It's 5:30 a.m. It's still dark and all of Paris is asleep. Actually, not all of it. 600 stand up paddle fans were gathered at the Paris Salon Nautique at portes de Versailles. The participants gradually came to life as each donned their neoprene and lycra in order to participate in the world's largest stand up paddle race! This year, the Nautic SUP Paris crossing will see 600 paddlers take to the Seine between the bibliothèque national of France and the Quai de Javel in the 15th arrondissement.
At 6 a.m., the first participants made their way to the starting area by bus. The SUP boards were already there, awaiting their owners. The logistics were a little complicated, but were ably managed by the Nautic teams as well as the charismatic Didier Lafitte. Despite the early hour and a temperature of –2°, the racers got ready and warmed up in good spirits The launch into the water took place between 7:15 and 7:45, as the first light of day slowly arrived. At 8:00 the start was given and the participants raced out over the Seine! To be sure, it was cold, but a cloudless sky and the morning light brought a unique and colorful flavor to the race. The facades of the great monuments of Paris were lit up with an orange glow, making an impressive backdrop for the race.
The Hungarian Bruno Hasulyo won the race and Martin Vitry, a member of the BIC SUP team who was inaugurating his very first Oxbow stand up paddle board, was third! There was a tiny second of difference, allowing Arthur to take 2nd place, something that was later determined by electronic tracers.
Eric Terrien finished 13th. He was able to console himself with a fantastic 2nd place in the general ranking of the OXBOW SUP Challenge 2016. The victor is the one who holds the most points accumulated over three of the five stages held throughout the year. It was Arthur Arutkin who was pronounced the overall winner of the OXBOW SUP Challenge 2016! Congratulations to all and we hope that even more of you participate next year.