December 3, 2017, Paris, France – Navigating his Naish Maliko 12’6” on the Seine River in the heart of one of the worlds most prominent cities, Casper Steinfath collected the bronze medal for the Paris Crossing, his final race for 2017.
Touted as the worlds largest SUP race, the Paris Crossing drew a record setting 700 paddlers to brave the freezing cold weather of early December. For Steinfath, joining his own mother and the rest of the paddlers was an accomplishment alone, as he almost didn’t make it.
“I had a pretty wild trip just getting to Paris. After a crazy travel path that took me across the Atlantic, threw three cancelled flights at me and gave me three hours of sleep before the day of the race it was pretty symbolic I finished in 3rd place,” said Steinfath after the race.
It was this hurry up and wait approach that allowed Steinfath to grab a massive lead after waiting on the beach while competitors charged forward.
It’s easy to see why so many paddlers brave the cold weather to participate as the 13.5 km course runs along the Seine River in the heart of Paris. Unfortunately Casper wasn’t able to take in the sights of the Eiffel Tower and other landmarks as he was locked in a three-way battle for the lead for much of the race.
“It was a great battle in the front of the race between Arthur Arutkin, Bruno Hasulyo and myself. We managed to break away from the deep field of talent halfway through the race as we passed the strong currents in the river right by Notre Dam. We helped each other maintain our lead until we reached the last 2 km after the Eiffel Tower. From there it was a full sprint to finish line with only centimeters separating us.”
Casper had an incredible year on the Maliko with multiple medals won at the ISA SUP World Championship and a win at the Red Bull Heavy Water, to be joined by his mom in Paris and wrap up the year with a podium finish was just the cherry on top. For now, Casper has returned home to Denmark, after several months on the road, to rest and prepare for 2018.
PHOTO CREDIT: Georgia Schofield / Casper Steinfath
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