilbert have claimed the 12 Towers ocean race today, with more than 150 paddlers enjoying a firing downwind run along Queensland’s famed Gold Coast to cap off a big weekend at Australia’s premiere paddling event.

Nobody got near Noic–the New Caledonian was in a league of his own. It was a masterclass. A clinic. A dominant performance from a 17-year-old athlete who shows maturity well beyond his years both on and off the water. Noic was reading the bumps so well that he probably took fewer paddle strokes than anyone else in the race. ⁣

Speaking of young guns, 19-year-old Ty Judson tackled the towers this weekend and came out looking very strong. He was victorious in the surf race yesterday and runner-up today — he also completed Saturday’s foil muster just for the fun of it. This guy never seems to stop smiling, however that friendly look conceals a hungry competitor. Ty is going to be a big mover on the world rankings this year.⁣

But the most incredible story of the weekend was surely 13-year-old Shuri “Shrimpy” Araki from Japan who finished third, not far behind Ty and ahead of Molokai champ James Casey, defending 12 Towers champ Lincoln Dews and scores of other much older and far more experienced ocean paddlers. Just take a moment to read that again: Shrimpy is 13 years old. He’s thirteen..!? 😳⁣

(On a side note, how good is it that 1st and 3rd are both nicknamed after little animals 😂)

Shuri “Shrimpy” Araki announcing himself as a world-class paddler (photo: @georgiasphoto/@paddleleague)

If you want to make yourself feel old, do some quick maths and calculate the average age of the podium: There was a 17-year-old in first, 19 in second and 13 in third. That’s an average age of just 16 years and 4 months. In an international ocean race. Mind, blown.

Shrimpy got to celebrate the moment with his father, Taku, who had a belting race of his own to finish just inside the top 10. Noic also got to share the day with his dad, Olivier, who probably would have been top 10 himself if his 18 foot unlimited didn’t snap clean in half as he surfed a set wave in from out the back towards the finish line 😬

It was also a stellar day for the Sunova team, with the famous balsa wood dugouts scoring three of the top four spots courtesy of Noic, Shrimpy and Jimmy.

But while the men’s race might have been over by halfway courtesy of Noic’s heroics, but the women’s contest went right to the line. ⁣

Over the years, Karla Gilbert has won just about every single edition of the 12 Towers. She was the six-time downwind champ going into today’s race and started favourite for a seventh. Despite having long since retired from her professional athletic career (Karla was the undisputed champion of Australia’s famous lifeguard racing pro circuit in the 90s and early 2000s) her competitive streak has clearly never left. Karla won yesterday’s surf race despite being older than the combined age of her two closest rivals. But the 45-year-old mother of two had to seriously earn it today…

Comeback Queen Angie Jackson looked set to end Karla’s reign on top after a lightning-quick start. Still on the road to recovery 18 months after snapping her Achilles, Angie set the early pace and hit the 11km mark still in the lead. The race is only 13km long. But Karla slowly closed the gap and finally overpowered Ang in the closing stages to take a narrow win and earn a seventh 12 Towers title.

It was a cruel end to the race for Angie who is still unable to run on her injured ankle and had to settle for third after ONE teammate Kate Baker surfed past in the final hundred metres. But it was a very good sign that Ang was looking so good in the bumps.

Youngsters Brianna Orams, Ke’ale Dorries and Chloe Walkerdene rounded out the top six, while there was another parent-child top 10 double in the form of Ke’ale and Sue Dorries.

Kate Baker chasing bumps (photo: @georgiasphoto/@paddleleague)

It was also an interesting contrast between the men’s and women’s podiums. The average age of the women was more than double that of the men. There were plenty of junior women battling for line honours – fourth through sixth had an average age of about 20 – but the old guard held strong for at least one more year.

It’s always interesting to see the form guide early in the season, but the best part of this weekend’s event was just seeing everyone out on the water and sharing stories at the finish line. The 12 Towers is a true gathering of the Aussie (and international) SUP community. It was also great to see so many of the regional paddle clubs from around Australia descend on the Gold Coast and support the sport.

Big thanks to the organisers for tirelessly putting this event together, and special mention to Kelly Margetts who held two phones on a tiny little boat in a big, wild ocean to help me make the live stream happen. There’s a full replay below…







The champ! Noic Garioud (photo: @georgiasphoto/@paddleleague)

Karla Gilbert en route to title #7 (photo: @georgiasphoto/@paddleleague)

Angie Jackson (photo: @georgiasphoto/@paddleleague)

The sufski crew set a cracking pace (photo: @georgiasphoto/@paddleleague)

Paul Jackson with his game face ON (photo: @georgiasphoto/@paddleleague)

The winner of yesterday’s foil muster, James Casey (photo: @georgiasphoto/@paddleleague)

Noic Garioud’s father, Olivier, on the set of the day coming in to the finish (photo: @georgiasphoto/@paddleleague)

Ty Judson had a big weekend on the Gold Coast (photo: @georgiasphoto/@paddleleague)





1Karla Gilbert1:10:18Open14'
2Kate Baker1:10:40Open14'
3Angela Jackson1:12:09Open14'
4Brianna Orams1:15:14Open14'
5Keale Dorries1:18:27Open14'
6Chloe Walkerdene1:20:51Open14'
7Angie Mckee1:27:27Masters 40+14'
8Savannah Fitzsimmons1:35:03Masters 40+14'
9Sue Dorries1:36:49Masters 50+14'
10Tracey Mouque1:42:20Masters 40+14'
11Vanessa Caley1:42:42Masters 40+14'
12Alison Fullaar1:43:46Open14'
13Megan Kelly1:45:32Masters 40+14'
14Abbie Walkerdene1:45:57Junior14'
15Maria Williams1:49:40Masters 50+14'


12 Towers: MEN’S RESULTS


1Noic Garioud0:55:05Juniors14'
2Ty Judson0:57:21Open14'
3Shuri Araki0:57:57Juniors14'
4James Casey0:59:24Open14'
5Sam Mccullough1:00:22Juniors14'
6Lincoln Dews1:00:22Open14'
7Timothy Cyprien1:01:38Open14'
8John Hagan1:02:21Open14'
9Ollie Houghton1:02:24Open14'
10Takuji Araki1:02:40Masters 40+14'
11Jackson Cosgrove1:03:12Open14'
12Olivier Garioud1:03:46Masters 40+unlimited
13Paul Jackson1:04:01Masters 40+14'
14Callan Dick1:04:48Open14'
15Ollie Puddick1:07:11Open14'
16Ben Bricknell1:07:34Open14'
17Paul Jonesy1:08:27Masters 40+14'
18John Gerlach1:09:24Masters 60+14'
19Steve Walker1:09:27Openunlimited
20Wade Carberry1:10:04Masters 40+14'
21Dyllan Constable1:10:13Open14'
22Chad Obrian1:11:21Openunlimited
23David Hume1:13:12Openunlimited
24Laurie Stephenson1:13:22Masters 40+14'
25Andrew Kerr1:13:54Masters 40+14'
26Lee Mclean1:14:03Openunlimited
27Kento Mitsuishi1:14:44Open14'
28Dany Leclerc1:14:52Open14'
29Tony Strang1:15:15Masters 50+14'
30Cheyne Mitchell1:15:37Open14'
31Dale Gobbe1:16:31Masters 50+14'
32Andy Barker1:16:54Masters 40+14'
33Stephen Morley1:17:53Masters 40+14'
34Chris Cross1:17:59Masters 50+14'
35Wayne Jonhnstone1:19:57Masters 50+14'
36Wayne Garland1:20:36Masters 40+14'
37Rob Walton1:20:54Openunlimited
38Quenton Johnston1:21:18Masters 40+14'
39Chris Ting1:21:43Openunlimited
40Mark Houghton1:21:51Masters 60+14'
41Dan Miller1:21:51Masters 40+14'
42Paul Stumer1:22:03Masters 40+14'
43Peter Luck1:22:34Masters 50+14'
44Tsubasa Hamano1:22:34Open14'
45Gavin Houghton1:22:38Masters 50+14'
46Clayton Kane1:23:10Juniors14'
47David Pacheco1:23:34Masters 40+14'
48Peter Dorries1:24:46Masters 50+14'
49Tim Fitzsimmons1:24:59Masters 40+14'
50Justin Gallagher1:25:19Masters 40+14'
51Thierry Danet1:25:28Masters 50+14'
52Dallas Slight1:26:11Masters 40+14'
53Paul Daniel1:26:19Masters 40+14'
54Johan Skarskog1:27:05Masters 40+14'
55Joel Wockner1:27:05Open14'
56Rohan Evans1:27:06Masters 40+14'
57Greg Burton1:27:32Masters 60+14'
58Brett Swann1:27:37Masters 50+14'
59Damon Bailey1:27:38Masters 40+14'
60Nathan Van De Belt1:27:40Masters 40+14'
61Richard Durie1:28:27Masters 40+14'
62Dean Phillips1:28:28Openunlimited
63Scott Carroll1:30:12Masters 50+14'
64Peter Jackson1:30:14Masters 40+14'
65Rob Hooton1:30:25Masters 40+14'
66Michael Stokes1:30:51Masters 60+14'
67Rob Adsett1:30:55Open14'
68Julian Stevens1:33:46Open14'
69David Mitchell1:34:08Masters 50+14'
70Andy Fermo1:35:25Masters 40+14'
71Kane Degraw1:40:55Open14'
72Juan Cruz1:41:41Masters 50+14'
73Bob Margetts1:42:37Masters 60+14'
74James Mclennan1:42:46Masters 40+14'
75Jay Baikie1:44:00Open14'
76Troy Methorst1:44:32Open14'
77Michael Johnston1:45:57Masters 40+14'
78Leon Dyson1:49:00Masters 50+14'
79Marco Bertossa1:50:49Masters 40+14'
80Blair Casey1:54:38Masters 40+14'
81Robert Eyre1:55:20Masters 60+14'
82Matthew Binns2:01:39Masters 40+14'




1Lance Milnes0:33:07.9Men
2Simon Hunnybun0:33:37.0Men
3Troy Fazakerley0:34:06.3Men
1Roschelle Hawton0:38:35.7Women
4Tom Avery0:41:15.1Men
5Stevan Saicich0:42:06.6Men
2Lisa Bailey0:47:19.3Women
6adrien Destang0:50:44.7Men
3Ruth Goiny0:50:54.3Women
7Mike Goiny0:53:10.7Men
8Chris Quint0:56:44.2Men



We’re still updating all the tables but the finishing times from all divisions are available on Timing Plus