The 2015 Alpine Lakes Tour has gotten underway with what is undoubtedly the most unusual SUP race in the world. The Bat Race is a truly unique Stand Up Paddleboard event that was held underground on Lake St Leonard in Switzerland and saw 50 competitors fighting it out on inflatable SUPs in the most surreal of settings.
The competition was originally due to see 40 competitors fighting it out but within 3 minutes of the registration opening, the event was fully subscribed so another 10 spaces were added. The Bat Race saw competitors from Slovenia, Germany, France and Switzerland battle it out over three preliminary sprint events of differing lengths and the top 6 qualifiers went through to the final.
First prize was bagged by frenchman Jérémy Teulade, whilst Dani Reinhart from Switzerland took second place, and Slovenian Rok Puvar placed third. To ensure the competitors had robust equipment and to help protect the cave system all the paddlers raced on inflatable 12’6″ Elite Race Boards, supplied by Tour sponsors Red Paddle Co.
The Alpine Lakes Tour has got off to a flyer and to see more information on the tour including other tour stops and dates, take a look at the official website here. What do you think of this highly unusual race underground? Would you like to paddle through an underground cave system or would you find it a bit claustrophobic?
Pictures courtesy of The Alpine Lakes Tour/Philippe Millet