As the global social and sporting shutdown caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus continues, we’re beginning to see more and more SUP races affected. Europe is increasingly under lockdown, while virtually all countries are enacting draconian restrictions on travel and public gatherings that have made most stand up paddle events impossible to run.
Here are the latest updates as of Monday 17 March. This story is quickly evolving so check back for regular updates… → READ MORE
What motivates someone to paddle 715km down a long, cold and very lonely river in the Canadian wilderness? And what happens to the body and mind when they do? Follow eight stand up paddlers as they attempt the longest annual paddle race in the world, the Yukon River Quest…
In brief: The spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to affect the world of stand up paddling, with the beginning of the international season all but on hold after several events were forced to cancel or postpone.
The United States, China, Japan and several countries in Europe including Spain and France have confirmed event cancellations/postponements. And now two of the biggest races in the world have joined that list.
Today, the Air France Paddle Festival in Tahiti and Brazil’s massive Aloha Spirit Festival in Ilhabela both announced they were postponing their upcoming events. → READ MORE
World number one Olivia Piana is embarking on a major new project this season, with the Frenchwoman set to announce a partnership with French brand “ITIWIT” to develop new inflatable boards and other SUP products to help make the sport more accessible to the masses.
ITIWIT isn’t the most-recognised name within the SUP community but its parent company is a household name. ITIWIT is the in-house brand of Decathlon Group, the largest chain of sports stores in the world. The big-box blue warehouses are found everywhere in Europe, and Decathlon’s massive reach (1,800 stores worldwide) instantly made ITIWIT a relatively large SUP brand when it came onto the scene a few years ago. → READ MORE
Want to hear a scary statistic? The average age on the men’s podium in yesterday’s 12 Towers downwind event was 16 years, 4 months.
That’s an age when most kids are still a year away from graduating high school. An age when you’re not even supposed to drink, let alone win an international ocean race. This stat is all the more extraordinary given a) the mature level of talent that finished behind the top three, and b) that ocean racing requires endurance and experience — two things that often come with age.
But despite technically being classified as “boys,” Noic Garioud, Ty Judson and Shuri “Shrimpy” Araki paddled like men at this year’s 12 Towers Ocean Festival. Noic is just 17 years of age. Shrimpy is only 13. For some context: fourth-place James “Jimmy” Casey seems positively ancient at 28. → READ MORE