The UK race season has continued at the same fast pace with another two months packed with events. Here is the SUPboarder Race Round Up of events at home and abroad.
The Euro Tour moved from Cornwall to Germany with the Lost Mills Event. Crispin Jones made the trip, Lost Mills on a budget and finished 54th in the distance race on his Starboard Inflatable. Other UK paddlers that made the trip included Aaron Rowe with a brilliant 26th place, Ryan James 29th, Pete Holliday 35th and Jo Hamilton-Vale who finished 10th in the ladies race.
On the same weekend back in the UK BaySUP hosted the third round of the UK SUP series and the first round of the Junior Race series. A challenging BOP style race from the beach for the senior races with 40m of running per lap and for the juniors conditions dictated a change from the downwinder that was planned to 3 sprint races.
The Euro Tour set up in Spain and then Italy then back to Spain and off to Belgium, the travel between races was a marathon in itself!
Back to the UK we had the Big Boy Paddle race at Oceanfest on the longest day of the year before the UK SUP Clubs round round four in Hove where competitors took to the sea in and round five in Martham, Norfolk where conditions could not have been more different. After five rounds the top three paddlers in each category are:
- Ben Payne 2435 points
- Carl Thomas 2345 points
- Crispin Jones & Scott Brown 1945 points
12’ 6” Male
- Pete Vale 2305 points
- Rob Crookall 2020 points
- Charlie Jones & Maurice Guy 1935 points
- Christine Anderson 1995 points
- Sarah Thornley 1985 points
- Wilma Zwikker-Killgallon 900 points
12’ 6” Female
- Emily King 2485 points
- Belinda Smith 2440 points
- Anni Ridsill Smith 1900 points
Away from the UK series and paddlers were racing at the Icon Classic off the coast of North Devon. A landmark race for the UK SUP scene with an established race for Ocean Skis including a small number of Stand Up Paddlers for the first time. The win went to Ollie Shilston with PJ Simmons and Damien Warner second and third. Marie Buchanan took the inaugural ladies title finished fourth with Andy Joyce fifth, David Tidball sixth, Steve Graham seventh and Kerry Baker eighth.
The N1SCO one design series nationals were held in Weymouth where over 60 competitors went head to head for a chance to represent the UK at the Naish world championships in The Netherlands later this year. Ben Fisher retained his UK title after winning the mid distance race, coming second in the sprint and winning the long distance race. Jo Hamilton-Vale took the ladies crown with second in the mid distance race and wins in both the sprint and long distance races. Good luck to the two of them in the World Champs!
Back to the far south west of the UK for yet another race format, the Hayle Salt to Surf where prone and stand up paddlers start on the beach and finish up the river after a 3km paddle. Crispin Jones taking a break from all his long distance travel made the short drive to Hayle and took the win on his flat water K15.
Other less competitive events through the two months included SUP4Life where over 150 paddlers took to the water in neon to raise money for the Wave Project and 75 paddlers completed the 40tude SUP marathon on the River Thames.
Again there is no time for racers to take a breath and recover, the next round of the UK SUP Clubs series will have been held when you read this. With the best 5 races to count things could well change as racers who have fewer rounds completed could find their way to the top of the leader-board with some good results and others start to drop their worst performances. With so few points between the top in each class consistency will be key to get the title at the end of the season.
August also sees a down-winder event up in Scotland, the SUP Armada mass SUP in the south east followed by the Naish World Championships, the BSUPA club championships and the SUP 11 cities non-stop squeezing in at the end of the month.
September should allow some recovery, if taking part in 11 cities tour over the first 5 days of the month is recovery! Then there’s the Celtic Crossing from the Isles of Scilly to Cornwall, the Exe Hammer, two more UK SUP Clubs races and another SUP Bike Run.
With such a diverse set of events there is bound to be something for every paddler, has SUP racing ever been better?