March 26, 2014
by Christopher Parker (@wheresbossman)

Lost Mills, Europe’s Premier SUP Race, Announces Dates For 2015 And 2016

Lost Mills distance race start (c) Federico Benettolo
In an unprecedented move, Germany’s Lost Mills race has just revealed its dates for both 2015 and 2016, in order to avoid clashes with other big races and also make it clear this event is here for the long term.

The Lost Mills race is Europe’s premier SUP race and really helps anchor the whole “Euro Tour”, which is a series of events from mid May right through June. By announcing their dates so far in advance, the Lost Mills will be helping other events in Europe plan their schedule ahead of time, which in turn will make for a bigger and better racing season in Europe. This will also encourage large events in other parts of the world to avoid that weekend, seeing the Lost Mills attracts a pretty hefty chunk of the elite crowd.

Plus I’m sure the paddlers themselves will appreciate this kind of long-range certainty – there’s nothing worse than booking your flights and then later being told an event has decided to move. So while the 2014 Lost Mills (June 19 – 21) is still three months away, we can already start getting excited about eating sausages and drinking Jagermeister well into the future:

Lost Mills 2014: June 19 – 21
Lost Mills 2015: June 4 – 6
Lost Mills 2016: May 26 – 28

In a sport where several big races have been known to change dates (and even their entire location) at short notice, this announcement by the Lost Mills organisers is a refreshing change. It’s a bold move but one that will no doubt help reinforce the the Lost Mills’ status as Europe’s premier Stand Up Paddle event. This year’s race is already shaping up to be one of the most well-attended and highly competitive events in Euro land (Danny Ching is rumoured to be making his Euro debut at the event), while in the next couple of years I can see the Lost Mills possibly standing on its own as the race outside of the States.

But how did the crew behind the Lost Mills manage to pin down dates so far in advance?

Well apart from the fact that these guys are extremely well organised (they’re Germans…), they also have the benefit of basing their event around a major public holiday. The Lost Mills is always held on the Corpus Christi long weekend (“Fronleichnam” in Germany), which is one of the biggest holidays in the country and is largely responsible for the thousands of people that descend on the tiny lake in Bavaria where the race is held.

I’ve never heard of a SUP race announcing dates more than twelve months in advance, let alone 24 months. If you look at the Rogue SUP Race Calendar it becomes really clear: Scroll down to the bottom and you’ll see that the Lost Mills is the only event listed in 2015 right now (not to mention 2016 as well).

So hopefully more events will follow the great example set by the Lost Mills and announce dates well in advance. Then perhaps we can finally start getting some consistency into the crazy schedule of international SUP races.