The Surfworldcup Podersdorf is one of the biggest watersports competitions in Europe and had over 115.000 visitors this year. On the last weekend of the Surf World Cup, the Naish SUP Ultramarathon took place, a 60km race around the lake, which is one of the windiest places in Europe.

It was designed to be a team competition, where teams of 8 riders (3 women, 5 men) paddled a distance of 2-14km adding up to the total distance of 60km, but there were also a few brave riders who attempted to do the whole distance solo. The profiles of the Solo Riders and the course can be found here.

Riders had arrived from Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Spain (Ruben Salvador Morte) and Barbados (Brian Talma). The event started on Saturday evening, right after dawn with a Night Sprint Race that would determine the start order for the next day. It was a 500m Sprint race around 2 bouys in very choppy waters with wind and swell from the side.

The Solo Riders started first, as they would have a long paddle ahead on the next day. Austrian Champ Peter Bartl won the race, which meant he would be allowed to start 5 seconds before the next rider, not that this would have mattered, but more on that later.

Ranking Prolog 05. May 2012 – Solostarter
  • 1. Peter Bartl (Naish)
  • 2. Ruben Salvador Morte (Starboard)
  • 3. Richard Gratzei (Fanatic)
  • 4. Christian Moutsakos (Starboard)
  • 5. Petra Offermanns (Fanatic)
  • 6. Michael Seliner (Mistral)
  • 7. Markus Perrevoort (Mistral)

For the teams, Team Naish won the sprint race.

Ranking Prolog 05. May 2012 – Teams

  • 1.Naish Austria
  • 2.Team
  • 3.Team Mistral
  • 4.Team SUP Center Weiden
  • 5.Team

After the prolog race, the riders quickly retreated, as the alarms would go off at 4.00AM the next morning. For those riders sleeping in their vans on the event site it was a short night, as there was a massive party going on and even earplugs did not help much, as the vans were shaking from the soundwaves and drunken crowds kept walking by. When the alarms went off at 4.00 AM it was still dark and tons of partygoers were just leaving the festival – a very bizarre parallel universe to those getting ready for the race…

The race started at 6.05 AM (after a 5.15 AM briefing) into a wonderful sunrise on a perfectly calm lake. If it was possible at all to circle the windy lake in it’s full length and width, then this would be the perfect day to do so. Ultimately, 6 out of the 7 Solo Starters did manage to paddle the 60km (which turned out to be 57-62km, depending on what route was chosen).

Austrian Champ Peter Bartl (Naish) won the Solo competition, in a fabulous 7hours and 21 minutes. In his typical perfectionist manner, he got everything right, the equipment, the substinance, the route, even remembering to apply sunscreen at 4.00AM. I initially could not believe with what speed he started the race, given he had 60k ahead, but the wind that later came up explained why he was in such a hurry. He had timed his paddle perfectly to arrive before the wind started. Upon arrival he said: “What? I am here already? I want to keep going!”. If he had continued to paddle, he could – with some upcoming downwind – maybe have broken the record of the longest distance paddled in one day, which according to our knowledge are the 96.5km Ibiza – Spain crossing by Annabel Anderson, Fred Bonnef and Belar Diaz (which funny enough was exactly the same weekend one year ago).

Ruben Salvador Morte (Starboard) came in 2nd after 7:44 with the largest blister ever on his right hand. Both Peter and Ruben had for sure benefitted from doing the tough 25k XTREM race in Majorca earlier in the year, and Ruben was also able to draw from his 220km Eleven City Tour experience. Then came local hero Christian Moutsakos (Starboard). The first Solo Riders came in before the first team, which is an awesome achievement.

Richard Gratzei (Fanatic) came in 4th, then came the Swiss Long Distance Champion Michi Seliner (Mistral) after 10:10. Petra Offermanns (Fanatic) arrived after 11:00 hours, having taken a slight detour in search of the Jois Checkpoint. That was technically after the cut-off time (16:00) but as the only women she was nevertheless awarded the finishers medal.

While the first riders arrived before the wind started, Michi and Petra were facing some very tough last kms with lots of headwind and waves (resembling a bit the conditions of the lake in Holland on day 1 of the Eleven City tour 2011). Michi was amazing in the wind, like a Swiss clock he just kept going with perfect precision, mentally ignoring the wind and pulling away from Petra for good.

Solo Ranking Naish Ultra Marathon 06. May 2012

  • 1. Peter Bartl                                   7:21
  • 2. Ruben Salvador Morte            7:44
  • 3. Christian Moutsakos              7:55
  • 4. Richard Gratzei                        8:30
  • 5. Michael Seliner                       10:10
  • 6. Petra Offermanns                   11:00
  • DNF Markus Perrevoort

For the teams, the local heros from won (Michael Frosch,  Herbert Ruckendorfer, Matthias Held, Leslie A. Kreps Martinez, Sigrid Baumgartner, Thomas Reiss, Katherina Rasinger and Heimo Bacher) before Team Naish, which probably would have won if Brian Talma had not got lost on the way and taken a slight detour…

Team Ranking Naish Ultra Marathon 06. May 2012

  • 1. Team                          8:07
  • 2. Naish Austria                                     8:25
  • 3. Team Mistral                                      8:38
  • 4. Team          8:55
  • 5. Team SUP Center Weiden              9:45

All in all it was a great event in amazing summer weather, perfectly organized by Mario Lach and Philip Enders / The awesome weather and smooth organization with passes, access card, food and drinks made the long day of paddling somehow still seem easy. We are looking forward to next year! But that’s a long time to go, for now we are looking forward to meeting our Austrian Friends at the Ammersee Race near Munich next weekend! Christian Moutsakos and Austrian Champion Sigrid Baumgartner have already confirmed their entries. More pics of the event can be found on:!