The 2nd annual Australian Flatwater SUPFest was held in Sydney this weekend, with competitors from across the country (and a few from overseas) racing down the Olympic rowing/kayak course at Penrith. The 200m, 1,000m and 5,000m SUP races were held as a sideshow during Australian Canoeing’s National Sprint Titles event, which is part of the Olympic qualifying campaign for canoe & kayak.
Queensland’s Trevor Tunnington and Penelope Strickland from New Zealand were the standouts, while Steve “Wild Man” Walker swept the field in the over 40s. There were also great performances from the likes of James Casey and 2013 Molokai champ Terrene Black (who defeated the strong Jean Ringrose by just 11 hundredths of a second in the 200m final).
This “racing in lanes” format is the gold standard in rowing, canoeing and kayaking, however in SUP it’s still a novelty. Some argue this is what the sport should look like if it ever makes the Olympics. I disagree but I do think these events are a great way to add variety to our sport. They’re also a lot of fun.
As a bonus, this format is also a very interesting test of flat water stand up paddle boards – the crew in Thailand will be pleased to heart that virtually every top finisher was on a blue board.
Anyway the roving reporter Matt Burgess has done a great job recapping each day, so instead of my usual rambling I’ll let you check out his daily highlights over on the AuSUP Facebook page: 1,000m recap, 200m recap, final wrap.
You can also see the full results on the Australian Canoeing site, while I’ve listed the podium-getters below…
1st: Trevor Tunnington (0:54.92)
2nd: James Casey (0:57.23)
3rd: Belar Diaz (0:58.95)
1st: Terrene Black (1:07.37)
2nd: Jean Ringrose (1:07.48)
3rd: Penelope Strickland (1:09.78)
Men’s 200m Over 40s
1st: Steve Walker (0:57.74) – 3rd fastest overall time
2nd: Brendan Clark (1:01.51)
3rd: Sam Parker (1:02.23)
1st: Trevor Tunnington (5:15.12)
2nd: James Casey (5:20.40)
3rd: Kieran O’Riordan (5:45.57)
1st: Penelope Strickland (5:56.88)
2nd: Jean Ringrose (6:00.55)
3rd: Terrene Black (6:11.39)
Men’s 1,000m Over 40s
1st: Steve Walker (5:27:17) – 3rd fastest overall time
2nd: Sam Parker (5:36:33)
3rd: Brendan Clark (5:37.85)