The 2012 Australian National SUP Titles are happening this weekend and look set to feature a bunch of talent that’d make any international SUP race director smile.
All the action is going down over the next couple of days at Port Macquarie in New South Wales, including a 20km “Marathon Race” and 6km, Battle of the Paddle-style “Technical Race”. There’s a lot at stake this weekend, with the winners earning a spot on Team Australia for the 2013 ISA SUP World Championship.
Australia is spoilt for talent when it comes to SUP racing. I’d say half of the world’s current Top 15 Men (plus a couple of the Top 10 Women) would be Aussies, which means they’ll be extremely hard to de-throne at the ISA event early next year.
This weekend’s races are invite-only, with a series of State SUP Titles earlier this year deciding who made it to the Aussie Titles.
Just some of the crew that’ll be in action this weekend include Beau O’Brian (who won both the QLD and NSW State Titles…) Angie Jackson, Terrene Black, Paul Jackson (of Jacko’s Gym fame!), Jake Jensen, Kelly Margetts, Lincoln Dews and almost every other elite paddler in the country.
Team selectors might have a problem though, as both Jamie Mitchell and Travis Grant will miss the SUP races this weekend. The two represented Team Australia at the inaugural ISA SUP World Champs earlier this year and scooped the medals. However Travis Grant is injured, while JM is currently lost in the Oregon wilderness, so it’ll be interesting to see if either of these guys is offered a wildcard for next year’s event. Whoever else wins the titles this weekend will be very deserving of a spot, but it’s also hard to argue against these two guys being Australia’s best stand up paddlers.
No matter what happens though, SUPracer will keep you posted with all the results from the 2012 Australian SUP Titles as they happen, so check back over the weekend to follow the action.