France Win Back-to-Back Team World Titles

November 6th, 2022

France clinches their second Team gold medal with a victory in final relay race

Incredible relay performance delivers first-ever team medal for Japan

San Juan, Puerto Rico – November 6, 2022

France have proved to be unstoppable at the 2022 ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championship, winning their first Team Relay Race gold medal and collecting their second Team gold medal in the process. They are the first nation other than Australia to do so.

Incredible teamwork from Team Japan earned them their best Relay Race finish, a silver medal, and also their first ever Team medal, the copper.

Team France. Photo: ISA / Pablo Franco

The Team Relay Race featured eleven nations with a SUP and Paddleboard racer of each gender to comprise teams of four. Each athlete completed a lap of the course before tagging their next teammate into the race.

France’s Relay team, made up of Julen Marticorena, Mélanie Lafenetre, Thais Delriux and Noïc Garioud, started strong in the race and gained a huge lead during Lafenetre’s lap on her SUP board, easily navigating a huge set of waves that knocked the majority of the field off of their boards.

“Julen got us a crazy start, which allowed Mélanie to get a good advance on the other teams,” Garioud said. “Thais did a good job too by keeping that advance and I just had to finish, so that was awesome.

“We knew we were in front (of the team rankings) by just a little. If the US got that gold medal in the relay, we may not get the overall ranking as a first place. So that was the plan, to go super hard from the beginning to the end.”

Team Japan. Photo: ISA / Pablo Franco

The relay started with a three-way tie between Prone Technical Race medal winners Hunter Pflueger (USA), Julen Marticorena (FRA) and Andrew Newton (NZL), with Newton winning the first lap.

Mariecarmen Rivera gained huge ground to see the home team of Puerto Rico temporarily into second place during the second lap.

It was the performance of Women’s Prone Distance Race gold medalist Yurika Horibe (JPN) however, that provided the most significant result of the day, the incredible speed of her lap leading Japan to silver in the Relay Race and their historic Team medal.

“I feel like it was not just myself, but all the Japanese competitors over the years who have competed in the ISA World Championships,” Horibe said. “The baton was passed, and this year we had a result, but it was based on all the people who have competed before.

“Paddle sports are still very minor in Japan. I want everyone to know about the greatness of this sport and hope that this medal will accelerate the awareness in our country.”

President of the Local Organizing Committee and Member of the International Olympic Committee, Richard Carrion said:

“The competition was excellent. We are very proud of Puerto Rico being in seventh position. This is an event that definitely should be in the Olympic Program. I hope we can see it in the LA 2028 Olympic Games.”

ISA President Fernando Aguerre said:

“What an amazing ten days it has been! I want to first express my thanks to my friend and LOC President, Richard Carrion for his leadership in delivering an amazing event. I’d also like to thank the Governor of Puerto Rico, the Mayor of San Juan and the Tourism Corporation for their invaluable support. My thanks and congratulations to the Puerto Rican Surfing Federation for their excellent result. My warm gratitude also goes to the people of Puerto Rico for your wonderful hospitality.

And finally, to all the competitors and officials, to their families and friends, thank you for making it possible for the athletes to come and compete and enjoy this amazing tropical paradise, filled with warm people, wonderful music and tropical waters!”

Team Relay Race
Gold – France
Silver – Japan
Bronze – Spain
Copper – Italy

Team Rankings
Gold – France (14810)
Silver – Spain (13709)
Bronze – USA (13621)
Copper – Japan (11843)

Your cart

No products in the cart.