5th Annual Hellenic SUP Cup | The World’s Straightest SUP Race

The Corinth Canal is a Greek waterway that connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea. It draws a straight, four-mile line through the narrow Isthmus of Corinth and separates the Peloponnese from the Greek mainland, transforming Peloponnese from its former state as a peninsula into an island.

The Canal is steeped in ancient history and folklore, with documented intent from rulers attempting to build the canal dating back to 7th century B.C. But whether due to financial impositions, superstitious beliefs or geographical hindrances, the Canal wasn’t actually constructed until the late-1800s. Its construction was an impressive feat in its day; the canal was built at sea level with vertical rock walls stretching up to 300 feet high, leaving no need for lochs in this remarkable Greek groove.

With merely 70 feet separating the walls at its base, the Corinth Canal was once used primarily as a passage for cargo ships, but nowadays the canal is too narrow to accommodate most modern shipping vessels. Today it’s used primarily by tourist boats. But, once every year for the past five years, the Corinth Canal is overtaken by a community of paddlers for the annual Hellenic SUP Cup.

This year’s Hellenic SUP Cup went down earlier this month in challenging conditions, as the largest showing in the event’s history—160 racers—battled through gusty winds from all directions. But all who attempted the race overcame the conditions for valiant finishes in what’s become known as “The World’s Straightest SUP Race.” Top results are posted below and the video above depicts the experience. Check it out and add the Hellenic SUP Cup to your racing bucket list. With all the trouble Greece went through to build this canal, it’s pretty much our duty to paddle it.


Men 14'0″

1st George Fragos
2nd George Konstantis
3rd Alexandros Prapas

Men 12'6″

1st Dimitris Apalagakis
2nd John Tountas
3rd Marios Kritis

Women 14'0″

1st Konstantina Kontarini
2nd Ioanna Sirti
3rd Virginia Ethnopoulou

Women 12'6″

1st Miakaella Giasoumi
2η Eva Bodziak
3rd Poly Pilou

Boys 14'0″

1st Phedon Doukas
2nd Iason Andronis
3rd George Andreopoulos

Boys 12'6″

1st Ilias Kropik
2nd George Giginis
3rd Panagiotis Papanikolaou


1st Vaggelis Avramidis
2nd Alexandros Theoharis
3rd Manos Mavrommatis


More SUP mag coverage from the 4th annual Hellenic SUP Cup.

Take a vicarious paddle on Greece’s Aegean Sea.

And while we’re at it, how about a Greek downwinder?

Featured image by Christos Andronis.