Up and coming South African paddler Ethan Koopmans has taken out the inaugural Naish N1SCO European Championships, making a clean sweep of the event and earning himself a free ticket to Las Vegas for the N1SCO World Champs in October.
The 2013 Euro Champs took place in the very scenic St. Moritz, Switzerland, with paddlers enjoying pretty epic surrounds (think Lake Tahoe but even colder…). Koopmans, who has been in pretty good form lately, took out all three races: 200m, 600m and 10km (that’s a long way on an inflatable…). Meanwhile in the women’s it was a fitting victory for European young gun and Naish team rider Manca Notar, with the Slovenian beating out not just all the women but most of the men as well (it was also Manca’s birthday, which made it even cooler).
While inflatable racing isn’t the most serious or hardcore version of our sport, it is a pretty fun and easy way for newer paddlers to take the jump from weekend touring to actual competition. So while I’m usually a total board snob that has to have the latest over-the-top carbon fiber creation, if inflatables can help grow the sport them I’m all for ’em.
Full results from St. Moritz below and more pics on Facebook thanks to SUP-Guide.com.