The 4th edition of the World SUP Festival was a spectacle, hosting EuroTour and App World Tour competitions in the same weekend
The World SUP Festival is one of those great events for all SUP Race fans around the world. And its 4th edition has been very special, with hundreds of “SUPers” taking over Santa Pola and turning it into an international city.
In addition, for this edition, the great Dani Parres and his entire team offered us a great show never seen anywhere in the world, with the classic EuroTour Long Distance competition from Tabarca Island, and an exciting App World Tour Sprints race. A weekend that no one will forget, enlivened with many activities, brand expo and music for the public.
On Saturday, April 29, hundreds of riders got on the “tabarqueras” to travel to the iconic Isla de Tabarca, the starting point of the Open and Elite races of the EuroTour competition, which was their 3rd stop after Ceuta and Seville. The Mediterranean conditions always put competitors on alert, having to show all their skills…and this edition was no exception.
The Open category paddled 7 km from Tabarca to the Levante beach in Santa Pola. The japanese Ttakuji Araki was the first to cross the finish line in the men’s general, while the rider Nuria Chiquero continues to show great solidity wherever she competes, achieving first position in the women’s general.
No doubt, the eyes of the whole world were on the Elite category, with great international references present in Santa Pola. With an approximate distance of 12.5 km, both this category and the SUB18, put in a magnificent performance, fighting against side wind and crossed bumps. Keeping the balance was not easy at all!
In the female category, the spanish Esperanza Barreras had managed to distance herself from the rest of the riders during the first kilometres, but she did not have it easy in the last leg of the race, where her opponents had closed the gap against the galician rider. Finally, Esperanza managed to revalidate the title at the World SUP Festival, ahead of Alba Frey from the Canary Islands and the young italian Cecilia Pampinella.
Top 10 Women:
- 1. Espe Barreras
- 2. Alba Frey
- 3. Cecilia Pampinella
- 4. Anna Tschirky
- 5. Melanie Lafenetre
- 6. Fiona Wylde
- 7. Juliette Du Haime
- 8. Mari Carmen Rivera
- 9. Iona Rivet
- 10. Susak Molinero
In the men’s category, the japanese Shuri Araki got away from his opponents shortly before making the first turn in the western area of the Isla de Tabarca, monopolizing the race until halfway through. The prevailing conditions favoured great experts such as Noic Garoiud and Clement Colmas, excellent athletes of the sea and the ocean in all kinds of situations. The french put pressure on the young japanese until the last moment when Noic pushed strong and managed to pass him to cross the finish line first. Shuri would do the same in the second position and Clement in the third, offering us a real show until the last minute.
Top 10 Men:
- 1. Noic Garioud
- 2. Shuri Araki
- 3. Clement Colmas
- 4. Rai Taguchi
- 5. Bruno Hasulyo
- 6. Ty Judson
- 7. Ludovic Teulade
- 8. Donato Freens
- 9. Davide Alpino
- 10. Fernando Perez Serra
In the afternoon, the Kid’s competitions were held, with the great promises of this sport at a national and international level. The routes were marked out in the waters of the Levante beach, surrounded by the public present and their families. In addition, we were able to enjoy activities, board tests, music and much more in the event area.
CONNOR BAXTER DOES IT AGAIN AND FIONA WYLDE STAGES A COMEBACK FOR THE AGES AT THE ALICANTE SUP OPEN
Connor Baxter claimed the first sprint title of the 2023 season in the same place he was crowned world champion in 2022. Baxter executed the perfect game plan from start to finish, making him undeniably the best sprinter in the world at present. New Caledonia’s Noic Garioud claimed second place after proving to be a fierce competitor throughout, not giving Connor chance to breathe in the final. It was Japan’s Shuri ‘Shrimpy’ Araki who claimed third, with his compatriot and favourite for today’s race, Rai Taguchi, being knocked out in the repecharge in a huge upset for the impressive Japanese racer.
On the women’s side, it was Fiona Wylde who took the top spot in an incredible comeback after an 18-month hiatus from racing due to a shoulder injury. As one of the original racers on Tour and 2017 World Champion, clearly we can expect big things from this racer once again in 2023 and beyond. France’s Melanie Lafenetre claimed second and Argentina’s Juliette DuHaime, third, with 2022 Alicante SUP Open sprint champion Alba Frey getting knocked out in the repecharge.
With a stacked line up, nail-biting heats and photo finishes, Costa Blanca has welcomed the APP World Tour into a new season with a bang.