This past week the Portuguese town of Peniche played host to the second edition of EuroSUP, and after the success of last years event in Lacanau the expectations were high that there’d be a continuation of both the popularity and performance levels of SUP represented by the continents finest exponents of the discipline. Peniche couldn’t have provided a better platform on which the competitors could push themselves and no one present at the event would have been disappointed by the spectacle. From the historic and beautiful backdrop of the opening ceremony, to the truly world class beach break surf at Supertubos on the final day; EuroSUP 2017 couldn’t have been more of a success. 

France continued their domination taking wins in all divisions; with the exception of two (the womens surf and mens technical race divisions) to take home the overall team title ahead of Spain in second and Denmark third. The French particularly dominated the mens surf and long distance race divisions, with the men taking one-two positions in both. Benoit Carpentier and Pierre Rollet were outstanding in the mens surf all week, making the technically difficult surf in Supertubos look easy all week. Both were pulling off the most committed and radical maneuvers in some pretty nasty looking sections and it certainly looked like one or the other would take home the gold come weeks end. Ultimately it was Carpentier who performed when it mattered most and took home the win in the grand final with Rollet closely following in second. Juan de los Reyes (SPN) and Moritz Mauch (GER) finished third and fourth respectively. 

The womens surf division saw a magnificent performance from Spain’s Iballa Ruano who took home the win over France’s Justine Dupont. Dupont had also looked strong all week and had narrowly pipped a heat win over Ruano at the P2 stage in one of the finest duals seen all week, with only 0.15 points separating them. A fired up Ruano then put on one of the best displays of surfing of the event in the grand final with some excellent rail surfing and willingness to lay her board over in the most critical situations Supertubos could present her. At this point Dupont couldn’t match the Spaniard, who ran away with the final to win convincingly come the final horn. Sofie Simonsen (SWE) and Paulina Herpel (GER) were third and fourth respectively. 

The long distance events were all France where they took maximum points across both male and female divisions. Titouan Puyo and Arthur Arutkin finished first and second in the mens and Olivia Piana claimed the gold in the womens. Puyo finished the course, which started at the Berlengas Islands offshore from Peniche and finished at the main event site at Molho Leste, in a record time of 1hr 35’25 and Arutkin was less than a minute behind his compatriot. The mens division also had a first EuroSUP medal for Italy, Leonard Nika finishing third with an outstanding time of 1 hr 39’13. Denmark’s Casper Steinfath and three time world technical race champion finished in fourth. 

Piana was totally dominant in the womens race finishing more than four minutes ahead of Laura Quetglass of Spain in second. Piana steamed ahead at the starting gun and would never look like losing her lead throughout, Quetglass and Angela Fernandes of Portugal (who finished in third place) would keep her honest but she looks like she’ll take some beating in future EuroSUP events. 

The technical race event would see one of the tightest finishes you could wish for. Denmark’s Casper Steinfath and Frenchman Arthur Arutkin were neck and neck from start to finish and exchanged the lead numerous times during the race. When it came to the last  turn on the last lap Steinfath, using all his experience, held his line through the inside perfectly, forcing Arutkin to pull back and on the final sprint he couldn’t catch the Dane; who now has the EuroSUP title to go with his three world titles. Titoaun Puyo (FRA) would finish in third place.

Olivia Piana took home the double of long distance and technical race winner with a dominant performance over two laps. She again never looked in any danger of losing her lead and her performances should be considered one of the highlights of the 2017 event. Laura Quetglass of Spain would finish second and Nicoline Rasmussen (DEN) third. 

The overall consensus after EuroSUP Peniche is that the standard of SUP across the continent is without question enjoying an explosion at the moment. The conditions that were present throughout the week no doubt help push performance levels and the event couldn’t have been more well presented and the deepest thanks must go out to the people of Peniche for aiding the ESF in putting on an event of the highest calibre. Last years event at Lacanau had set the bar so high for SUP across Europe that it would have taken a lot to come close, yet alone raise it further; but Peniche delivered without question. The surf conditions at Supertubos were world class almost all week and the race courses were technical and set amongst a backdrop totally unique to this part of the world. We can only hope that the 2018 edition of EuroSUP is as successful as Peniche but with the continuation of the rise of popularity of SUP across Europe and performance levels rising all the time we can be sure that 2018 will only see the bar raised further again. 

Day 4 of EuroSUP 2017 was all about the long distance events, which would take in one of the most scenic routes the sport could offer. The competitors would be ferried out by boat to the stunning Berlenga Archipelago early in the morning and would then make their way back to the finish line at the main contest site at Molho Leste, taking somewhere between an hour and a half and two and a half hours to complete. 

As the spectators on the beach waited to see who would arrive first around the Peniche harbour the tension in the air was palpable. Competitors were using GPS systems to ensure safety first and foremost but allowed organisers back at the site to keep an eye on the progress. As word reached the spectators on the beach that Titouan Puyo and Arthur Arutkin, both of France, had pulled away from the pack it remained to be seen who would appear first. It was Puyo who was first into the bay, still digging in and making it look remarkably easy, closely followed by his compatriot. The pace of the front runners was incredible, and when Puyo crossed the line to claim gold, his time of 1hr 35’25 was a long distance record. He barely looked out of breath. Arutkin was less than a minute behind to claim silver, and Leo Nika of Italy rounded out the top three. Casper Steinfath (DEN) who earlier this week had claimed the gold in the technical race, had to settle for fourth place. 

The first woman across the line was Olivia Piana (FRA). Piana had won gold in the technical race earlier in the week and was as dominant in the long distance. Her lead was never questioned and she was the clear standout of the womens race divisions for a second consecutive EuroSUP event. Her time of 1hr 52’13 was more than 4 minutes faster than second place Laura Qetglass of Spain. Angela Fernandes of Portugal would finish in third. 

Competition will conclude tomorrow with the final divisions of the surf competitions being held at Supertubos, and conditions are expected to be perfect. Needless to say, there will be a climatic conclusion to what has been an amazing week at EuroSUP 2017; Peniche.

Day 3 of EuroSUP 2017 was a short one here in Peniche. Just three heats of surfing were run today due to the swell that has provided such fun surf over last few days starting to wane, and with the technical races complete and the long distance event on Friday there were no race events today.

The last of the swell saw 1-2ft waves that still provided a good platform for competitors to showcase their surfing, but ulyimately would get too full to surf on the high tide. Sofie Simonson (SWE) was a standout in the womans first repercharge round, making the most of the surf to put in a couple of good scores whilst Ollie Laddiman (WAL) and Carsten Kumis (GER) were the heat winners in the two repercharge heats of the mens division. 

Competition will resume tomorrow with the long distance paddle race, which will start from the scenic Berlengas Islands and finish on the beach at Molho Leste.  

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