The 8th stop of the EuroTour took place in Santa Pola, Spain from May 18-19th. Only in its second edition, and also the second one with EuroTour, this event has already solidified quite strongly with the International community and the Spanish crowd, with nearly 200participants who took on the challenging open ocean course.
It’s well known that Spanish schedules are quite different from the rest of Europe, and on Friday evening competitors completed the check in process including the boards. Safety briefing followed at 9:30pm.
On Saturday morning all the competitors boarded the ferry that would take them to Tabarca Island and on a separate cargo ship the organizers transported all the boards and unloaded them at the doc ahead of time
Departure was in the water in front of the island main beach. Continuing the concept that we started in France two weeks ago, the women started 12mins ahead of the men to have a free and unobstructed course. Men Elite followed shortly after and Amateur 10mins adrift.
This event also saw the debut of our signature live coverage feed with Chris Parker (SUPracer) and racer turned media guru Trevor Tunnington. They both did a fantastic job debuting the new split screen feature that gave equal coverage to Women and Men Elite courses and got fantastic reviews from the numerous spectators.
The second event of the EuroTour Downwind Foil championships went last, in a direct course from the island to the mainland (like the Amateur course). The favorite, Frenchman Eric Terrien (BIC) made the most out of the light conditions, blitzing the course and showing why he’s regarded as the best European of the moment. Spain’s Ruben Salvador (Starboard) from Mallorca followed in second place.
For the woman’s race it was Frenchwoman Olivia Piana turn to shine and she asserted her dominance from start to finish in an Ocean course getting her fist victory of the season. She was ecstatic after it:
I’m super happy to be here in Santa Pola for the place and the good people. The ocean was pretty bumpy, so it was nice because there was not much wind but some nice bumps. Wow it’s so cool to win and for the EuroTour it’s my first victory so I’m super happy to take it
In a very strong second place and clear from the chasing group was Spain’s Susak Molinero, showing that when the going gets tough she has the muscle to power through. Italian windsurfer Caterina Stenta achieved her best result yet in a major event with a solid 3rd place. On the chasing group the youngster Melanie Lafenetre from the south of France came in a solid 4th place with Germany’s Susanne Lier (F-One) in a very close 5th place. Behind them in 6th place was Laura Quetglas (Starboard) that suffered in the later stages of the race after bing in the front pack for the majority of the race. Germany’s Noelani Sach (NSP)followed in 7th. After them a parade of Juniors showed that women’s racing is sharp with local favorite Sheila Sirvent (Starboard) in 8th, Swiss Anna Tschirky (F-One) in 9th and Mallorcan Duna Gordillo (F-One) in 10th place.
In the Men’s race there was a lot of pressure on Australian Ty Judson (NSP) to come away with the win, after the string of podiums over the last few weeks. Ty did not disappoint and pulled away from the first leg of the race on the Upwind and powered the rest of the way, coming away with his first EuroTour victory. In the words of live commentator Trevor who summarize Ty’s race:
Ty is killing it!
Ty is milking it to perfection really. He’s catching the bumps, he’s having fun. It’s just fantastic out here. Everything’s lining up, it’s all wind generated, there’s no swell involved, so it’s that pure downwind conditions where you just have everything going your direction.
Never falling too far behind was Tahitian powerhouse Enzo Bennett (425PRO) who was at home in the challenging conditions which resembled his beloved French Polynesian Island. A great result from a humble competitor, which will have him soon at the top of the podium. The ever smiling Brazilian Vinnicius Martins came shortly after in a very solid 3rd place, and showed why he’s regarded as one of the world’s best ocean paddlers. Another young talent from Brazil Guilherme Dos Reis (SIC) followed in 4th showing his consistency. Frenchman Ludovic Teulade sprinted out the Italian duo of Giordano Capparella (SIC) and Paolo Marconi to finish 5th, 6th and 7th respectively. Only a few seconds behind was Australian veteran Kelly Margets (Sunova) on his first EuroTour, who absolutely loved the conditions and the event. Another Italian Federico Esposito finished very close behind, with the last spot of the coveted Top10 going to Israel’s Liran Machlev showing how many different nationalities the tour has.
After a fantastic Paella (traditional Spanish dish) that was cooked on site by the local specialists, the Sunova Kid’s race got underway with the biggest Junior crowd to date on tour. Participants loved the 10’6 kids raceboards that the brand has made available for everyone at all stops, and competitors from 7 years old up blazed the course.
In the afternoon QuickBlade founder Jim Terrell, made a fantastic clinic to all the participants on the analysis of the paddling stroke, with a special emphasis in all the Juniors.
The closing ceremony opened the evening activities in the main stage, for the band and a fantastic BBQ. We really want to thank Daniel, Sonia and the entire team of World SUP Festival Costa Blanca for all the hard work and demonstrating that they are one of the biggest Grand Slams on tour and that they are here to stay.
Stay tuned as The EuroTour goes to El Port de la Selva in Catalonia, Spain for the 5th Grand Slam of the season: Cap de Creus SUP Challenge stop#9 on the 25-26th of May. See you in the water
For live recap, 360º view of the start line and video of the kids races head over to Facebook.