Had some fun catching up with F-ONE’s new team rider Josh Riccio here in Rincon this week. Josh is fresh off of his win last weekend in the Coconut Cup and is in town for the Rincon Beach Boy 8-mi Elite race this Saturday, April 8, 2017.
Josh Riccio: F-ONE Team rider on his way UP
Josh is a fresh, young face in the paddling world and a man with a passion for the sport. He is steadily climbing up the leader boards in his 2017 events and is a name to watch in the season ahead. He takes his racing seriously, trains rigorously and is looking forward to the upcoming season.
The Coconut Cup, he says, was hot. On Friday for the 12KM, his leash popped off his ankle at the start and he wound up dragging it for 50 yards, slowing him down tremendously and losing ground off the leader, Kelly Margets. That lead, according to Josh, was never recaptured because,
“Margets is a skillful rider and a seasoned racer. You don’t want to make ANY mistakes around him. He knows how to capitalize on those moments and move ahead.”
Move ahead he did, giving Josh a chance to finish 2nd in that first race of the weekend ahead of Focus SUP Hawaii super star Mo Freitas.
For the 10KM race on Sunday, Josh jumped out in front at the start, built a lead and kept it. No mistakes this time, he finished the course with 1.5 minutes on the second place finisher. It was a hot one, he said. The race began at 3PM in the afternoon but the course had “water to work” and Josh, who is a downwinder at heart, sought out the peaks he needed to make that first place finish stick.
Owning the Win
“The Coconut Cup has become like a family,” says Josh. “Its a home away from home. So, to win this year was like a hometown win.” This year was Josh’s third time running in the event. His eyes lit up as he talked about it. Clearly, a victory he is owning with pride.
“The Right Equipment is Crucial.”
Looking ahead, Josh is hoping with his move to F-ONE to spend more time on the water. He’s now working with a new prone board, surf sups and the F-ONE Race Pro from the company.
“Being on the right equipment is crucial to getting on that next level,” he proclaimed. His 14×23 Race Pro board is his equipment of choice for an all around board geared towards the flat water side of the spectrum, but also for holding steady in some light downwinders like the Coconut Cup.
Looking Ahead: Rincon Beach Boy, Wrightsville Pro AM, Carolina Cup
There are 19 events on Josh’s 2017 schedule, including the Wrightsville Pro AM in a few weeks where he will compete in the surf sup divisions and then stick around for the Carolina Cup the following weekend. He finished 15th for the Graveyard Race in 2016 and, when pressed, reveals he’d like to see himself place in the Top 5 or at least Top 10 in this East Coast stand up paddle race that attracts the biggest names in the sport from Danny Ching to Travis Grant.
Rincon Beach Boy
Looking to the Rincon Beach Boy this weekend, Josh stands a good chance at placing well in this 8-mile Elite race as well. Riviera team rider Ryan Helm has been 5-time champion at the Beach Boy and is in the line up, but Josh is at the top of his game and has been trading spots with Ryan, close on his heels for some time now. “There’s no excuses this year,” he says. Either he’s ready or he’s not. It’s game time and, from this perspective, I think Josh Riccio will be climbing to the top of the podium in several events in the near future.
Congrats, Josh! We’ll be looking for you at the finish line tomorrow, head to head with our Beach Boy champion. Either way, I have a feeling this one will be a GREAT finish! Stay tuned!