Australian Youth Makes a Big Stand at this Year’s King of the Cut Downwind Race in Western Australia
“GO! Do your thing,” said Puyo to the young competitor at the start of The King of the Cut
Over 130 International competitors lined up for the World’s fastest downwind paddleboard race at Mandurah in Western Australia on Sunday, December 4th 2016. This 24KM race hosted by Stand Up Surf Shop King of the Cut attracted its biggest field in its five-year history that included elite sup competitors as well as first time downwind racers. Event day opened to near perfect conditions with southerly winds blowing at 18-20 knots.
This sup-er fast downwind race, arguably the most prestigious outside of Hawaii and Oregon, saw the rise of a new challenger, Clements Colmas a 15-year-old powerhouse from New Caledonia, who gave world-class performance and NSP team rider Titouon Puyo something to think about.
“The conditions were good, the wind wasn’t so strong to start with, but I rode every bump I could. I saw Clements [Colmas] and I said to him, “GO!”. He’s incredible,” Puyo said.
Puyo pushed hard to stay in the lead in front of defending champion Matthew Nottage who placed 3rd with a time of 1:49:39 and Clement Colmas who stunned the field by claiming 2nd with a time of 1:49:09, only a minute and a half off the lead. Puyo’s efforts brought him the event’s $3000 paycheck to come in 1st with a time of 1:48:28.
Son of a famous windsurfer
The youngster and New Caledonian compatriot Colmas has downwind pedigree; his father JL Colmas is a famous windsurfer who help develop Starboard during the brand’s early days.
In a humble statement after having claimed such a victory for himself, Colmas said “I am very happy, the race was very nice and the wind was good. I love the downwind conditions in Western Australia – I’ll be back next year.”
Queen of the Cut
Among the women, Queensland Australia’s Karla Gilbert upset her fellow Aussie Angie Jackson’s hope to become 3-time reigning Queen of the Cut. Gilbert, a Naish Team Rider, has long been one of Australia’s most dominant ocean paddlers, not just in the paddling world but also as 7-time Champion Surf Lifesaving Ironwoman. With more than two decades of experience as one of Australia’s top lifeguard competitors, this was one of her first big wins in the stand up paddle competitive racing circuit with a time of 2:14:47 in the Pro Class. She was followed by UK racer and Starboard team rider Marie Buchanan who took 2nd at 2:18:45. Fellow Aussie and ONE Team Rider, Angela Jackson had to settle for 3rd this year with a time of 2:18:49.
Prince of the Cut
On Saturday, December 3rd another young rider, 14-year-old Sam McCullough, was crowned Prince of the Cut after he took the win in the newly added 10-kilometer race, aptly named the Half Cut. The Melville High School student backed it up on Sunday by competing in the 24-kilometer main event finishing 1st in the State Under-18 division and 3rd in the under 40 category.
With a total prize pool of $17,350, the King of the Cut is the largest prize purse for an sup event in the country.
For more news on Titouon Puyo and his 2016 reign, check out: 2016 ISA World Championships Day #4: Men’s Distance Final Recap