• Corinth, Greece

8th Annual Corinth Canal SUP Crossing Draws Huge International Field

PHOTO CREDIT: Elias Mertis , Aggelos Labropoulo and Kostas Konstantinou

Vessel traffic in the Corinth Canal was interrupted for the 434 paddlers, where they lined up just before the sinking bridge of Isthmia for the 8th Annual Corinth Canal SUP Crossing.

This year the race was a milestone not only for the sport of SUP but also for the event itself. The registered paddlers exceeded every forecast, surpassing by far any previous record, with over 500 participations from every corner of Greece and lot of other countries like the U.K., France, Slovenia, Austria, Germany, Poland, Finland, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, Cyprus and Turkey. Unfortunately the race had to be postponed due to bad weather, which caused a number of registered participants unable to line-up on race day.

The race, which started as an idea in 2010 has since grown to become one of the biggest watersports events in Greece. “The World Straightest SUP Race” as it is known, has triggered the interest of the world wide SUP community, sending out the message for Greece’s potential in big SUP events, highlighting the culture and history of the country.

The Corinth Canal was declared recently as the “biggest canal of Europe”. The crystal clear blue, calm waters flowing along the 6.4 km (4 miles) of its length, between the massive 80m high walls, is the perfect track for any kind of paddler. The race is the only chance every year that someone has, to cross the canal with a SUP board!

The starting line was appointed at Isthmia, the eastern side of the canal, right in front of Canal’s Control Tower. The picture of the paddlers waiting just before the sinking bridge was something magnificent!

The calm scenery before the horn blow turned into a battlefield, just in seconds after. The massive number of paddles hitting the water made it like it was boiling and a huge “wave” of paddlers flooded the entrance of the canal.

The extraordinary was that among the participants were little kids with their parents, women and men of all ages, experienced athletes but also beginners and amateurs, with only one thing in common: to have a great time! That was something obvious on everyone’s smiling face, paddling with passion for the best.

At Posidonia, the western side of the canal, finish line was on water just after the sinking bridge of the canal. It has to be a special mention that every single paddler managed to finish the race, even if it was an athlete, amateur, little kid or an adult. “That was a successful race…” as organizers told.

Big winners of the race were Giorgos Fragos and Konstantina Kontarini in men and women respectively.

Congratulations to winners in each category but mostly in everyone participated.

The Winners are:

14’0″ Men 1st – Giorgos Fragos 2nd – Nikos Syrigos (Naish) 3rd – Tasos Tsouris

14’0″ Men Master 1st – Konstantinos Geralexis 2nd – Vassilis Kalabalikis (Naish) 3rd – Stefanos Meletiou

14’0” Women 1st – Konstantina Kontarini (Naish) 2nd – Linda Schweiger 3rd – Dori Bathori (Naish)

14’0” Young Men 1st – Dimitris Doukas (Naish) 2nd – Dimitris Nikolaidis 3rd – Giannis Tsohlas (Naish)

14’0″ Young Women 1st – Pigi Nikoloudaki (Naish) 2nd – Ioanna polygenni 3rd – Mara Kanavou (Naish)

12’6″ Men 1st – Phaedon Doukas 2nd – Dimitris Soukoulis 3rd – Nikos Papadakis (Naish)

12’6″ Master Men 1st – Fanis Polychronopoylos 2nd – Stavros Parastatidis 3rd – Anastasios Shizas (Naish)

12’6″ Women 1st – Melina Topouzi (Naish) 2nd – Evi Tsirou (Naish) 3rd – Schneider Anette

12’6″ Young Men 1st – Giorgos Kozanits (Naish) 2nd – Nikos Simeonidis 3rd – Giorgos Kiritsis (Naish)

FUN Men 1st – Nikos Fragomanolakis 2nd – Kostas Theodoropoulos 3rd – Michalis Gikas

FUN Master Men 1st – Tasos Tsonis (Naish) 2nd – Giorgos Hatzis (Naish) 3rd – Aggelos Paschodimas

FUN Women 1st – Maria Klebetsani 2nd – Penny Tsaoutou (Naish) 3rd – Giota Tsianeli

12’6″ Boys (<12) 1st – Andreas Voulgaris 2nd – Petros Kontarinis (Naish) 3rd – Spyros Monastiriotis (Naish)

12’6″ Girls (<12) 1st – Elina Nikolaidi (Naish) 2nd – Georgia Vasiliou 3rd – Emma Schleicher (Naish)

Team 1st – Rennie/Swinsco 2nd – Veriyan/Dioudis/Horozidis/Karatsalos/Malapanis 3rd – Athanasiou/Zarkos/Ismael/ Georgantasl/Ligas/Karaboulas

Full results: http://corinthcanalsupcrossing.gr/en/results/

More photos: http://corinthcanalsupcrossing.gr/rl_gallery/2018/

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