GlaGla Race au lac d'Annecy


The GlaGla Race

Breaking the ice to start the New Year
Dec. 2023
3 min.

From January 19-21, 2024, nearly one thousand intrepid paddlers will brave the frigid temperatures in Talloires Bay to participate in the GlaGla Race, the craziest, coldest stand up paddle race in the world.

First edition in 2014

Following the first edition in 2014, the GlaGla Race quickly earned a name for itself, and today has become the world’s second biggest stand up paddle race just behind Nautic Paddle in Paris (which takes place during the Nautic trade show).

In spite of the teeth-chattering 4°C waters, every year an increasing number of professional athletes from around the world and amateur paddlers of all levels line up at the start of the GlaGla Race. They flock to the event to enjoy the truly unique experience of paddling across the lake’s crystal-clear waters in a breathtaking setting surrounded by snow-capped mountains… and for many, the pace of the race will also take their breath away.

GlaGla Race au lac d'Annecy

© Blue1310

A wild idea

This wild idea is the brainchild of Benoit Mouren. After opening a stand up paddle center in Sevrier in 2012, he launched the Alpine Lakes Tour in 2013. Events in this multi-stage competitive circuit are held on three of the Alps’ biggest lakes (Lake Geneva, Lake Annecy, Lake Bourget), several mountain lakes (Confins Lake, Roseland Reservoir, and Tignes Lake), as well as Saint-Leonard Lake in Switzerland, Europe’s largest underground lake.

Benoit wanted to create an event that includes an athletic component, a visual experience, and a human adventure where people inspired by the same passion come together. This fast-growing sport takes paddlers to some of the most extraordinary natural environments. A close relationship with the great outdoors is built into stand up paddling by nature.

GlaGla Race au lac d'Annecy

© Blue1310

Paddlers from 31 countries

In 2023, 830 paddlers from 31 countries lined up at the start to glide across Lake Annecy’s blue waters. The GlaGla Race is especially popular with foreign competitors. To motivate locals to take the plunge, Benoit and his team plan to organize a more accessible 3 km course for the first time this year. All you need to do to participate is find a board, a wetsuit, gloves, and a beanie, and register for this truly unforgettable experience.

GlaGla Race au lac d'Annecy

© Blue1310

Races for all

In addition to the new beginner’s course, the two standard 6.5 km and 14 km races will take place. The long course forms a loop that starts in Talloires Bay, circumnavigates the upper section of the lake, follows the shoreline to Sevrier, crosses the lake to Menthon, hugs Roc de Chère Cliff, and then leads back to the starting point. The shorter version (6.5 km) heads across the lake and back. The other races (Junior Race – new for 2024, Technical Race, and Dragon Race) stay within shouting distance of the beach in Talloires.

On Friday, January 19, everyone will have the chance to try paddle yoga, to attend conferences, to grab a quick bite to eat at lunch from one of the many food trucks present, to enjoy a soothing massage…


glagla race

GlaGla Race au lac d'Annecy

© Blue1310

GlaGla Race au lac d'Annecy


  • © Blue1310

Journalist: Aude Pollet-Thiollier

Translation: Darin Reisman