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Grom Take Over at 2018 Gorge Paddle Challenge

gorge paddle challenge 2018 georgia schofield photoAerial view of the race village. | Photo: Paddle League / Georgia Schofield

HOOD RIVER, Oregon - The highly anticipated Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge returned to the infamous Hood River over the weekend and the excitement from the weekend has the industry buzzing. The biggest takeaway from the event: the SUP youth is a force to be reckoned with.

Saturday - Double Downwinder

With winds forecasted to be most favorable for the downwind race on Saturday, event organizers made the call to run the double downwinder to give paddlers the best opportunity to catch some bumps and that they did. The Double Downwinder combines times from two consecutive downwind runs at Viento and the fastest of the two combined times is the winner.


gorge paddle challenge 2018 women gorge us photoFiona Wylde leading the pack. | Photo: Gorge US Photography

gorge paddle challenge 2018 fiona wylde gorge us photo gorge paddle challenge 2018 annie reickert gorge us photo

(Left) Fiona Wylde, (Right) Annie Reickert. | Photos: Gorge US Photography

gorge paddle challenge 2018 women downwind georgia schofield photoL-R: Fiona Wylde (1st), Annie Reickert (2nd), Terrrene Black (3rd). | Photo: Paddle League / Georgia Schofield

The race started just before noon with the women hitting the water first for their first of two runs at Viento. The woman to watch during the race was none other than miss Fiona Wylde (Starboard) who has won the race for the past two years with her local expertise and knowledge of the event site and she proved to be the best yet again. Fiona took home her third consecutive win in the Double Downwinder race with a time gap over her nearest competitor by a full three minutes.

Second place finisher Annie Reickert (Naish) turned heads with her runner-up performance as the young paddler is only 17-years-old and took out just about every currently top ranked female in the world rankings. Very impressive performance from the young Maui native.

Other noteworthy performances came from third place finisher and downwind veteran Terrene Black as well as fourth place finisher Amandine Chazot who finished in third overall largely due to her killer second run where she finished in third, moving her up overall finish to fourth place. Also, the battle for fifth was an exciting one between SIC Maui’s Seychelle Webster, April Zilg and Angie Jackson with only 30 seconds separating the three paddlers to which April Zilg came out on top.


gorge paddle challenge 2018 noic garioud gorge us photoNoic Garioud dominating in the double downwinder. | Photo: Gorge US Photography

gorge paddle challenge 2018 gorge us photo gorge paddle challenge 2018 men gorge us photo

Men elite racers hit the water. | Photos: Gorge US Photography

gorge paddle challenge 2018 men downwind georgia schofield photoL-R: Clement Colmas, Noic Garioud, Lincoln Dews. | Photo: Paddle League / Georgia Schofield

Shortly after the women took to the water the men lined up and prepared for an all out war once the horn blew. All eyes were on the veterans to be the top performers as the Gorge tends to be a very technical race so it was quite the surprise when freshly crowned Supconnect Grom of the Year, 16-year-old Noic Garioud from New Caledonia, was the one who outperformed everyone to be crowned 2018’s Double Downwinder champ.

Noic won both the first and second downwind runs with only his fellow New Caledonian, 17-year-old Clement Colmas, able to get anywhere close. Clement was able to keep up to speed with Noic on the first run and finished right behind him but fell short to veterans Titouan Puyo, Connor Baxter and defending champ Bernd Roediger on the second run, making the battle for second place overall an exciting one.

FULL RESULTS - (combined times)


  1. Fiona Wylde (2:15:38)
  2. Annie Reickert (2:19:10)
  3. Terrene Black (2:20:37)
  4. Amandine Chazot (2:21:38)
  5. April Zilg (2:22:04)
  6. Seychelle (2:22:25)
  7. Angela Jackson (2:22:34)
  8. Shae Foudy (2:25:16)
  9. Olivia Piana (2:28:07)
  10. Jade Howson (2:28:54)
  11. Yuka Sato (2:30:04)
  12. Candice Appleby (2:31:07)
  13. Hannah Hill (2:31:16)
  14. Stephanie Shideler (2:32:51)
  15. Kimberly Barnes (2:34:52)
  16. Shannon Bell (2:35:19)
  17. Lara Claydon (2:36:52)
  18. Sarah Sandstrom (2:38:34)
  19. Erika Benitez (2:38:52)
  20. Susanne Lier (2:39:07)
  21. Maddie Miller (2:40:02)
  22. Abby Baker (2:40:11)
  23. Jennifer Lee (2:41:34)
  24. Kristy Morris (2:44:19)
  25. Victoria Burgess (2:45:27)
  26. Alyssa Joy (2:46:15)
  27. Mary Howser (2:50:48)
  28. Karen Kennedy (2:56:20)
  29. Adel Umannova (2:58:06)
  30. Kira Buchanan (one run)


  1. Noic Garioud (1:58:33) Sunova
  2. Clement Colmas (1:59:58) Starboard
  3. Bernd Roediger (2:00:33) Naish
  4. Titouan Puyo (2:00:38) NSP
  5. Lincoln Dews (2:00:41) DEEP
  6. Travis Grant (2:01:25) NSP
  7. Connor Baxter (2:02:01) Starboard
  8. Matt Nottage (2:02:37) Starboard
  9. Marcus Hansen (2:02:53) NSP
  10. Arthur Arutkin (2:04:42) Fanatic
  11. Vinnicius Martins (2:04:59) JP
  12. Jake Jensen (2:05:17) ONE
  13. Tom Auber (2:06:09) Fanatic
  14. Georges Cronsteadt (2:06:45) 425
  15. Enzo Bennett (2:07:24) 425
  16. Alexandre Bicrel (2:07:30) NSP
  17. Ty Judson (2:07:41) NSP
  18. Martin Letourneur (2:07:59) Hobie
  19. Martin Vitry (2:08:16) SIC
  20. Chase Kosterlitz (2:08:51) JP
  21. Josh Riccio (2:09:56)
  22. Boris Jinvresse (2:10:58)
  23. Slater Trout (2:11:15)
  24. Ben Tardrew (2:12:06)
  25. Benoit Riviere (2:12:14)
  26. Paul Jackson (2:13:18)
  27. Harry Maskell (2:13:19)
  28. Takuji Araki (2:13:54)
  29. Tyler Bashor (2:14:06)
  30. Leonard Nika (2:14:14)
  31. Tiavairau Chang (2:14:21)
  32. Mo Freitas (2:15:28)
  33. Garrett Fletcher (2:16:00)
  34. Itzel Delgado (2:16:25)
  35. Trent Carter (2:17:48)
  36. Steve Walker (2:19:23)
  37. Eri Tenorio (2:20:39)
  38. Fernando Stalla (2:20:50)
  39. Slater Fleck (2:20:52)
  40. Lois Chardebas (2:21:46)
  41. Tim Warner (2:22:28)
  42. Sam English (2:22:52)
  43. Rodney Ellis (2:23:21)
  44. Steve Miller (2:23:58)
  45. Christopher Norman (2:24:10)
  46. Keaton Rose (2:24:32)
  47. Elijah Schoenig (2:24:52)
  48. Zach Rounsaville (2:27:45)
  49. Zeke Rose (2:27:45)
  50. Barry Wicks (2:28:38)
  51. Belar Diaz (2:29:51)
  52. Fielding Pagel (2:30:02)
  53. Matthew Abbott (2:32:40)
  54. Martijn van Deth (2:37:37)
  55. Dan Miller (2:44:53)
  56. Kody Kerbox (one run)

Sunday - ‘Hot Lap’ Course Race

gorge paddle challenge 2018 groms georgia schofield photo gorge paddle challenge 2018 groms1 georgia schofield photo

Groms races started off the day Sunday. | Photos: Paddle League / Georgia Schofield

On Sunday spirits were high from the previous day’s downwinder with athletes ready to jump in the water and keep the momentum going. The first races of the day started with the groms and were followed by the girls and boys junior races. Following the morning youth races the men’s elite paddlers started in the early afternoon with their preliminary heats and were followed by the finals for all categories of the day.

The Course race is an exciting race that gives paddlers a course in which they are able to shortcut one of their laps. Known as the ‘Hot Lap’, paddlers strategically use this feature in the race to gain an advantage over their competitors.


gorge paddle challenge 2018 shae foudy georgia schofield photoShae Foudy all smiles at the finish. | Photo: Paddle League / Georgia Schofield

In the women's showdown, Shae Foudy delivered a solid performance and was too strong for the all-star field that included pretty much all of the world's top-ranked athletes. Shae strategically waited to take her ‘hot lap’ until lap three where she then made her move and was able to overpower Seychelle Webster, Olivia Piana and Fiona Wylde for the win. With this win Shae officially graduates from her ‘grom’ status as she earns her first major win on the Paddle League World Tour.


gorge paddle challenge 2018 men course1 georgia schofield photo gorge paddle challenge 2018 me course2 georgia schofield photo

Men's Course race. | Photos: Paddle League / Georgia Schofield

In a battle between fellow teammates and countrymen, paddle powerhouse Titouan Puyo beat Arthur Arutkin and Marcus Hansen in a hard-fought race to the finish. The race almost seemed to be a game of Follow the Leader as all but one paddler in the entire race followed Titouan’s lead and took the ‘hot lap’ on the first lap of the course. The paddler that opted to wait was none other than Boardworks’ Mo Freitas who opted to take his ‘hot lap’ on the third lap of the course and ended up taking 5th place overall.

Course Race Results

Women’s Course Race Final

  1. Shae Foudy (0:32:34)
  2. Seychelle (0:33:02)
  3. Olivia Piana (0:33:24)
  4. Fiona Wylde (0:33:29)
  5. Yuka Sato (0:33:36)
  6. Angela Jackson (0:34:13)
  7. April Zilg (0:34:36)
  8. Candice Appleby (0:34:48)
  9. Terrene Black (0:36:20)
  10. Jennifer Lee (0:36:26)
  11. Shannon Bell (0:36:49)
  12. Jade Howson (0:37:12)
  13. Maddie Miller (0:37:19)
  14. Kimberly Barnes (0:37:26)
  15. Stephanie Shideler (0:37:34)
  16. Sarah Sandstrom (0:38:23)
  17. Erika Benitez (0:39:32)
  18. Abby Baker (0:39:46)
  19. Lara Claydon (0:40:35)
  20. Karen Kennedy (0:47:36)
  21. Adel Umannova (0:51:01)
gorge paddle challenge 2018 women coursegeorgia schofield photo gorge paddle challenge 2018 men course georgia schofield photo

L-R: Seychelle, Shae Foudy, Olivia Piana, Arthur Arutkin, Titouan Puyo, Marcus Hansen. | Photos: Paddle League / Georgia Schofield

Men’s Course Race Final

  1. Titouan Puyo (0:25:57)
  2. Arthur Arutkin (0:26:06)
  3. Marcus Hansen (0:26:39)
  4. Enzo Bennett (0:26:58)
  5. Mo Freitas (0:27:04)
  6. Martin Vitry (0:27:10)
  7. Clement Colmas (0:27:15)
  8. Ty Judson (0:27:22)
  9. Noic Garioud (0:27:46)
  10. Tom Auber (0:27:57)
  11. Georges Cronsteadt (0:28:06)
  12. Josh Riccio (0:28:09)
  13. Lincoln Dews (0:28:49)
  14. Itzel Delgado (0:28:54)
  15. Leonard Nika (0:29:15)
  16. Slater Trout (0:29:51)
  17. Kody Kerbox (0:30:24)
  18. Matt Nottage (0:30:58)
  19. Fernando Stalla (0:31:21)
  20. Connor Baxter (0:31:22)

In its 8th year, the Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge was yet again an event to remember. Windy conditions on-hand made the event exciting and the paddling community from all over the world coming together was truly something special.

gorge paddle challenge 2018 open georgia schofield photoPhoto: Paddle League / Georgia Schofield

For more news on the Naish Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge, click HERE.

Last modified onMonday, 20 August 2018 16:56

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