Seoul Paddling with the Viking at the 2nd Annual Korean SUP Championship

 
Casper Steinfath stand up paddling in Korea

Casper Steinfath stand up paddling in Korea

The 2nd annual Korean National Championships were held in Seoul last week, with a special guest Viking and over 100 enthusiastic locals showing that the reach of SUP racing knows no bounds.

With its neighbour Japan having established itself as a SUP hotspot in the past year or two, Korea is eager to showcase its own paddling potential, from the waterways of the sprawling capital city to the waves (yes, waves) of the south coast and everywhere in between.

The event, also known as the Surf Ocean Cup, was held in downtown Seoul on the mighty Han River. Seoul is one of the most incredibly massive cities you’ll ever possibly see, so the backdrop to this race was certainly unique.

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While the nation has its own up-and-coming contenders, the star of the show was definitely Casper Steinfath, who flew in direct from San Fran after competing in the grueling Red Bull Heavy Water race a couple of days earlier (and that was just a couple of days after he competed in Maui, where he headed straight after the PPGs; October was a busy month for the Naish star).

Showing no signs of jet lag, Casper took out the 6km elite race in just over half an hour, with Sung Ho Han the best placed local athlete a minute behind, and Do Min Jang a further minute adrift in third. The podium looked the same in the 200m sprints.

Ha Young Jeon was the quickest of the women, taking out both the 6km and 200m events to claim a national title double.

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Casper could be forgiven for being a little weary of traveling to yet another country (he’s already clocked over 120,000 miles this year), but he was full of praise for the event. Of course, Casper has probably never said a bad word about anyone in his life, so that’s kinda what we’d expect from this guy, but when I chatted with him on the phone I could tell he was genuinely stoked with the trip. He even got a bonus surf session down south thanks to some storm swell.

Here’s how the Viking summed it up:

“For some reason when I was invited to South Korea I didn’t expect to see stand up paddling already having taken off so strong. The Koreans’ passion for SUP completely blew me away! From the Han River in the heart of Seoul, to the beaches of Busan and all the small lakes around the county – Korea is a stand up paradise! There is a young but thriving SUP community in Korea and I was happy to have seen this with my own eyes. There is a big future for the sport in this part of the world and I look forward to returning soon!!”

I spent a few months living in Seoul back in my uni days and have very fond memories of the place. It’s an amazing culture and there’s certainly no shortage of waterways for paddling, so it’s great to see the sport taking off there.

Thanks to event organiser River Jaeho Lee for not only pulling off a great event, but also sharing the results and shots below with us. River also sent an open invitation to the rest of the paddling community to join them for the 3rd annual event in 12 months.

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6km ELITE MEN

No. Bib Number Result Name Rank
1 62 30:33:47 Casper Steinfath 1
2 45 31:44:06 Sung Ho Han 2
3 47 32:46:78 Do Min Jang 3
4 3 33:49:96 Tae Sik Jin 4
5 82 34:00:88 Young Jun Yang 5
6 16 34:43:21 Kwan Ok Kim 6
7 56 35:31:50 Hong Hwan Yoon 7
8 26 35:34:03 Hyun Soo Park 8
9 88 36:26:95 Byung Kuk Son 9
10 2 36:55:31 Meong Hoon Park 10
11 33 42:43:79 Yoo Hwan Yin 11
12 25 43:49:46 Ji Hoon Lee 12
6km ELITE WOMEN
1 55 37:52:59 Ha Young Jeon 1
2 63 47:03:82 Ji Won Choi 2
3 1 49:10:45 Young Kyung Kim 3

 

200m SPRINT ELITE MEN

No. Bib Number Result Name Rank
1 62 01:05:26 Casper Steinfath 1
2 45 01:11:83 Sung Ho Han 2
3 47 01:13:41 Do Min Jang 3
4 26 01:15:74 Hyun Soo Park 4
5 16 01:17:84 Kwan Ok Kim 5
6 82 01:20:21 Young Jun Yang 6
7 3 01:26:63 Tae Sik Jin 7
8 2 01:30:98 Meong Hoon Park 8
9 56 01:31:75 Hong Hwan Yoon 9
10 25 01:47:24 Ji Hoon Lee 10
11 33 01:53:56 Yoo Hwan Yin 11
200m SPRINT ELITE WOMEN
1 55 01:30:06 Ha Young Jeon 1
2 1 01:55:61 Young Kyung Kim 2
3 63 01:59:24 Ji Won Choi 3

 

200m SPRINT OPEN MEN

No. Bib Number Result Name Rank
1 29 01:19:62 Jae Chan Lee 1
2 49 01:19:97 Jeong Yong Jang 2
3 71 01:21:78 Jae Hwan Oh 3
4 52 01:25:51 Kee Young Kang 4
5 65 01:32:01 Joo San Lee 5
6 5 01:32:47 Jin Chan Kim 6
7 67 01:36:47 KEITH Cheng 7
8 69 01:40:21 Seong Ku Kwon 8
9 40 01:42:91 Seong Bum Ahn 9
10 79 01:45:27 Ji Hoon Kim 10
11 72 02:01:11 Jeong Seok Kim 11
12 66 02:05:94 Min Kuk Choi 12
13 70 02:06:60 Yeong Dae Kim 13
14 44 02:14:77 Hyeong Ki Kim 14
15 58 02:15:78 Joo Young Kim 15
16 42 02:16:45 Hyeon Wook Jung 16
17 27 02:16:98 Sang Il Oh 17
18 41 02:32:61 Do Han Kang 18
200m SPRINT OPEN WOMEN
No. Bib Number Result Name Rank
1 64 01:35:38 Yu Rhee Hwang 1
2 28 01:36:2 Haw Ryeong Jae 2
3 46 01:53:75 Seung Hee Kim 3
4 22 01:58:38 Joo Yeon Won 4
5 48 02:20:42 Min Ji Jang 5
6 75 02:20:65 Hye Sun Jeon 6
7 51 02:26:00 Yeon Ji Lee 7
8 70 02:30:62 Yeong Dae Kim 8
9 43 02:31:04 Ba ro Yim 9
10 17 02:53:77 Se Young Jeon 10
11 18 03:01:25 Young Kim 11
12 19 03:12:16 Ha Yeon So 12

 

3km OPEN MEN

No. Bib Number Result Name Rank
1 49 21:05:75 Jung Young Jang 1
2 81 22:31:98 Bong Sik Shin 2
3 39 23:02:08 Seong Hyun Yim 3
4 86 23:26:31 Gu Won Jeong 4
5 65 24:06:29 Joo San Lee 5
6 79 24:19:83 Ji Hoon Kim 6
7 67 24:38:10 KEITH Cheng 7
8 40 67:42:64 Sung Bum Ahn 8
9 85 27:53:26 Hyun Yoo 9
3km OPEN WOMEN
1 64 25:40:72 Yu Rhee Hwang 1
2 28 26:16:34 Haw Ryeong Jae 2
3 46 27:12:53 Seung Hee Kim 3
4 53 30:25:66 Joong Ha Yoo 4
5 50 30:31:24 Na Rae Jung 5

 

2km OPEN MEN

No. Bib Number Result Name Rank
1 52 12:16:37 Kee Young Kang 1
2 69 13:33:07 Seong Ku Kwon 2
3 72 14:34:10 Jeong Seok Kim 3
4 89 17:36:37 Kwang Yul Yang 4
5 36 21:23:87 Cheol Min Park 5
6 32 23:42:57 Myeong In Jeong 6
2km OPEN WOMEN
1 4 15:24:99 Mi Hye Bae 1
2 54 16:02:36 Yun Young Lee 2
3 48 16:45:27 Min Ji Jang 3
4 59 16:57:73 Won-e Lee 4
5 39 17:29:66 Seung Hyun Yim 5
6 30 18:16:83 Jin Young Kim 6
7 75 18:28:26 Hye Sun Jeon 7
8 37 19:36:70 Jin Hee Park 8
9 78 20:57:10 Mi Rae Lee 9

 

1km OPEN MEN

No. Bib Number Result Name Rank
1 58 07:21:19 Joo Young Kim 1
2 68 07:47:76 Jae Won Jang 2
3 27 07:54:19 Sang Il Oh 3
4 44 08:18:12 Hyung Ki Kim 4
5 66 08:35:38 Min Kuk Choi 5
6 23 09:00:12 Sun Kyung Sohn 6
7 42 09:22:98 Hyeon wook Jeon 7
8 41 09:28:94 Do Han Kang 8
9 74 09:32:28 Dong Yoon Choi 9
1km OPEN WOMEN
1 76 09:33:53 Mint 1
2 17 09:41:65 Se Young Jeon 2
3 70 09:46:09 Yeong Dae Kim 3
4 77 09:49:09 Jung Yeon Oh 4
5 51 09:58:90 Yeon Ji Lee 5
6 84 10:06:13 Hae Soo Kim 6
7 80 10:24:43 Boucher 7
8 24 10:52:22 Jessica Park 8
9 43 10:26:02 Baro Yim 9
10 18 11:36:23 Young Kim 10
11 19 11:58:80 Ha Yeon So 11

 

Open Men

No. Bib Number Result Name Rank
1 5 13:19:62 Jin Chan Kim 1
2 12 14:32:50 Hyun Kyu Lee 2
3 8 15:43:59 Sang Hoon Lee 3
4 10 15:49:97 Jin Hyuk Lee 4
5 20 15:56:25 Yong Hyun Kim 5
6 14 16:14:49 Yong Sung Cho 6
7 13 17:07:18 SeokJoon Kwon 7
8 6 17:09:43 Jin Sung Kang 8
9 15 18:14:63 Sung bin Hong 9
Open Women
1 7 18:24:46 Bo Kyung Jeon 11
2 9 18:27:89 So jung Bae 12
3 11 20:36:84 Eun Joo Ban 13