The Euro Tour: A Unified Race Series
It's all there—top-tier talent, an international SUP scene, world-class events, and now, a unified tour. Europe has long been a mecca for competitive SUP racing, with summer months hosting an amalgam of some of the world's most prestigious events. Traditionally, Europe's top competitions stood alone, unaffiliated and individualized with no interconnectivity, overarching rulebook or ranking system. The new Euro Tour is fixing to change that. Here’s what you need to know.
The Meat and Potatoes
The Euro Tour kicks off in 2015 as the first-ever unified European race series. It will host eight races across Europe that take place throughout six consecutive weekends beginning May 23 and ending June 28. The Tour is managed by a nonprofit collective comprised of some of the sport's leading personalities and paddlers, rendering the quality experience of the tour a top priority safeguarded from the influence of personal financial gain. The Tour spans six different countries, Spain being the only country to host multiple Tour events under the same flag (Thanks, Spain).
What “Euro Tour” Means
-A standardized, unified SUP race series featuring Europe's largest and best-attended competitions.
-A standardized rulebook that applies to all races in the series.
-The first-ever comprehensive rankings leaderboard for the European race scene.
-All events sanctioned by Stand Up Paddle Athletes Association (SUPAA), a governing body that establishes standards for SUP racing.
-A level playing field for all paddlers. Locals and pros compete side-by-side.
-Two "split weekends" with race options in two countries, extending opportunity to local paddlers.
-The first-ever European "Grom Race" junior series.
-Standardized board-size requirement. All races on the Euro Tour require 14-foot boards.
-Complimentary board transportation for competitors between all major events.
-On site professional photographers at each event. Media will be packaged and given out free.
Quotes From Those Who Know
"European SUP racing has amazing events with some of the most talented and passionate paddlers in the world. But there hasn't been much cooperation between the big events. Now, these events will be a part of something greater…The goal is to attract more paddlers through more outside exposure and to help grow the sport." – Chase Kosterlitz, president of Stand Up Paddle Athletes Association (SUPAA)
"This tour isn't just about the pros; it's about the grassroots level of the sport and increasing the reach of the sport…Whether you're an international star or a hometown hero, pencil in Europe for May and June." – Chris Parker, SUPracer.com
"The Euro Racing scene is already legit. We have great events, talented riders and young kids that want to race. What this tour can do is bring more visibility to some events, and this is good." – Eric Terrien, professional SUP racer
WEEK #1: Port Adriano SUP Race
– Mallorca, Spain, May 23 & 24
WEEK #2: The SUP Race Cup
– St. Maxime, France, May 30 & 31
WEEK #2: St'Ives Bay Celtic Cup
– St. Ives, UK, May 30 & 31
WEEK #3: The Lost Mills
– Brombachsee, Bavaria, Germany, June 4-6
WEEK #4: Bilbao World SUP Challenge
– Bilbao, Spain, June 13 & 14
WEEK #5: The Adriatic Crown
– Marotta, Italy, June 20 & 21
WEEK #5: Deep SUP Race
– Noja, Spain, June 20 & 21
WEEK #6: Happy Summer SUP Race
– Namur, Belgium, June 27 & 28