The Starboard SUP Dream Team was scattered around the globe this weekend but were united in once again delivering superb results in their respective events from Taiwan to Maui.
In short: Asia saw Hönscheid and Hasulyo on top podium spots at the Taiwan Paddle Games, Europe saw Booth and Wylde paddle to victory at the Azur Paddle Days event in France, then over in North America we witnessed Baxter taking on the Salt Life Columbus Cup and winning on the 14’ Airline while fellow teammate Zaniac tackled something a little closer to home – the tough Paddle Imua Championship on Maui – to finish on the top podium position.
2019 TAIWAN PADDLE GAMES – ASIA
Germany’s Sonni Hönsheid & Hungary’s Daniel Hasulyo headed east to take part at the fun and rapidly growing Taiwan Paddle Games, hosted by Starboard Taiwan. Both dream team riders made a great weekend of it to get the local paddlers stoked on everything Paddleboarding with autograph signing sessions, some fun in the amateur 3km race before Sunday’s main event – the Elite 12km Technical beach race, where both riders took first place on their respective podiums.
“We triumphed in Taiwan again! The atmosphere, the energy on the beach and the race course were once again simply outstanding! The passion for both the sport and the Tiki was just incredible here!
Overall I think Taiwan has the most exciting SUP development of Asia and I’m really happy to see the insane enthusiasm around the sport!
Massive thanks to my girlfriend, Sai, for taking amazing pictures, Starboard SUP Taiwan for putting on the great event and a big round of applause to all the finishers! “
~ Daniel Hasulyo
“It’s my first time in Taiwan, this is such a beautiful country, people are really welcoming and there’s a lot off the excitement for water sports!! The Taiwan Paddle games were super well organized, very professional. This event has the potential to become a world-class event!! From the Starship to the kids’ races, it was a full weekend racing, laughs and good times! The Long distance was quite challenging as the wind picked up and there was current so I’m really happy to be able to win this race. Congratulations to all the competitors, see you next year!”
~ Sonni Hönsheid
2019 AZUR PADDLE DAYS – EUROPE
We once again witnessed the Aussie powerhouse Michael Booth paddling away from the pack to victory in the Azur Paddle Days race that took place in France this past weekend, with a super inspiring teammate, Fiona Wylde who took the win in the challenging Women’s field.
“Winning in the South of France at the Azur Paddle Games was a perfect start to the European season. The location is amazing, the paddlers were world class and it really set the scene for what would be an intense race at the front.“
~ Michael Booth
“The Azur Paddle Days was pretty spectacular, Martin Letourneur, a racer himself and a really good friend of mine, organised the event along with the event crew – it’s great to see someone so passionate about the sport and they are giving back so much. It was a 10-kilometre course in the beautiful bay of Villefranche-sur-Mer, France, with a really impressive turnout – there were about 4o women on the start line for the women’s race and an equally impressive turnout for the men’s field with about 70 boards on the start line.”
What you don’t see off the water is that Fiona is also busy completing her school mid-terms, which is really impressive and inspiring that one can compete at the highest level but still find time to take care of the ‘other’ important things life:
“It’s been interesting finding the time to study and compete and travel, but I really enjoy having to balance everything. To get a win on my first EuroTour stop is huge and I am really excited about the season head”
~ Fiona Wylde
SALT LIFE COLUMBUS CUP AND PADDLE IMUA CHAMPIONSHIP – NORTH AMERICA
Heading over to the USA we saw teammates and Maui friends Zane Schweitzer and Connor Baxter both winning their events. Connor Baxter was over in Columbus, Georgia for the Salt Life Columbus Cup where he put the new 2019 Starboard 14’ Airline to the test in the rapids. Back home, Zane was juggling his InZane Clinics before heading into a challenging Paddle Imua Championship. The South West wind meant race organisers had adapted the race course and delayed the event start time.
“Success is when preparation meets opportunity, and I am grateful to find success today with my first SUP Race Win of 2019. It was tight between another Maui pro, Josh Riccio, but I was able to hit the beach moments before him and Sprint through the beach run finish in the lead!”
~ Zane Schweitzer