Surfing Australia has just announced a new national Stand Up Paddle series for 2012, which includes dedicated SUP racing events.
The Surfing Australia SUP Series is basically five separate State Titles events, with a National Final to be held in August. The winners will help form the team to compete at the 2013 ISA World Titles (the first ever ISA World SUP Titles will be held in Peru, February 2012).
Each event will have two separate races for both men and women; a 4-8km Battle of the Paddle style Surf Race, and a 20km Long Distance race. The Surf Race will be a 12’6″ event, while boards can be up to 14′ in the Long Distance.
Alongside the SUP races, there will also be SUP surfing contests for open men, open women and over 40s.
#1: Victorian SUP Titles, Torquay, February 25-26
#2: HIF Western Australian State Longboard and SUP Titles presented by SunSmart, Yallingup, February 25-26
#3: South Australian SUP titles, Victor Harbor, May 19
#4: New South Wales SUP Titles Festival, Port Stephens, May 24-27
#5: Surfing Queensland SUP and Ocean Paddle Festival, Gold Coast, June 9-11
#6: National final: Australian Surf Festival – Australian SUP Titles, Port Macquarie, NSW, August 19-20
With so many of the world’s best SUP racers coming from Aus (Jamie Mitchell, Travis Grant, Kelly Margetts, Paul Jackson, Beau O’Brian, Jake Jensen, Andy Davies… just to name a few) it’s great to see SUP racing being taken seriously by Surfing Australia.
No doubt the 2012 SUP Series will give a massive boost to the profile and legitimacy of the sport.