Six Defending Technical Race Champions Reign Supreme at 2023 ISA World SUP & Paddleboard Championship

September 29th, 2023

Shuri Araki (JPN) and Esperanza Barreras (ESP) win second SUP Technical Race gold medals

Julen Marticorena (FRA) and Judit Vergas (ESP) become two-time Paddleboard Technical Race World Champions

Defending Champions Cecilia Pampinella (ITA) and Vaic Garioud (FRA) go back-to-back in Junior SUP Technical Races

Les Sables d’Olonne, France – September 29, 2023

A huge day of action at the 2023 ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championship (WSUPPC) saw six former Technical Race World Champions crowned for the second time. Hundreds of spectators lined the La Grande Plage boardwalk in Les Sables d’Olonne to watch the thrilling action, as each of the Technical Race division Finals were run in ideal conditions that delivered endless exciting moments.

Defending Champions Cecilia Pampinella (ITA) and Vaic Garioud (FRA) go back-to-back in Junior SUP Technical Races

The Junior Boys SUP Technical Race Final opened the day with an incredible start by Campbell Carter (USA), but a fall on the first buoy saw him give up the lead to defending champion Vaic Garioud (FRA) before the second buoy. Donato Freens (NED) traded positions with Nariakira Shimazu (JPN) throughout the race after both jumped ahead of Carter, before a fall from Shimazu in the surf in the final lap let Freens get a decent hold on the silver medal, while Shimazu narrowly took bronze ahead of Carter in copper. Garioud increased his speed on each of the three laps, gaining a huge lead on the rest of the field, to become the first racer to win back-to-back World Championships in Junior Boys.

Defending champion Cecilia Pampinella (ITA) found herself locked in a much closer race than the two-minute lead she found when earning her first gold medal. Elene Etxeberria (ESP) and Soryn Preston (USA) joined her in a tight pack, with multiple lead changes before Preston found herself far ahead after a fall from Pampinella. On the final lap the 17-year-old Italian caught a wave from almost 100m out, the same wave knocking Preston off her board and allowing Pampinella to reclaim the gold medal, Preston with silver, Exterberria bronze, and Rebeka Klotz (BRA) copper. Hungary’s sole competitor in the event, Csillag-Virag Kocsis, also had a notable showing in fifth place.

“I don’t know what to say, I’m very, very happy because I’m a World Champion,” Pampinella said. “It was a very hard race. I was in front but then I fell and Soryn passed in front, but in the final [lap] I took a wave and I was in first position, so I was very happy.”

Julen Marticorena, Team France. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

Shuri Araki (JPN) and Esperanza Barreras (ESP) win second SUP Technical Race gold medals

Following the same results as the Semifinals, Japan and France claimed each of the four Men’s SUP Technical Race medals. 2022 World Champion Shuri Araki (JPN) became the first person to win back-to-back gold medals in the division since Casper Steinfath in 2013 and 2014. Noic Garioud (FRA) also repeated his 2022 performance to win the silver medal, while Rai Taguchi (JPN) won his first medal, the bronze, and Titouan Puyo (FRA) added a copper medal to his collection.

Taguchi and Garioud broke away from a tight initial pack for an early advantage, with Araki close behind. Towards the end of the first lap, Araki was able to take the lead largely thanks to his impeccable buoy turns. The 17-year-old Japanese maintained an intense pace to keep the lead and win with a time of 27 minutes, 23 seconds, nearly 5 minutes quicker than yesterday’s qualifying race.

The final race of the day, Women’s SUP Technical, was the most cut and dry, though it stayed tight throughout. 2019 World Champion Esperanza Barreras (ESP) took the lead from the start, ahead of Mariecarmen Rivera (PUR) and Melanie Lafenetre (FRA), who traded second and third place, Lafenetre put on a strong finish to gain ground on the 39-year-old Spaniard, but in the end Barreras finished over 20 seconds ahead to win her second gold medal. The silver medal Lafenetre earned was her best performance in the division. Rivera earned the bronze medal, to join with her 2022 SUP Sprint Race bronze, and Alba Frey (ESP) collected her first, the copper.

“It was a race where everything was much tighter, because there were fewer waves and the conditions were easier,” Barreras said. “The important thing for me was to go out and try to get into first place as soon as possible and make as few mistakes as possible. I made a couple of them that made me lose distance. The girls were pushing super hard, and I managed to maintain my speed again and then keep that distance until the end, so I’m very happy.”

Competition will continue tomorrow at La Grande Plage at 8:30 am CEST with the Women’s Paddleboard Distance Race.


Junior Boys SUP Technical Race
Gold – Vaic Garioud (FRA)
Silver – Donato Freens (NED)
Bronze – Nariakira Shimazu (JPN)
Copper – Campbell Carter (USA)

Junior Girls SUP Technical Race
Gold – Cecilia Pampinella (ITA)
Silver – Soryn Preston (USA)
Bronze – Elene Etxeberria (ESP)
Copper – Rebeka Klotz (BRA)

Men’s Paddleboard Technical Race
Gold – Julen Marticorena (FRA)
Silver – Andrew Byatt (ENG)
Bronze – Carlos Alonso (ESP)
Copper – Takehiro Horibe (JPN)

Women’s Paddleboard Technical Race
Gold – Judit Verge (ESP)
Silver – Cornelia Rigatti (ITA)
Bronze – Molly Roodhouse (ENG)
Copper – Susette Velez (PUR)

Men’s SUP Technical Race
Gold – Shuri Araki (JPN)
Silver – Noic Garioud (FRA)
Bronze – Rai Taguchi (JPN)
Copper – Titouan Puyo (FRA)

Women’s SUP Technical Race
Gold – Esperanza Barreras (ESP)
Silver – Melanie Lafenetre (FRA)
Bronze – Mariecarmen Rivera (PUR)
Copper – Alba Frey (ESP)

Noic Garioud (FRA) & Rai Taguchi (JPN). Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

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