Spanish duo Esperanza Barreras and Duna Gordillo dominant once again
Anna Tschirky wins Switzerland’s first ever ISA medal
Back-to-back World Championships for Yurika Horibe (JPN)
Long-awaited first gold medal for Spain’s David Buil
Les Sables d’Olonne, France – September 30, 2023
Four World Champions were crowned in the distance races of the 2023 ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championship (WSUPPC) during another incredible day of action at Les Sables d’Olonne’s La Grande Plage.
The athletes couldn’t have asked for better conditions as they tested their endurance on the 18km course that featured the Finals of the Men’s and Women’s Paddleboard Distance Races and the Men’s and Women’s SUP Distance Races. Though the majority of the podium finishes featured former winners, each of the copper medals went to first-time medalists.
Until today France had kept themselves on top of the team rankings, but five additional medals for Spain in the distance races, including two gold medals, has rocketed the 2022 team silver medalists into the lead ahead of the final day of competition. France retains second, Japan third, Italy fourth.
Shuri Araki proves unstoppable, keeping a 100% winning record at the ISA
In 2022 Shuri Araki (JPN) set records, becoming both the youngest World Champion in his division and the first man to win the SUP Technical & Distance Races in the same year, a feat which the 17-year-old has repeated in 2023, to remain undefeated in any discipline he has entered in the ISA.
Araki started out with a strong pack that included former World Champions Michael Booth (AUS) and Titouan Puyo (FRA), teammate Rai Taguchi (JPN), former medalists Fernando Perez (ESP) and Noic Garioud (FRA), and Aaron Sanchez (ESP), each of whom stayed tight for much of the race, Garioud and Booth each taking the lead at different points. It wasn’t long before Araki made his break however, and once he did he maintained an incredible stamina to stay ahead, earning a 1 minute, 20 second lead over the pack to win the gold medal.
“I forget all winning, today is another day,” Araki said. “And tomorrow is another day, just challenging, just keep paddling.”
Taguchi and Puyo ended up in a sprint for the finish line, both on water and on land. Puyo was able to take advantage of a wave ahead of Taguchi, winning silver. Taguchi was barely one second behind to win bronze, Sanchez another 12 seconds back to win his first medal, copper.