Saturday 28th took place the 7th annual edition of «ZE Caribbean Race», a 50K downwind long distance race organized by the «Watermen Karukera Club» in the waters of Guadalupe.
60 competitors (there were 46 in 2016) were departing from Petite Terre to rally the Marina of Bas-du-Fort or 50 km out at sea.
The extreme format of «Ze Caribbean Race» creates a real craze in the four disciplines represented: Stand Up Paddle, Surfski, Outrigger Canoe and Prone Paddleboard.
If the number of competitors increases, the sport’s level also with a very high level coming from all over France, Ireland, Martinique and several other countries. Among them are Oscar Chalupsky, South African 12-time Surfski World Champion, Garrett Fletcher (USA, SUP Florida Champion), Nicolas Lambert (French Surfski Champion), Dimitri Georges (SUP), top 10 French or exceptional sportsmen like Morgan Lagravière (SUP), skipper engaged on the last Vendée Globe specially for the race.
Winning in SUP was Romuald Mamadou (vice champion of France master) and in OC1, Stéphane Bodet took the victory (OC1, 9th French), champions of high level but also organizers of ZE RACE.
With this year’s commitment to an eco-responsible approach, the number of safety boats was limited to the maximum – on this type of race, it is usual to have one boat per rower – to reduce the impact Carbon of the event.
As a direct consequence, competitors must cover the distance in total self-sufficiency (water and food). An additional difficulty that places this test in the world’s among the most extreme endurance events.
The excellent weather conditions encountered in Guadeloupe this season, with a well-established wind and swell, will have offered a demanding course that required total physical commitment, impeccable technique and a decisive trajectory.
Finally, all the reference times established in 2016 will have been improved during this 7th annual edition and it is before a large audience of connoisseurs that the competitors crossed the finish line at the Marina of Bas-du-Fort.
In Surfski, it is Nicolas Lambert who wins in 3h04’45 » with a nice average of 15.8 km / h before Oscar Chalupsky (3h12’34 »). South Africa confirms its status by performing an incredible performance with a boat designed to learn Surfski in club, twice as heavy as carbon racing boats!
In the canoe category OC1, it was the local Stéphane Bodet who won in 3h43’50 » ahead of Thomas Buton (3h58’29 »).
In Stand Up Paddle, the Guadeloupean Romuald Mamadou won on his new Starboard ACE 2017 in 4h17’28 » ahead of Dimitri Georges (double winner 2014/2015) 4h31’36 ‘’.
Claire Orfila (Glp) is the winner in 5’48’32 » in front of Stéphanie Jeauneaux (Glp), 5h56’28 ».
In the Prone Paddles category, Médéric Berthe (Fr) won in 5h44’29 » ahead of Eric Sery (Fr) in 6h14’29».
The growing reputation of the event as well as the arrival of new partners suggests a good future prospect for this event and the paddle sports in Guadeloupe. Rendez-vous in 2018.