Noa Ginella has won the Stand Up (SUP) Surf Cross at the 10th Annual Teva Mountain Games this past weekend, triumphing in the Class II whitewater of Gore Creek, Vail, Colorado.
Hailing from Oahu’s North Shore, Ginella has now made a podium appearance in every SUP event at the Mountain Games to date, having also placed 3rd in Saturday’s Maui Jim SUP Surf Sprint Presented by C4 Waterman. Ginella had won the Sprint last year in what was his first ever whitewater SUP appearance.
The Teva Mountain Games are considered the Olympics of outdoor action sports. See footage from this years games.
Sunday marked the first time SUP Surf Cross was held at the Mountain Games. The full contact, 200-yard downriver sprint made for plenty of exciting moments as the final heat of Ginella, Adam Cumming (San Clemente, CA), Nick Troutman (Walling, TN), and Charlie MacArthur (Honolulu, HI) battled for position, with multiple buoy turns to navigate along the fast-moving course.
“At first I was like, ‘You get in there first, you’re going to get to [the buoy] and everyone’s going to pile up,” Ginella told the Vail Daily after the race. “I watched a few races before me and what seemed to happen was that the first person got in there and everyone else had the same line. No one was going to get by him.
“Once you get to that buoy, you touch it and go.”
In the Women’s SUP Surf Cross, fellow Hawaiian Mariko Strickland joined Ginella atop the winner’s podium.
Ginella, 17, is an up-and-coming SUP star racking up accolades and experience in the wave riding and flat/white water racing arenas. His dark horse win at the 2010 Mountain Games made him a marked man coming into this year’s SUP Surf Sprint. Ginella’s 3rd place finish in the 3-mile whitewater race, also on Gore Creek, came in a field of 75 competitors – nearly twice as large as last year.
“People were flying in from all over the world to participate,” Ginella continued. “Who knows what’ll happen next year?”
Try flat water paddling here in the South Hams. Either along the Kingsbridge Estuary to Salcombe, or from Banthan to Averton Gifford, along the Avon.
Stand Up Paddleboarding equipment is available from the shop.