Record Numbers Gather at 8th Annual Corinth Canal

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  • 2018 corinth canal sup crossing 6

    Photos: Elias Mertis & Aggelos Labropoulos

  • 2018 corinth canal sup crossing 1

    Photos: Elias Mertis & Aggelos Labropoulos

  • 2018 corinth canal sup crossing 4

    Photos: Elias Mertis & Aggelos Labropoulos

  • 2018 corinth canal sup crossing 5

    Photos: Elias Mertis & Aggelos Labropoulos

  • 2018 corinth canal sup crossing 7

    Photos: Elias Mertis & Aggelos Labropoulos

  • 2018 corinth canal sup crossing 8

    Photos: Elias Mertis & Aggelos Labropoulos

  • 2018 corinth canal sup crossing

    Photos: Elias Mertis & Aggelos Labropoulos

ISTHMIA, Greece – On Sunday October 7th 2018, the vessel traffic in the Corinth Canal was interrupted for 434 paddlers, where they lined up just before the sinking bridge of Isthmia for the 8th Annual Corinth Canal SUP Crossing. This year the race was a milestone for the sport of SUP in Greece but also for the event itself. The registered paddlers exceeded every forecast, surpassing by far any previous record, with over 500 participations from every corner of Greece and lot of other countries like Cyprus, U.K., France, Slovenia, Austria, Germany, Poland, Finland, Romania, Russia, Ukraine and Turkey.

The race, which started as an idea in 2010, ended up today, to become one of the biggest watersports events in Greece. “The world’s straightest SUP race” as it is known, has triggered the interest of the world wide SUP community, sending out the message for Greece’s potential in big SUP events, highlighting the culture and history of the country.

The Corinth Canal was declared recently as the “biggest canal of Europe”. The crystal clear blue, calm waters flowing along the 6.453m of its length, between the massive 80m high walls, is the perfect track for any kind of paddler. This race is the only chance every year that someone has, to cross the canal with a SUP!

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Photos: Elias Mertis & Aggelos Labropoulos

The starting line was appointed at Isthmia, the eastern side of the canal, right in front of Canal’s Control Tower. The picture of the paddlers waiting just before the sinking bridge was something magnificent! The calm scenery before the horn blow turned into a battlefield, just in seconds after. The massive number of paddles hitting the water made it like it was boiling and a huge “wave” of paddlers flooded the entrance of the canal.

The extraordinary was that among the participants were little kids with their parents, women and men of all ages, experienced athletes but also beginners and amateurs, with only one thing in common… to have a great time! And that was something obvious on everyone’s smiling face, paddling with passion for the best.

At Posidonia, the western side of the canal, the finish line was on water just after the sinking bridge of the canal. A highlight of the day was that every single paddler managed to finish the race, even if it was an athlete, amateur, little kid or an adult. “That was a successful race…” as organizers said.

The big winners of the race were Giorgos Fragos and Konstantina Kontarini in men 14’0″ and women 14’0″ accordingly. Congratulations to winners in each category but mostly to everyone that participated.