EPIC 18 KM MEN’S SUP AND PADDLEBOARD LONG DISTANCE RACE ON LAKE NICARAGUA

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France’s Titouan Puyo Wins the SUP Race and Australia’s Rhys Burrows Wins The Paddleboard Race at the 2014 ISA World StandUp Paddle and Paddleboard Championship

Titouan Puyo from France is the new Men’s World SUP Long Distance Champion after defeating a stacked field of competitors on an epic 18km race on Lake Nicaragua. Photo:ISA/Michael Tweddle
Titouan Puyo from France is the new Men’s World SUP Long Distance Champion after defeating a stacked field of competitors on an epic 18 Km race on Lake Nicaragua. Photo:ISA/Michael Tweddle

Day 7 saw epic Men’s SUP and Paddleboard 18 Km Long Distance Races at the 2014 ISA World StandUp Paddle and Paddleboard Championship (WSUPPC). Over 60 of the world’s best SUP and Paddleboarders took on the exciting long distance course that navigates through the 365 “Isletas of Granada” on Lake Nicaragua.

Australian Rhys Burrows (right) won the Gold Medal and New Zealand’s Sam Shergold won the Silver Medal in the Men’s Paddleboard Long Distance race. Photo: ISA/Michael Tweddle
Australian Rhys Burrows (right) won the Gold Medal and New Zealand’s Sam Shergold won the Silver Medal in the Men’s Paddleboard Long Distance race. Photo: ISA/Michael Tweddle

In a high caliber field of competitors from every corner of the world, the Gold Medalists, and new World Champions are France’s Titouan Puyo and Australia’s Rhys Burrows in the SUP and Paddleboard races respectively.

“These stellar athletes have done a tremendous job racing through the most beautiful islands on Lake Nicaragua for 18 kilometers in about two hours. Today was another amazing day in the ISA World Championship, with a lot of excitement in the water and on the beach. As the event comes to an end tomorrow, lots of new friendships have been started, and old ones strengthened. Twelve Gold Medals will be awarded, but the competition has included 260 national stars of the top 27 SUP nations in the world. On Sunday we will be crowning the Technical and Relay Races Champions, and holding the Closing Ceremony awarding individual and World Team Champions.”

Photo: ISA/Rommel Gonzales
Photo: ISA/Rommel Gonzales

The ISA President welcomed every one of the racers as they crossed the finish line, handing them a cold bottle of water to help cool them down after a grueling race, especially the last 2 Km, which was a stiff upwind leg.

The Men’s SUP Long Distance Race kicked off with 15 of the 35 racers forming a lead pack. At first, the group was led by Mexico’s Fernando Stalla, who took off in a sprint out of the start followed by Slater Trout (USA), Eric Terrien (FRA), and Casper Steinfath (DEN), amongst others. Then, Americans, Trout and Chuck Glynn worked as a team to take the lead. The front running train also included racers from Australia, South Africa and Brazil.

Photo: ISA/Michael Tweddle
Photo: ISA/Michael Tweddle

The South African racer, Ethan Koopmans, suffered a shocker, as he was part of the lead pack and was closing in on the leaders, but in the middle of his effort his paddle broke in half. However, Koopmans did not give up, and even though he finished in last place, he completed the course paddling, holding his broken paddle in his hand.

South Africa’s Ethan Koopmans. Photo: ISA/Michael Tweddle
South Africa’s Ethan Koopmans. Photo: ISA/Michael Tweddle

As the race progressed through the picturesque islands, the French duo, Puyo, a downwind specialist, and his teammate, Terrien, took over the lead and seemed to be uncatchable. The Americans, Stalla, and Steinfath did their best to keep up, but only the Aussie, Lincoln Dews, the 2013 ISA World Paddleboard Silver Medalist, was able to remain close to the leader.

In the end, Puyo (FRA, 1:49:25) took the Gold Medal, Dews (AUS, 1:50:24), the Silver, Terrien (FRA, 1:50:43), the Bronze, and Vinicius Martins (BRA, 1:51:12), the Copper.

France’s Gold Medalist Titouan Puyo. Photo: ISA/Michael Tweddle
France’s Gold Medalist Titouan Puyo. Photo: ISA/Michael Tweddle

“It feels amazing!,” said an elated Puyo about being World Champion. “It was a good race, very difficult at the beginning because of the drafting, since there were so many of us in the first group when we were going through the islands. I knew that if I was in first at the buoy before the open water downwind part, it would be good, and I did it. In the downwind, I was first and I never stopped.”

In the Men’s Paddleboard Long Distance Race, the athletes took off in a sprint from the start and never looked back. The leader’s pack included Rhys Burrows (AUS), Sam Shergold (NZL), Rory Chapman (AUS), and David Buil Sanz (SPA). Despite changing of positions throughout the course, it was the Aussie and Kiwi that sprinted to the finish line.

As Burrows and Shergold approached the finish line, the Aussie had enough left in the tank to outsprint his fellow competitor and took the Gold finishing in 1:55:12.

Rhys Burrows (AUS) and Sam Shergold (NZL) sprinting to the final. Photo: ISA/Michael Tweddle
Rhys Burrows (AUS) and Sam Shergold (NZL) sprinting to the final. Photo: ISA/Michael Tweddle

“It was definitely a very hard race. It was very hot especially when you are in between the islands and there’s no wind, but once you get out in the open lake, the wind is a lot better. I hope there’s a bit of wind chop tomorrow so I can go for another Gold in the Technical Race Final.”

New Zealand’s Sam Shergold earned the Silver Medal (1:55:17), Australia’s Rory Chapman, the Bronze Medal (1:58:01), and Spain’s David Buil Sanz, the Copper Medal (1:59:10).

Of special note was the local SUP Racer Norwin Estrella, who finished 23rd in the world with a credible time of 2:07:24.

Nicaragua’s Norwin Estrella. Photo: ISA/Michael Tweddle
Nicaragua’s Norwin Estrella. Photo: ISA/Michael Tweddle

“I feel very happy to have finished this stage of StandUp Paddle Racing. I feel tired now, but I’m glad I finished the race despite all the challenges along the way and the pressure of the other competitors. After all, I was able to place amongst the best in the world in this category. I’m happy to be here and it’s an honor and I feel proud to represent my country of Nicaragua in both StandUp Paddle and SUP Surfing.”

Another special story was the Delgado family, who are Team Peru members. Raul and his son Itzel both competed in the SUP Long Distance Race, and Raul’s wife, Lizenka competed yesterday in the Women’s SUP Long Distance Course. It was a beautiful sight to see the whole family supporting and cheering on each other in their races.

Team Peru’s Delgado family, Mother Lizenka (left), father Raul (center), and son Itzel (right). Photo: ISA/Michael Tweddle.
Team Peru’s Delgado family, Mother Lizenka (left), father Raul (center), and son Itzel (right). Photo: ISA/Michael Tweddle.

Competition concludes on Sunday with The Morning Show hosted by Beau Hodge and Jamie Mitchell at 8:40am, followed by:

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9:00am- Women’s Prone Technical Race Final
9:45am- Men’s Prone Technical Race Final
10:30- Women’s SUP Technical Race Final
11:15am- Men’s SUP Technical Race Final
12:00pm- ISA Relay Race Final
Closing Ceremony

Watch the live webcast here- http://isawsuppc.com/live/

About the International Surfing Association:
The International Surfing Association (ISA) is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the World Governing Authority for Surfing. It was originally founded as the International Surfing Federation in 1964 and has been running the Open Division World Championship since 1964, the World Junior Surfing Championship since 1980, the World Masters Surfing Championship since 2007, the World Bodyboard Championship since 2011, the Hainan Wanning Riyue Bay International Surfing Festival in China, and the World Standup Paddle (SUP) and Paddleboard Championship beginning in 2012. The ISA also sanctions the World Kneeboard Titles and the World Tandem Surfing Championship, and will launch the World Longboard Championship in 2013.

ISA membership includes the surfing National Governing Bodies of 84 countries on five continents. Its headquarters are located in La Jolla, California. It is presided over by Fernando Aguerre (Argentina), first elected President in 1994 in Rio de Janeiro and re-elected seven times since. The ISA’s four Vice-Presidents are Alan Atkins (AUS), Karín Sierralta (PER), Debbie Beacham (USA) and Layne Beachley (AUS).

More on www.isasurf.org

About Liv Nicaragua:
Liv Nicaragua is the commercial name of Tourism and Investments Corporation (TURIN S.A.) a company formed by professional experts in tourism and real estate of recognized prestige and experience in Nicaragua and Central America. It is dedicated to promoting Nicaragua as an attractive destination for investment, tourism, world class sports events and as one of the most competitive destinations for those looking to retire or have a second home. It specializes in advicing responsibly and professionally those interested in investing or retiring in Nicaragua, providing them with an attractive portfolio of high quality projects.

The Executive President of TURIN S.A is Lucy Valenti, who has had a renowned career and leadership in the Tourism industry of Nicaragua and Central America. She has held the Presidency of the National Chamber of Tourism of Nicaragua (2006-2011), the Vice Chair of the Superior Council of Private Enterprise of Nicaragua (COSEP 2006-2011), the deanship of the Faculty of Tourism and Hotel Management of the American University (UAM) of Nicaragua and the position of Secretary General of the Central American Tourism Integration system (SITCA) among other responsibilities. Also, organizer of the Latinamerican Surfing Circuits (ALAS) for the past four years, the 2012 ISA World Masters Surfing Championship, and the 2013 ISA World Junior Surfing Championship in the country. Currently she is President of Nicaragua’s Business Women Network (REN), Secretary of the Board of Directors of COSEP and Vice President of the Nicaraguan Association of Investors and Developers (ANID) .

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About INTUR:
The Nicaraguan Tourism Institute is the Government institution in charge of developing tourism in the country and promoting Nicaragua as a new and emerging tourism destination. For more information:
www.visitnicaragua.us or www.intur.gob.ni