Can We Talk about the 15-Year-Old that Charged Titouon Puyo at The King of the Cut?

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King of the Cut top mens' winners stand up paddle race 2016

Australian Youth Makes a Big Stand at this Year’s King of the Cut Downwind Race in Western Australia

King of the Cut Australian stand up paddle race Clements Colmas and Matthew Nottage
Battling it out behind Titouon Puyo, Starboard riders Matthew Nottage and Clements Colmas slide their way to victory

“GO! Do your thing,” said Puyo to the young competitor at the start of The King of the Cut

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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.

Clements Colmas King of the Cut 2ns place winner 2016
15-Year-Old Clements Colmas stunned the crowd with his 2nd place finish

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.”


King of the Cut Men's Pro winners
King of the Cut Men’s Pro winners: Matthew Nottage (3rd), Clements Colmas (2nd), Titouon Puyo (1st place)

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.


Karla Gilbert, a well earned victory as 2016’s new Queen of the Cut

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

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Evelyn O'Doherty, editor & publisher of the new Standup Journal 2.0 is a former school teacher gone rogue. She left her career as a teacher in order to spend more time near or on the water after learning to surf turned her life around (upsidedown?). She is a year-round surfer and paddler living on the eastern tip of Long Island in NY who is a certified SUP instructor, seasoned SUP racer and avid longboard surfer. Evelyn was hired as Online Editor to Standup Journal in 2016. Her passion for the project quickly led to her success and eventually taking over the mag herself in Oct. 2018. Today, as editor, publisher and chief bottle washer at Standup Journal, Evelyn keeps her toes wet writing, traveling, paddling, surfing, and learning to foil. You can find her most days paddling out on Gardiner's Bay or surfing Ditch Plains in Montauk, NY.