Last weekend, the SUP Race Cup took place in St. Maxime at the French Cote d’Azur. It is the biggest and most prestigious SUP Race in Europe, an event not to be missed, which unofficially crows the European SUP Race Champions as ultimately a race is about who was there and not about the title or prize money. This year really everybody was there. All the top European riders plus some guest from overseas. There were over 100 starters with high profile names like Europe’s undistputed number one Eric Terrien, Top French Riders Gregory Closier & Gaetan Sene, Italian Hotshot Leo Nika, UK’s number 1 Ryan James (2nd in the 2011 Eleven City Tour), Caspar Steinfath from Denmark and Bart de Zwart from Hawaii (winner of the Eleven City Tour 2011) and of course the Fanatic Riders: Chase Kosterlitz from the US (World Champion on 14’), Yoann Cornelis, Didier Leniel and Olivia Piana from France, Spanish Champion Belar Diaz, top Italian Rider Fabrizio Gasbarro and Petra Offermanns from the German Team. Only one rider was missing: Fred Bonnef, who was in a terrible car accident on the Monday before and has a long journey of recovery ahead of him.
The Fanatic riders had driven and flown into St. Maxime from different origins & different prior races in France, Italy, Austria and the US. The team was still in shock about Fred’s accident when reunited in St. Maxime on Friday, but was nevertheless determined to go out and participate, as the love for watersports and participating in competitions was what connected them to Fred in the first place and then later formed a great friendship, even if he physically was not there, doing the race made the team feel close to him.
Saturday started with a fun competition in fancy dresses and the juniors race. In the afternoon, the beach race with 92 riders took place, a 3 lap course around bouys with a lap of running through the sand after each lap. It was designed to be 8km but turned out to be much longer, about 10km, the pace of the race was incredibly high.
Olivia Piana won the women’s class of the beach race, beating quite a few men and arriving only 11 minutes behind the men’s winner. For the men’s, Yoann Cornelis finished 7th, Chase Kosterlitz, who is used to racing on 14’ in the US, finished 8th, Didier Leniel 10th, Fabrizio Gasbarro 13th and Belar Diaz 15th.
On Sunday morning, the 15km long distance race took place, a nice course along the coast in calm waters with little wind. Again Olivia Piana won fort he women’s, Petra Offermans finished 9th.
For the men’s, Chase Kosterlitz finished 3rd, Yoann Cornelis 8th, Didier Leniel 10th (winning the 14’ category), Belar Diaz 12th and Fabrizio Gasbarro 15th.
After the beach race, Team Fanatic won the Team Relay against tough competition from Team Starboard (with Leo Nika and Bart de Zwart) and Naish (with Caspar Steinfath and Pete Holliday)
The day ended with the price giving, where as winner of both beach and long distance race, Olivia Piana also won overall receiving the Mediterrean trophy.
Well done to all!!!