The 7th stop of the EuroTour presented by Rogue took place in Bilbao, The Basque Country from June 16-17th. In the 6th edition of what has become one of the true classic events, participation hit an all-time record with 272 racers that made it the most successful edition to date; continuing the EuroTour 2018 streak.
The now iconic river course was the main event in Saturday afternoon after an impressive Txiki Race where 40 kids under 14years old, took over the river in the morning. With the high tide late in the afternoon the Elite race started at 5:30pm and the river became a boiling pan with all the paddlers in the water.
The race was one for the ages and with the biggest participation from international athletes in a European event that ultimately saw Frenchwoman Olivia Piana (425PRO) and Australian powerhouse Michael Booth (Starboard) come out on top.
With the largest entry for a Women's Elite race to date the battle was served. Rounding out the Top10 was Italian talent Caterina Stenta (RRD) who is keeping a consistent showing with another solid result. Proving how strong the field was, Susak Molinero (RRD/QB) came in 9th place. After an impressive start one of Australia’s best, Angie Jackson, got caught up in one of the buoys but managed to hang on to a notable 8th. One of the best Europeans, Amandine Chazot (Starboard) and our winner of Greece, claimed honours at the first buoy but faded in the bumpy waters to eventually come in 7th place. Spanish talent Laura Quetglas (Starboard/QB) had a very consistent race and looked strong all the way to claim an impressive 6th place. On her first showing in European racing Brit expat turned Australian resident, Kate Baker, had an amazing 2nd part of the race and with a Top5 finish she showed her great form. One of the strongest paddlers of the moment Japan’s Yuka Sato (Starboard) was the only one that closed the gap on the podium trio to finish in 4th place.
With the biggest field of International athletes present this summer the men’s race was a rollercoaster with one dominant performance that started right after the 1st can. Making a push and staying in front the whole race to claim his 4th straight victory this summer. Michael Booth (Starboard) is simply at another level this year and his victory was even more impressive given his sheer dominance. In the runner up position was a very impressive Lincoln Dews (QB) from Australia who left the chase pack behind in his first EuroTour showing for a very well deserved 2nd. On his second week on tour and making one of the best moves of the event was Hawaiian Mo Freitas (Rogue) who saw an opening on the last buoy and leap frogged to 3rd place and never looked back to get his best result on tour yet. In a super tight group behind were Titouan Puyo (NSP/QB) in 4th , Daniel Hasulyo (Starboard) in 5th, Noic Garioud in 6th, Martin Vitry (SIC) in 7th, Bruno Hasulyo (Starboard) in 8th, and French Fanatic teammates Arthur Arutkin in 9th & Tom Auber in 10th place.
We really want to thank the organizers and members of Bwaters in particular Macarena & Alejandra, for being on top of everything during the weekend. A very special thanks as well to Iberdrola for their continued support to the Bilbao World SUP Challenge, and being there since day one. The PaddleLeage crew #BossMan and Andrew Walker for the epic job with the live & Photographer/Video Georgia Schofield for the great pics and highlight clip.
Check out the website with all the RESULTS
Check out the updated RANKINGS
Official Highlights Video from of the weekend HERE
Additionally, check out the large gallery ALL PICTURES FROM THE WEEKEND Gallery #1: elite race action shots (credit @paddleleague/@georgiasphoto) Gallery #2: “Bilbao in black & white” (credit @paddleleague/@ericdurangazquez) Gallery #3: boat angles (credit @paddleleague/@andrewwwwelker) Gallery #4: profile pics (credit @paddleleague/@georgiasphoto)
LIVE STREAM REPLAY https://www.facebook.com/paddleleague/videos/1688322274597195/
Stay tuned as The EuroTour stays in the Basque Country for stop#8 Hossegor Paddle Games
so get ready for another great weekend of action on the 23-24th of June.
See you on the water - the EuroTour Team