The results for the anticipated EURO TOUR Bord Ocean SUP Race are in and they came a bit as a surprise. The big favorite was Michael Booth and we are sure his fourth place came as much as a surprise as the first place came for Blue Ewer. Blue is having a good season so far, coming from Austria with a 1st and 3rd place and Gran Canaria 3rd. Second was the Brazilian Eri Tenorio he came from the Carolina Cup with a 4th place. Another new name on the podium was Ollie Houghton, the New Zealand champ made 3rd only 7 seconds behind Eri.
In fact the top 5 all came within one minute from each other, well Conner Baxter was 2 seconds short of that but we round that down. To see Connor Racing a longdistance race was actually kind of a novelty lately as we all know he likes to specialize in sprints, so his 5th place was not as much of a surprise as Boothys 4th.
Michael Booth commented the following in his instagram page:
What an interesting race in Bordeaux that ultimately incorporated more race strategy than pure paddling. I paddled well, had a good race but didn’t get the result I would’ve otherwise wanted, but that is racing sometimes.
I arrived in Bordeaux the day before the race and had a paddle session on the river to try and work out what was going on. Initially, I was on the 20.75 Starboard Sprint, but I was extremely surprised by how much current there was on the river. So, I quickly switched to a Starboard Allstar 20.5, and fortunately, @fiona_wylde allowed me to borrow her board as mine had not arrived yet. I tried to study the currents as much as I could in the short time I had, researching online and speaking to a few people about the course. It’s always difficult to understand rivers when you’re not familiar with the area, and it really adds a significant gambling element to the event. Ultimately, I decided that the closer side was the best strategy, and I would follow that in the race.
Off the start, I got a bit caught up with a few paddlers and fell behind. However, I was able to make up ground quite quickly and was in the front at the second turn, about 2 kilometers into the race. I actually decided to hold up and let the pack through. Then slipping to the inside with Connor and a couple of others. This seemed to create a bit of confusion with the lead pack as they got caught in the middle before deciding to come across and take the inside line. I hugged the bank and built a lead of about 90 seconds at the top of the course (about 7 kilometers into the race) to Ty and Aaron, and then Connor was maybe another 30 seconds behind that. Here, I thought as long as I maintained a good pace, I would comfortably take the victory. Well, how wrong I was.
Despite the inside line of the course working well on the first lap, it did not work on the second. There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, it probably wasn’t the fastest way in the first place, but with the whole men’s field taking that line, it was impossible to know. And secondly, it is really hard when leading to take a seemingly large risk to go against what was working on the first lap. I thought about going to the far side, but I stuck to my guns and went the inside again, which cost me 4 minutes in the time gap back to the second or third pack who decided to move to the outside. Smart by them, and I know if I was in their position, I would’ve taken the same gamble.
I pushed really hard to catch them in the final 2 kilometers, but I just didn’t have enough juice left in the dying stages to push again. Overall, I think it was a positive race for me as I couldn’t have done any more. I had a strategy based on the conditions, what I saw, and my gut feeling, and unfortunately for me, it didn’t work out. To provide perspective, I think no one who went on the inside on the second lap finished in the top ten (I haven’t seen the full results). This is just my version of events, and I’m sure there are lots of stories from this race!
What was really cool for me was competing in front of my young family for the first time. We are doing a little tour of Europe and running clinics and racing in between. It’s a great way to see the world.
The next race is in Sharbeutz, and it’s a sprint race. Let’s see how I do there.
The current world number one Donato Freens finished on a disappointing 15th place, but he might get away not loosing his top spot as most of his contenders were not present in Bordeaux. Only Blue, but we don’t think he will get to points to jump in 1st. We will see mid week when we do the snap shot
On the women side it was the Esperanza Barreras, Duna Gordillo and Iona Rivet show, these three ladies all arrived within 20 seconds at the finishline then followed by Fanny Tessier how made 4th but with over 4 minutes delay. In fact the entire ladies race was pretty much a French / Spanish affaire.
Men Top 20 of 66
- Blue EWER 01:11:50 M ELITE
- Tenorio ERI 01:12:01 M ELITE
- Oliver HOUGHTON 01:12:08 M ELITE
- Michael BOOTH 01:12:33 M ELITE
- Connor BAXTER 01:12:52 M ELITE
- Manuel HOYUELA ROJAS 01:13:10 M ELITE
- Ricardo Avila 01:14:33 M ELITE 8
- Daniel PARRES 01:14:49 M ELITE Kahuna
- Kaelan LOCKHART 01:14:56 M ELITE
- Jonnathan Hagan 01:15:29 M ELITE
- Olivier DARRIEUMERLOU 01:15:36 M ELITE Master
- Garcia Valero JOAN 01:15:39 M ELITE Junior
- Simon ACKERMANN 01:15:42 M ELITE Junior
- Alexis HILLAIRET 01:15:53 M ELITE
- Donato Freens 01:15:54 M ELITE Junior
- Hasulyo BRUNO 01:16:03 M ELITE
- Tomas LACERDA 01:16:08 M ELITE
- Aaron SANCHEZ QUETGLAS 01:16:13 M ELITE
- Tomas Grosup 01:16:14 M ELITE
- Ty Judson 01:16:15 M ELITE
Ladies Top 19 of 19
- Espe BARRERAS 01:26:48 F ELITE
- Duna GORDILLO 01:27:02 F ELITE
- Iona RIVET 01:27:10 F ELITE
- Fanny TESSIER 01:31:24 F ELITE
- MariCarmen Rivera 01:33:49 F ELITE
- Laura Quetglas 01:33:59 F ELITE
- Erica Revil 01:33:60 F ELITE
- Elene ETXEBERRIA 01:34:46 F ELITE Junior
- Agathe RODIER 01:37:27 F ELITE
- Ainhoa RIVAS 01:37:28 F ELITE Junior
- Camille Hrn 01:37:29 F ELITE
- Alexia SOTO 01:46:04 F ELITE Junior
- Ines BLIN 01:46:21 F ELITE Junior
- Laurence KRESS 01:48:43 F ELITE Kahuna
- Gaelle PAPONNAUD 01:49:47 F ELITE
- Olympe VERNEDE 01:50:11 M ELITE
- Laetitia LEZER 01:54:31 F ELITE Kahuna
- Fabienne LEVALLOIS 01:57:16 F ELITE Kahuna
- Marie POURREYRON 02:05:45 F ELITE Master