Allwave Cup – Ciao, Giglio ** Results/Video**

Monday, 13 June 2011 06:16 | Written by  Siri Schubert
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Allwave Cup, Giglio Island Allwave Cup, Giglio Island

Some races just sound too good not to check them out. As a newcomer to the European surfski scene, I hadn’t even heard of the Allwave Cup, which was also the 2011 IVF European Va'a Championship, until about ten days before the race on May 21.  It took only a few words “Italy, waves and sun” and I was ready to go.

Ever since I moved from Northern California to Switzerland last summer, I missed salt water, chop and, most of all, paddling with my friends in Berkeley and Tomales Bay. The Allwave Cup on Giglio Island, a tiny island in Tuscany, promised not only an interesting course with changing conditions but also the potential to meet other surfski and outrigger paddlers from Europe.

Swans on the Rhine

In the last six months, I had mainly paddled on a very tame section of the river Rhine in Switzerland where the only noticeable swells came from hectic moves of anxious ducks and furious swans. Try catching those waves! Naturally, I was excited about paddling in the Mediterranean.

Swans on the Rhine

On my first morning in Giglio, three days before the race, I had hoped for a training session in some waves, but the ocean was pretty flat. Since my background is in flatwater kayaking, flat conditions work to my advantage but I was hoping to paddle in rougher water because I rarely get the chance to do so in Switzerland. Still, I enjoyed paddling along the coast of the island with its lagoons and turquoise water under sunny skies with temperatures in the 25-30 Celsius range and meeting paddlers from Switzerland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and South Africa.

Giglio Island

Sun 'n Sand on Giglio

I usually paddle a Huki S1-A but since I decided to go to Giglio at the last minute, it was too late to make arrangements to take it with me. I was lucky that I Guide Wrede from offered me a space in his van and that the rest of the crew was willing to squeeze together to fit me in.

Skis for Shorter, Lighter Paddlers...

I tried out several boats in Giglio, realizing that there weren’t too many options for lighter, shorter paddlers. From the boats with footboards close enough to the seat that I could reach them, I chose the Fenn Swordfish that Thomas “Zacki” Zachert ( had brought to Giglio and that I had tried out at the Bodensee Challenge in Southern Germany in the previous week. I liked it for its stability and maneuverability and was happy to have a boat that I knew I could paddle even if conditions got a lot rougher.

Allwave Cup

Paraglider's view of the start

Which they didn’t. On Saturday morning, race day, the water still looked flat – until just before the race, when a light breeze created some small chop and relief among the 202 OC and surfski paddlers who had feared a long, hot flatwater slog. The surfski paddlers, about 40, were clearly outnumbered by the OC paddlers but surfski sign-ups had been increasing over the last few years and there’s definitely room for more. Only two women had entered the 21 kilometer race (which may be longer, depending on the route, some GPS showed closer to 22 km) in a surfski, Karen Davranche from France and I. I had hoped there would be more women in surfskis – surfskiing is a great sport for women after all and so much fun that I am surprised that there are still people – and especially women - in the world who haven’t tried it.

Mass Start

After I had gotten used to a very relaxed island time in the days leading up to the race, the mass start was right on time at 12.30 pm. The field moved swiftly, at least two boats capsized in the wash and after a few hundred meters, there was a clear separation between the lead and the fairly spread out mid-pack where I paddled.

After the first turn out of the bay, there was some downwind and some bumps to catch. Yes, the waves could have been bigger but as soon as I reached the turn around the Southern tip of the island, I realized that asking for a lot of wind on a round course is not a great idea– facing the breeze head-on with waves bouncing off the rocky shore made for a bit of a grind. Now, the long flat paddling sessions on the Rhine in Switzerland paid off in terms of endurance and I managed to paddle past several OC and surfski paddlers who were getting tired in the last third of the race.


Downwind to the finish

The next turn around a big rock on the Northern end of Giglio brought another change of direction and pure fun – the waves from behind were easy to catch and carried me right through the finish line and onto the beach. What a great ending of a fun race. I came in as first female surfski paddler (26th single surfski overall) and after re-caffeinating with a cappuccino (Thanks, Mathias! Note: Giglio has great coffee), I enjoyed watching the other paddlers cross the finish line from the sandy beach. I would have loved to stay and paddle another round around the island the next day but the van was leaving and I guess I’ll have to wait until next year.



  Surfski open      
1 1.45.31 ITA Mariano Bifano 32 CX Allwave
2 1.48.05 GER Thomas Zachert 40 Elite SL Fenn
3 1.48.15 GER Michael Dobler 42 V10 L Epic
4 1.49.47 GER Robert Ernst 40 C X Allwave
5 1.51.40 IRAN Reza Nasiri 35 CX Allwave
6 1.52.18 GER Jan Burgdorf 32 CX Allwave
7 1.52.30 GER Tim Fiedler 35 CX Allwave
8 1.54.31 ITA Alessio Cannizzo 37 V12 Epic
9 1.54.40 ITA Iduino Santoni 41 V12 Epic
10 1.57.33 RUS Zarubin Igor 45 CX Allwave
11 1.57.58 FRA Herve Bouty 41 V10L Epic
12 2.02.41 GER Niklas Goerke 37 Mako Elite Fenn
13 2.02.56 ITA Maurizio Tognacci 55 Mako elite Fenn
14 2.04.30 FRA Fabien Roche 41 Elite Fenn
15 2.05.01 ITA Bruno Fedi 25 Red 7 Red 7
16 2.05.58 FRA Bruno Carlier 51 V10 L Epic
17 2.11.21 GER Andraes Dobler 43 V10 sport Epic
18 2.11.29 ITA Lorenzo Bettini 16 CX Allwave
19 2.11.45 GER Christoph Hirschberg 42 Elite Fenn
20 2.12.38 ITA Luca Raspanti 45 Mako Xt Fenn
21 2.13.05 FRA Didier Vandefonteyne 53 Mako XT Fenn
22 2.15.58 ITA Emilio Iacovacci 46 V10 Epic
23 2.17.56 FRA Jacques Faure 58 XT Fenn
24 2.21.53 SUI Rolph Steadler 45 CX Allwave
25 2.22.10 FRA Didier Taneron 54 mako 6 Fenn
26 2.22.12 ITA Marco Urbinati 37 V10 Sport Epic
27 2.25.16 FRA Emmanuel Cassassolles 44 NorteTop Norte Top
28 2.27.54 ITA Giuguano Berti 31    
29 2.33.25 ITA Enrico Di Lorenzo 44 V 10 Sport Epic
30 2.44.35 NL Rolph Overvliet 31 Custom Kayak Custom Kajak
31 2.44.56 ITA Alberto Baldazzi 41    
  Surfski Woman      
1 2.20.56 GER Siri Schubert 42 Sword Fish Fenn
2 2.25.39 FRA Karen Davranche 37 V10L Epic
  Surfski Two Man      
1 1.44.39 ITA Daniele Scarpa 47   Fenn
2 1.44.39 ITA Nicolò Polesello 31   Fenn
3 1.55.22 FRA Franck Auroux 48 XT Fenn
4 1.55.22 FRA Pascal Orru 46 XT Fenn
  Surfski Two Mix      
1 2.04.53 FRA Gilles Lelievre 46 Norte Norte Top
1 2.04.53 FRA Patricia Salmon 48 Norte Norte Top

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