Fiona Wylde has surfed her way to victory in week 3 of the EuroTour, claiming the 2019 Vendée Gliss SUP Race Event on France’s west coast, and her second consecutive win of the Tour.
In the men’s event, the French duo of Titouan Puyo and fellow Frenchman Arthur Arutkin out-surfed Starboard Team rider and week 2 winner, Michael Booth, to even the score with the Aussie powerhouse at one European win apiece.
Hood River hero Fiona Wylde felt right at home in the bumps, coasting clear to defeat Amandine Chazot and Maui’s Annie Reickert en route to her second French win in seven days.
“I couldn’t be happier to race in solid Downwind conditions today! It was such a special race, we jumped on power boats and drove 20km out to sea where we met with two large tenders that were carrying our boards. We jumped in the chilly water and soon the race was underway! Perfect glides lined up one after another. I had an amazing start and was able to lead from the get-go.
“Downwinding is so special to me, and to have a win at one of the most competitive Downwind races in Europe is spectacular! Thanks, Vendee Gliss event and Euro Tour for accomplishing this incredible feat of getting 90 people Downwind today safely.”
~ Fiona Wylde
Others to impress include Titou’s NSP teammate Ty Judson and Team Sunova’s Boris Jinvresse. Frenchwoman Olivia Piana has some work to do if she’s going to defend her EuroTour title, only managing fourth after finishing third last weekend. Conditions looked pretty good for a downwinder after a unique ocean start (competitors were dropped off the coast by boat).
“Jumped off a zodiac and paddled downwind into 3rd today at the Vendee Gliss Event. Good job to Titouan Puyo for taking out the race. “
~ Michael Booth
Just like last year, the finish was an infamous beach run up the low-tide flats of Saint-Jean-de-Monts beach. Eric Terrien almost took line honours on his foil after building a massive lead on his samurai sword. But conditions soured in the final few kilometres and he went from absolutely flying to crawling at a snail’s pace (I think he was second or third over the line). Boothy and Titou were going stroke for stroke early, but Titou’s mastery of light ocean bumps shone through in the end, while Arthur showed once again that he’s a threat in all conditions.
Pic Credits: Ellen Wylde/ Georgia Schofield for EuroTour