Starboard duo Leo Nika and Penelope Strickland have taken out the first stop of the 2017 EuroTour, saluting at the ‘Agios Nikolaos on SUP’ festival in epic downwind conditions on the beautiful Greek island of Crete.
Leonard Nika, who was the most winningest athlete last year on the EuroTour with 6 victories started off his 2017 campaign with a victory at the first stop of 12. His fellow Starboard Dream Team rider Penelope Strickland took the victory in the women’s division on her Starboard Ace with a 30 minutes margin on number two finisher Susak Molinero.
Leo Nika crossed the finish line 2 minutes before fellow Italians Paolo Marconi and Federico Esposito making an all Italian podium for this first Euro Tour event.
WHAT A GREAT RACE!!! I don’t know if I’m still dreaming or it really happened!!! Please don’t wake me up if so! Thanks to Mikhalis Farsaris for giving us the best opportunity to enjoy this Race like a dream! And to Porto Elounda Golf & Spa Resort for making our journey a 5 star ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Jurney! Definitely, I will come back next year even if I have to Race 15km up wind!! ~ Leo Nika
With the open ocean knowledge she’s honed back home in New Zealand combined with her board of choice being the built-for-bumps Starboard Ace, Penelope blitzed the field to win by a wide margin and finish just 5 minutes outside the men’s top 10.
Stoked to take the Win in the Elite women’s category today, for the first stop of the European pro tour. This race could only be described as equal parts, pleasure and pain. And by that I mean I’m pretty sure it took us the same amount of time to do 10km downwind as it took us to do the 5km upwind at the end. It was a hard day at the office so congrats to everyone who raced today. Condolences to the @teuladebrothers who broke a paddle with 2 km to go while sitting in second (that’s gotta be heartbreaking) and congrats to @leonardnika my teammate for the overall win. ~ Penelope Strickland
The best location, best Race, definitely the best euro tour event so far! ~ Leo Nika
You can read a complete report of this race on SUPracer and also the official press release on eurotoursup.com
All photos by Gwen Marche/EuroTour