September 10, 2017, Loutsa Bay, Greece – The annual rendezvous for the Greek SUP community took place once again at Athens Watersports Club, in the scenic gulf of Loutsa Bay. The sequel of the Loutsa SUP Challenge – Vol 1, which was held in June, found more paddlers standing at the starting line.
95 competitors of any level, age or gender came on Sunday, September 10th at AWS club to compete in this race and have fun on this warm and sunny morning.
Organizers, as usual, had created a course that had it all. The more competitive paddlers had to complete the 7 km course with plenty buoy turns. A Technical-race styled course, where every athlete had to do three beach runs in the chicane and 20 buoy turns in total of the four-lap course. A shorten version of this was for the FUN and KIDS categories, where they had to complete two-laps of the course with one beach run and 10 buoy turns.
After the registration, the competitors were welcomed with snacks, refreshments and the directions from the Event Marshal about the course. With that everything was ready to begin.
At the horns blast, everyone was off and paddling towards buoy No1. As it was expected the short distance course made the first turn even more spectacular. Off balance turns, falls and overtakes were common as every paddler was trying to get a better position for the turn. The more skilled paddlers managed to escape this mayhem and to continue in front of the rest, but the race was not over yet. Epic battles were given in every single category until the last meters of the race. Due to the many competitors and the short distance course, no one really could understand who was leading and who was in the back. The course was filled with paddlers and that was something amazing to watch.
Even more exciting was to watch the growing number of young paddlers and newcomers. This is a proof that SUP is here to stay and grow even more.
After the race two side events took place. The team sprint challenge on a XL inflatable board, which gave to all competitors the time of their life, with big smiles on their faces, and right after the lunch break, the INDO BOARD contest where competitors had to perform their best trick.
The day closed with the award ceremony, with prizes given to the winners of each category and also their time of fame and glamour.
Next big event in Greece will be held in Corinth Canal, on October 15th for the CROSS THE EURO CANAL SUP Race 2017. Stay tuned…
The winners are:
14’0” Men: 1st Phaedon Doukas | 2nd Nikos Krikelis (Naish) | 3rd Konstantinos Andrikopoulos (Naish)
14’0” Men Master: 1st Vaggelis Avramidis (Naish) | 2nd Tasos Monastiriotis (Naish) | 3rd Zafeiris Dikonimakis (Naish)
14’0”Women: 1st Konstantina Kontarini (Naish) | 2nd Iliana Lakafosi | 3rd Virginia Ethnopoulou (Naish)
14’0” Youth: 1st Petros Gikas (Naish) | 2st Dimitris Doukas (Naish) | 3rd Aristidis Nikoloudakis
14’0”Girls: 1st Melina Topouzi (Naish)
12’6” Men: 1st Tasos Tsouris (Naish) | 2nd Ilias Kropik (Naish) | 3rd Vagelis Toulopoulos (Naish)
12’6” Men master: 1st Tasos Tsonis (Naish) | 2nd Werner Kropik (Naish)
12’6” Women: 1st Sofia Kasimi | 2nd Evi Tsirou
12’6” Youth: Dimitris Nikolaidis | Konstantinos Tsourdas (Naish) | Giorgos Minopetros (Naish)
12’6” Girls: Christina Nikolaidi (Naish) | Vasiliki Karagianiki | Pigi Nikoloudaki
FUN Men: Dimitris Soukoulis | Manos Mavrommatis (Naish) | Dimitris Togas (Naish)
FUN Men master: Giannis Avramidis | Stratos Apostolakis | Giorgos Zachariou
FUN Women: Panagiota Tsianeli | Dorotthya Bathori | Athanasia Andritsou (Naish)
Kids (boys): Andreas Voulgaris | Petros Kontarinis (Naish) | Aris Gikas (Naish)
Kids (girls): Elina Nikolaidi | Zozefina Marinakou (Naish)
Photos: Ilias Mertis, Agelos Labropoulos