French N1 Elite Surfski Series

Thursday, 06 November 2008 16:15 | Written by  Benoit Leroux
Rate this item
(1 Vote)

Watch out world - the French are taking Surfski paddling seriously!  The first in a series of elite N1 races takes place this weekend, 8th and 9th November 2008.


Victim of its own success

Ocean Racing has become hugely popular in France: a hundred paddlers took part in the first French Championships in 1998; this year over SIX HUNDRED took part.

This extraordinary growth in the sport has raised significant challenges for the organizers - particularly around safety - and the N1 Elite Series is the result.

The series is reserved for the forty best French paddlers, allowing the organizers to plan events on the open ocean in big conditions.

Change in Emphasis

Significant too is the change in the name by which this type of racing is known in France.  They used to call it Marathon paddling - which implies long distance (only) and in practise meant long distance on flat water.  Now they're calling it "Ocean Kayak Racing" which of course is completely different.  And anyone who saw the photos of the French Team training in the Caribbean recently will realise that the next time the French team arrive in Durban, they'll be MUCH better prepared.

Preparation of Athletes

The goal of the new format is also to prepare the French athletes for international events - which are held more often than not in downwind conditions with big waves and wind.

The Races

The "Canoe Kayak Brestois" have arranged two races this weekend: on Saturday a 10-15km course will be run in front of the harbor.

Sunday's course will be announced at the last minute - so as to maximize downwind conditions.

Possible Courses

Wind From

Line Color






Le Conquet






Le Conquet


Le Tinduff






Le Conquet




Le Tinduff






Top Paddlers

Most of the top French paddlers will be present:

  • Benoit Le Roux (current French Surfski Champion)
  • David Szlachta (2nd at France championships),
  • Yann Tocquet(4th at France championships),
  • Edwin Lucas
  • Marc Mentec
  • Stephan Roudaut,

(Yannick Laousse, 3rd at France championships, unfortunately will not be present).

Current Forecast

According to current weather forecasts, we'll have a 30km downwind race with a start at 10h30 from "Le Conquet" to the finish line in Brest harbor.


En Francais: communiqué.pdf

See also the club website:

Latest Forum Topics

Best Fitness Watch for Paddling? (53 Posts)

13 hours 17 minutes ago

Fenn XT (1 Posts)

22 hours 17 minutes ago
Paddlehead's Avatar

V10 Carrying handle (4 Posts)

3 days 16 hours ago