Photo Credits: Battle Of The Coast EuroTour Stop #1 by M A Y O L A I phtgrphcdsgnr & #Edwinwestrafotografie
The highly anticipated 2018 SUP EuroTour kicks off this past weekend with the first stop in the Netherlands for the Battle of the Coast – an internationally known Stand Up Paddleboard event that invites both first-time paddlers and Pro riders to compete against each other in various beach race formats. This is also a high scoring regional event on the Paddle League calendar, garnering a lot of big names on the starting list – including the evergreen Italian Starboard riders (and brothers) Leo and Claudio Nika.
This years event took place in Zandvoort over the weekend of 5 & 6 May and saw the biggest field ever assembled at Battle of the Coast, where riders from Canada, Brazil, Singapore, Indonesia and all over Europe were treated with sunny skies and beautiful weather all weekend for the event playing host to it’s record number of participants.
The competition started on Saturday afternoon with the Elite Beach Race, the Women went first at 2pm followed by the men. While the North Sea looked calm, a bit of cross offshore wind, with a mix of current and shallow sand banks made for a challenging 4 laps around the 1’5km course.
The Italians consistent performance over the weekend meant that Leo Nika took home the win in the overall title with younger brother Claudio Nika taking the 3rd place podium spot just after Tom Auber from France.
@LeonardNika on Instagram
I officially started my euro tour in 3rd place, today here in the Netherlands ?? is definitely a good start! The 6km technical race was difficult with a lot of strong guys showing up and also my technique to be in first in the 3 laps out of 4 was definitely not the right choice but happy with that and looking forward to the next stop in Namur-Belgium ?? congrats to @arthurarutkin for the win! Great job to my brother @claudio.nika for keep pushing strong and strong every race!! #Repost @eurotoursup with @get_repost ・・・ Congrats to our Male Winners of the @battleofthecoast Elite Beach Race #eurotour2018 1st Arthur Arutkin ?? (Fanatic) 2nd Casper Steinfath ?? 3rd Leo Nika ?? 4th Tom Auber ?? (Fanatic) 5th Claudio Nika ?? Full results soon
@Claudio.Nika on Instagram
“It was my first time in Zandvoort and I had the best welcome! Different location means a different kind of race. The weather was totally summer and it’s still beginning of May!” commented Leo Nika, “My beach race started very good I hade a very good start and positioned myself in the first and I had a lot of energy to push and I felt my board (2017 Sprint 14×21.5 and M bolt for the paddle) going really fast so I thought I’m going to push till the end without drafting any one, 6 km was going super fast and I don’t realize that a little mistake can make a huge difference in a race like this so I decided to take the draft in the last lap and that was a huge mistake but I finish my race in the 3rd position for the euro tour first stop and I’m happy with that!
The next day we had to do also the12km long distance which was not part of the EuroTour event but it counts for the overall raking of the event and I decided to go for the overall win. I made my best to win the long distance and so I did! I arrive 1st and my brother Claudio arrived 3rd in a very strong field.
Claudio said; ‘I’m very happy to race here in Holland and start the racing season in a good position this 3 race make me feel to do more an a prove that I had a good training with my brother Leonard back in Portugal!’
Leo add; ‘However, the race was not over we had to do also the 200m Sprint evnt to add the points for the overall. Hit by hit me and my brother Claudio make it to the final – riding with our sprints 14 x 21.5 2018 and 2017. I really wanted it to win the sprints but my bad start in the final compromised a little and I finished in 2nd and Claudio in 3rd with Casper Steinfath taking the win!’
We’re very happy with the results here in the Netherlands with more than 50 strong competitors coming from all over Europe!”
Watch the official Highlights Video weekend here
Check out the large gallery of pictures from the weekend