Finally the cat is out of the bag: The ISA released the list of teams and athletes. With great interest we went over the list to see who is who at this years event in France.
Starting on top of the list with Argentina we expected Juliette Du Haime to be on roster but she is not. Juliette would have been a great contender for a podium in all disciplines.
From Australia we have Michael Booth who is one of the top contenders to get a gold medal in Longdistance. Other than that the Aussie team looks rather slim in compare to the glory days of SUP.
From the Czech Republic we have spotted Iva Dundova the current world number two in women sprint. We will keep an eye on her in this discipline.
We have three people to look out for from Denmark: Caroline Küntzel, current world number 4 in sprint with only one race under her belt. She also ranks 4th in Tech. Race on world rankings. She is definitely in for a gold medal. On the men side we have Christian Andersen currently holding spot number 2 in the men Longdistance category and he is the world number one in Tech. Racing. Asger Schmidt currently on world ranking number 8 will also be competing for a podium spot and betterment in his rankings.
England is moving in with a larger team: Blue Ewer is the stand out athlete there, ranking top 10 in the worlds Longdistance and Tech. Race. Other than that there are definitely some recognizable names such as Marie Buchanan a longtime SUP athlete, as well as Holly Pye and Ginnie Betts.
France once again shows up with a staked team of athletes. Even Mr. Titouan Puyo is coming out of retirement for the ISA. The list of top athletes is long: We have the Garioud borthers with Vaic and Noic. On the ladies side we have Iona Rivet and Melanie Lafenetre. Justine Dupont a well know name from the big waves surfing world is also in the mix. Team France once again has the potential to become over all winners.
Team Germany is showing up with local hero Normen Weber who remains on top of all SUP races in Germany. He is currently the worlds number 3 in Longdistance. It remains to be seen how he will perform on the ocean. With Skadi Langbein there is a very successful junior on the team, Skadi currently ranks worlds 9th in the Tech. Race category. Tanja Ecker is another known name with her victory at the SUP 11 City Tour in 2022.
We must not underestimate team Italy this year. Cecilia Pampinella is the most prominent member of the team and good for a double podium as she is currently the world number 1 in Tech. Racing and number 3 in Longdistance. The Nika brothers are once again part of the team, while Claudio is number 8th in the world for Tech. Race we assume the Leo will be focusing on the surfing part. Filippo Mercuriali is Italy’s best sprinter with a current ranking of 4 in the SUP World Rankings. Another contender for the podium is Paolo Marconi currently the worlds number 9th in sprint.
Team Japan is showing up with their super stars Rai Taguchi and Shuri “Shrimpy” Araki. Both of them are definitely big contenders for a podium in Tech. and Longdistance.
Donato Freens will be holding it down for the Netherlands. He is the current and untouched number one of the world with 12 Longdistance races under his belt. Will he be able to hold his own against the big competition ?
Team New Zealand has Ollie Houghton who is currently world number five the world in the Tech. Race category.
Itzel Delgado with Team Peru might be ready for a big surprise. We have not seen him racing that much this season but we are sure he will be arriving with big ambitions.
From South Africa, Tom and Tarryn King will be returning. The South African SUP couple has been part of the scene for many years.
Spain is also sending a big team with many top athletes such as: Esperanza Barreras current number one in Longdistance athlete in the world and 2nd in Tech. Duna Gordillo 4th in Longdistance and 8th in Tech. will be good for a surprise as she won back in 2022 in Puerto Rico. Further we have Alba Frey and Iballa Ruano (surfing) The boys with Manuel Hoyuela, Aron Sanchez. and Antonio Morillo.
Team Switzerland will show up with Anna Tschirky who is just a few points behind Esperanza Barreras in the Longdistance world ranking.
Team USA is showing up with mostly new names and juniors. The big names from the past have disappeared. So we are looking forward to see Soryn Preston in racing and Maui boy Bobo Gallagher surfing. We can’t help but not that it is unfortunate that we won’t see Fiona Wylde, Candice Appleby, Bode Von Almen, April Zilg or Connor Baxter and the many other great SUP athletes from the US.
Stand Up Magazin predictions and conclusion
We have most of the SUP World Rankings top 10 athletes present in France which will make for a great competition and exciting racing . Based on the SUP Season 2023 and the SUP World Ranking we would have a big show down between Donato Freens and Christian Andersen but that is not how it works. We have Noic Garioud in the mix who was not very active this season but we can be sure he is very well trained. Same with Titouan Puyo, he has retired from traveling and following the EURO TOUR but that does not mean he stopped being an athlete. Then lets not forget Shrimpy and Rai Taguchi, they have been busy with SUP training, but we have not seen them racing at the EURO TOUR so it is hard to say where they will fit into the big scheme of things.
On the women side things might be a bit different as we have all the top athletes from the EURO TOUR in France. The odds are definitely on Esperanzas side in the Longdistance. But then… do you remember Puerto Rico 2022?
The podium in Longdistance looked like this:
Men top performance
- Shuri Araki
- Titouan Puyo
- Michael BOOTH
Women top performance
- Duna Gordillo
- Espe Barreras
- Mélanie Lafenetre
Don’t be surprised to see unexpected names on the podium. A prediction is extremely hard, but it will be the strong names that we would put our money on. It’s just that we have some many of them.