Punta Sayulita Surf & Paddle Boarding Ambassador Fernando Stalla wins gold at the Rautirare Surf Club
Punta Sayulita surf is world famous and hundreds of experienced and novice surfers visit Sayulita each year to check out the waves, the reputation, and to see if it lives up to the hype. If you could ask professional athlete Fernando Stalla, Sayulita resident, and Punta Sayulita ambassador, he would tell you that Sayulita is the perfect place to live for water sports enthusiasts.
Recently, Fernando Stalla participated in The Spartan Race which is organized by the Rautirare Surf Club in Tahiti. Tahitians have an excellent reputation for all water sports, and they are the world leaders in paddle boarding, so going there to compete in this unique event was never going to be easy. The Spartan Race is a grueling event to endure. There are 5 races in total divided into four different divisions. Swimming, Prome paddle, Stand Up Paddle Boarding and “Va’a” (a small one-man canoe). Competitors must compete in all 5 events and the champion is decided by calculated by the best times in each race.
The first race was the highly competitive swimming event and Fernando Stalla placed 4th. The race was won by Tamarua Cowen and in second place Teva Poulain. Next, in the Prome race, Stall placed in 4th again with Teva Poulain winning. In Stalla’s strongest event, SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding), a mistake near the end cost him 1st place and he lost out by just a few seconds to Enzo Bennett, the local champion. In the 4th event, the long distance SUP, a group of fresh competitors joined the competition and Fernando was not able to stay in the leading group and finished 5th.
So going into the final race there was everything to play for. Before this competition, Stalla had very little experience in the Tahitian canoe so his expectations were more conservative but with enough ambition to try to place in the top 3 on the podium. The Va’a canoe race is a channel to channel course so it is important not to flip the canoe over or to be hit by a large wave. The course leaves the calm waters of the lagoon, out into the open ocean water and back into the lagoon in the other channel. There you must surf a wave in.
In the beginning, the main objective was not to lose too much distance from the more experienced canoe racers. Half was through the race Fernando Stalls placed ahead of both main competitors, Enzo Bennett and Teva Poulain, and from that moment he gained in confidence and battled with them across the ocean and crossed the finished line ahead, with enough time to claim the overall victory.
We would like to send Fernando Stalla massive congratulations and thank you from everyone at the Punta Sayulita team. Amazing result.