A profile of Nominees for Top Female Paddler of the Year
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard it’s election season right now. Making the best decision is a hotly debated subject among voters, but in the end, only one candidate can be crowned Female Paddler of the Year. Oh we’re sorry, did you have another election in mind?
SUP magazine is holding an election of its own, and we promise this one will be more fun. The 2016 SUP Awards are less than two months away and voting is now open for all nominees. What’s more? We’re giving fans awesome prizes from our sponsors just for voting. Simply fill out the online ballot and you’ll be eligible. Golly, isn’t election season fun?
Among the many prestigious honors distributed at SUP Awards, perhaps none is more coveted than Female Paddler of the Year. The ladies of SUP have raised the competitive bar tremendously this year and that makes the competition closer than ever. To help you become an informed voter, here’s some 411 on five of the many talented nominees. Scope the rest on SUPAwards.com and remember to cast your vote by September 1st. (Just don’t pencil in “Hillary Clinton.”)
It’s no secret that Annabel Anderson is a perennial contender for the SUP Awards crown. She’s been among the Top-3 Female Paddlers of the Year for four consecutive years, including a first-place honor in 2013. One of the most well-known, highly-respected and religiously feared female contenders in our sport, so far this year, she’s claimed her fourth consecutive title at Carolina Cup and recently finished runner-up at M2O.
This paddler has impressed the entire SUP community with her abilities on the river. More than just a downriver SUP aficionado and standing wave connoisseur, Parker is an accomplished filmmaker. Last year, Parker’s film Can I Surf That, which documents her journey with friends to find the best river waves, was nominated for SUP Awards Movie of the Year. In 2016, Parker continues to compete in river competitions, surf river waves and recently started a river SUP clinic, RVR2RVR, with fellow paddler Natali Zollinger.
Manca hails from the European country of Slovenia, where she is the country’s top female paddler. While certainly an accomplished SUP racer and surfer, this 19-year-old Redbull sponsored athlete is also a top ambassador for SUP in her country. She’s a role model to many young girls who are beginner paddlers and has helped spread her love for our sport to countless people throughout Europe.
This teenage paddler is going to be at the head of the pack for a long time. Only 19-years-old, Wylde has already established herself as one of the elite female paddlers in both SUP surfing and racing competition. The 2014 Breakout Female Paddler of the Year won this year’s Santa Cruz Paddlefest and has also been a top contender in both the Euro Tour and the Standup World Series. Add to that the collection of great edits she’s produced during trips to Japan, the BVIs and Maui this year and it’s clear why Fiona Wylde is a nominee. Did we mention she did all this despite being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes last year?
This German powerhouse is the among the most talented female SUP racers in the world. In fact, the amount of victories she has racked up in 2016 alone is staggering. She recently claimed her third-straight M2O title, won the Olukai Ho’olaule’a earlier this year and dominated her competition throughout the 2016 EuroTour season. She’s never won a SUP Award, but we have a feeling this might be her year.
Support your favorite paddler and remember to cast your vote by September 1.