On Sunday September 22nd 2019, the vessel traffic in the Corinth Canal was interrupted once more, for the 530 paddlers, lined up just before the sinking bridge of Isthmia for the 9th Annual Corinth Canal SUP Crossing.
All participants felt the awe of this historic canal, which its first conception was made by Periandros, tyrant of Corinth in 602 B.C. This year registered paddlers exceeded every forecast, surpassing by far any previous record, with over 550 participations from every corner of Greece and lot of other countries like Cyprus, U.K., France, Austria, Germany, Finland, Russia, Ukraine and Turkey.
Who had thought that this event, when it started back in 2011 with only 22 participants, would have been one of the biggest international events in Greece and second bigger in Europe. “The worlds 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 6.343m of its length, between the massive 80m high walls, is the perfect track for any kind of paddler. The race is the only chance every year that someone has, to cross the canal with a SUP!
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, finish line was on water just after the sinking bridge of the canal. The standing crowd on both sides was cheering to every paddler to give the best near the end. “That was a successful race…” as organizers told.
Big winners of the race were Nikos Syrigos and Konstantina Kontarini in men and women accordingly.
Congratulations to winners in each category and also to everyone who participated.
Photos: Elias Mertis , Aggelos Labropoulos, Kostas Konstantinou, Maria-Christina Grammenou