May 23, 2016
by Christopher Parker (@wheresbossman)

World Rankings Update: Michael Booth Goes Top 20 after Strong Showing in St. Maxime

Michael Booth

Michael Booth leading the field in St. Maxime on his way to a new world ranking of #20 (photo: Kerry Powell/EuroTour)

Following a fun weekend of racing on the French Riviera, we’ve seen a bit of movement on the SUP Racer World Rankings.

On the men’s Top 100 leaderboard, the machine of St. Maxime, Michael Booth from Australia, jumps +18 spots to crack the world’s top 20 for the first time. And he’s almost guaranteed to rise even further at the big Lost Mills showdown next weekend…

It’s been a meteoric rise for Boothy, who we labeled as our official #1 dark horse pick for 2016 earlier in the year. However I think it’s safe to say the Starboard team rider is a dark horse no longer — breaking an all-star field and going on to defeat the likes of Connor Baxter and Titouan Puyo by more than a minute is something very few paddlers have ever done.

Considering Boothy is still only holding 4 out of a possible best 5 results, he will definitely improve his points tally next weekend at the Lost Mills (bearing a freak mid-race retirement). If he wins next weekend – not an easy task considering the international lineup currently making their way to Germany – Boothy will jump all the way to around #10 or #11 in the world.

Another big mover this week is Steeve Teihotaata from Tahiti. The Mistral team rider was one of just three paddlers that kept within shouting distance of Boothy yesterday (the other two being Titou and Connor — pretty solid company to keep), while his overall 6th place in St. Maxime saw him rise to #39 in the world. Just like Boothy, Steeve is yet to fill up his “best 5 results” tally (he’s actually holding two donuts), so look for the Tahitian to continue rising next week in Germany. If Steeve can find the form he showed in winning the Air France Paddle Festival a couple of weeks ago he’ll be a definite contender.

Others to rise up this week include the Hasulyo Brothers, Daniel and Bruno, who continued to show they’ll be a force to be reckoned with for years to come. The unheralded Hungarians are improving with every race, and it’s only a matter of time before they’re standing atop one of these podiums in Europe or elsewhere on the international circuit.

Two of the European guys to really impress on the weekend, Ludovic Teulade from France and Martino Rogai from Italy, are both holding big green plus signs this week as well; Ludo is +12 to #61 while Martino goes +29 to break into the Top 100 at #82.

On the women’s side, the biggest mover is Seychelle Hattingh from Florida, who jumps +11 spots to claim a new world ranking of #18 despite holding just 3/5 results. The Mistral rider will join her team mate Steeve at the Lost Mills next weekend, so look for Seychelle to continue closing in on the top 10 at the Lost Mills.

France’s Olivia Piana from France is back on the leaderboard after taking a season off. The only two results in Olivia’s tally have come in the past two weeks; Victory at the 2-star Air France Paddle Festival and an impressive third place finish at the 3-star SUP Race Cup in St. Maxime. Look for the former French champ to continue rising back up through the ranks throughout the rest of the summer.

However the most significant move of the week was a +1 from Sonni Hönscheid, who returns to the world number three position after dominating the field in France. Sonni will look to cement her ranking and close the gap on Candice and Annabel at the top (while also taking a stranglehold on the 2016 EuroTour crown) next weekend in Germany, where once again she’ll be up against the likes of Fiona Wylde, whose ranking she has just taken over.

Check out the full SUP Racer World Rankings to see the latest leaderboard changes, and tune in for our live stream next weekend at the Lost Mills to see who the next big movers will be.

(Note: All points at the 2016 Lost Mills will be on the main long distance race — there will be no points on the “Fastest Paddler” exhibition sprint race)