The 11th stop of the 2019 EuroTour took place in the estuary of Bilbao, in Basque Country this past weekend June 8th & 9th. On its 11th edition, the city of Bilbao has come to host one of the favourite events on tour, with arguably the most exciting course and certainly the most spectator friendly. It is one of the most important races of The EuroTour’s 2019 circuit and is a 6-Star rated event & the 7th Grand Sam event, once again organized by BWATERS, a local club that promotes the SUP in Bilbao.
The Starboard Dream Team riders were in town to take part in the action and delivered great overall results. In the women’s racing, it was Spain’s Luara Quetglas finishing first for Starboard on the podium with Hood River’s Fiona Wylde finishing in a solid 4th place after bravely fighting through her low blood pressure and managing her Type 1 Diabetes.
“What a crazy, fast-paced technical race the Bilbao SUP World Challenge was! After my first three weeks of racing on the Euro Tour, I flew home for two weeks to regroup and recover from 7 weeks on the road of racing and travelling, but even during that short time at home I missed the races and am so happy to come back to the Euro Tour.
The Bilbao race is tricky because it’s in the narrow Ria de Bilbao, and when the river fills up with 300 paddlers, the flat water isn’t so flat anymore. It adds another technical element to the racing, which is more fun!
I am really happy to finish the race in fourth. Racing with Type 1 Diabetes is a finicky thing. Normally it all goes really well, and I manage everything well. But sometimes, like yesterday, I mess up a bit. On the start line, my blood sugar dropped. I ate some of the sugar I had in my hydration pack, but the low symptoms didn’t leave me“ – Fiona Wylde
Rounding out the top 10 Women’s for Starboard was Espe Barreras, the Spanish Dark Horse from the Canaries, racing with the Team Onexe. Espe stayed out of trouble to put in a great performance and finished in a solid 7th position in a highly contested women’s field.
In the Elite Men’s race, we saw Michael Booth leading fellow teammate Leonard Nika and the rest of the filed out to the first ‚golden buoy‘ turn.
The Aussie powerhouse once again put in an exceptional performance, leading the charge at the front of the lead pack for most of the race and right up to the last 50m where a small slip of the paddle let Bruno Hasulyo find an opportunity to get past Boothy. Michael finished 2nd place in what was a hard-fought race, not where he wanted to be but a solid performance considering his busy travel schedule.
We also witnessed the young Tahitian, Keóni Sulpice, putting in a sterling performance to take an impressive 7th overall and a win in the Junior Men’s division! We’re super excited for the future of this talented SUP racer, so be sure to keep your eye on him!
Top 10 Women’s Results from 2019 Bilbao World SUP Challenge
1st: Olivia Piana ??
2nd: Laura Quetglas ?? (Starboard)
3rd: Susak Molinero ??
4th: Fiona Wylde ?? (Starboard)
5th: Amandine Chazot ??
6th: Seychelle ??
7th: Espe Barreras ?? (Starboard)
8th: Petronella van Malsen ??
9th: Melanie Lafenetre ??
10th: Caterina Stenta ??
Top 10 Men’s Results from 2019 Bilbao World SUP Challenge
1st: Bruno Hasulyo ??
2nd: Michael Booth ?? (Starboard)
3rd: Titouan Puyo ??
4th: Arthur Arutkin ??
5th: Enzo Bennett ??
6th: Tom Auber ??
7th: Keoni Sulpice ?? (Starboard)
8th: Vinni Martins ??
9th: Martin Vitry ??
10th: Ty Judson ??
1st: Nuuria Hurtado ??
2nd: Sheila Sirvent ?? (Starboard)
3rd: Laura dal Pont ?? (Starboard)
1st: Keoni Sulpice ?? (Starboard)
2nd: Noic Garioud ??
3rd: Christian K Andersen ??