The 4th stop of the EuroTour presented by Rogue took place in Agios Nikolaos on SUP, on the beautiful island of Crete, Greece from May 26-27th. In the second year of the event running, expectations were high as this year the organizers committed to a major event with live broadcast.
Saturday saw the national technical race at the astonishing location of Voulisma Beach, a short drive from Agios Nikolaos on SUP. The event was a great success with small waves, wind and chop that made all the different categories very colorful to watch.
On Sunday the main event was scheduled with the Elite downwind 15km course, the day’s weather was a bit unstable, however the wind showed up early putting all the competitors at ease. Predictions were light, the clouds kept the direction better for the competitors by being more North than anticipated. The race started at the private beach of the event sponsors: The Blue Palace resort that also sits in front of iconic Spinalonga island, which is one of the most visited attractions in Greece.
The second of the grand slams courses of the EuroTour with a total prize money of 12,000E, Agios Nikolaos was streamed live providing fans and spectators the full coverage of all the action. Again #BossMan AKA Chris Parker from SupRacer/PaddleLeague was the guest of honor and kept everyone at the edge of their seats at home.
As mentioned, the anticipation for this event was high, with some of the world’s best showing up to claim glory. Frenchwoman Amandine Chazot (Starboard) went one spot better than last week with an impressive win and to no-one’s surprise the man of the moment, Australia’s Michael Booth (Starboard) dominated the men’s field.
The Women’s race saw a large number of participants, travelling from as far afield as Israel, showing that the talent in the female competitive SUP runs deep. Local talent’s Maria Panagi & Κωνσταντινα Κονταρινη fought hard claiming 8th and 7th respectively.
Susanne Lier (F-One/QB) from Germany rounded the chase pack to the leaders and came in 6th place. Italian Windurfer Caterina Stenta (RRD) looked solid all the way and had a great sprint to the line to come in 5th. The winner of the first two events this year Susak Molinero (RRD/QB) was in hunt for the podium the whole race however it was last weekend’s 3rd place podium Noelani Sach (NSP) with a repeat placing here in Agiois Nikolaos. She had a very impressive run on the bumps to virtually paddle solo the whole race and come in again within the money; a truly impressive performance by the youngster.
The hot favorite for the event France’s Olivia Piana (425PRO) had a great race but she couldn’t repeat last week’s honours, they belonged to her compatriot Amandine Chazot (Starboard) who absolutely dominated from start to finish, winning her biggest race of her career and her own maiden EuroTour top spot. The Frenchwoman was ecstatic at the arrival and said that once she realized she was at the front she never looked back.
In the Men’s race it was a very solid field, the biggest of the season so far, and again Brazil’s Arthur SantaCreu came agonizingly short of the coveted Top10, but in an impressive 11th place. One of the top talents from Italy Federico Esposito (QB) with a solid race coming in 10th and claiming the first money spot of the podium.
Amandine’s partner and one of France’s finest Boris Jinvresse (Starboard) loved the conditions and muscled his way to 9th place. One of the most consistent athletes on tour, Italy’s best Leo Nika(Starboard) came in 8th after a very tight sprint to the line. Hungary’s talent Daniel Hasulyo (Starboard) came in just 4seconds ahead in 7th place. In another frantic finish Martin Vitry (SIC) and Paolo Marconi (RRD/QB) came in 6th and 5th respectively; Marconi breaking a string of average results for the Italian powerhouse, was delighted with 5th place.
Runner up in France from last week, and one of the strongest competitors out there – Hungary’s Bruno Hasulyo (Starboard)- added another solid result with 4th place. Probably the most beloved guy on tour is Brazil’s most International talent, Vinnicius Martins who was at home on the downwind sections claiming his biggest result on tour this year with a very impressive 3rd place.
Last week’s winner and one of the best downwind paddlers in the world, New Caledonia’s finest Titouan Puyo (NSP/QB) was in an element of his own, battling but relinquishing the win to – what many call – the strongest paddler in the world right now. Winner of the EuroTour 2017 with his first showing in Europe this summer, Australia’s Michael Booth (Starboard). Boothy looked completely in control the whole race, but it was after the second half of the course where he put in a 2 minute gap on his followers and came home with the win.
The organizers championed by the incombustible Mikhalis did a phenomenal job, welcoming all the competitors as well as going above and beyond everyone’s needs. We can’t thank all the volunteers enough . Photographer August Studios
for the great pics. #LoicDelVaux productions for the great clip and footage.
Results Agios Nikolaos on SUP