Could Thailand Become An International SUP Racing Destination?

 

 
Results and photos from the Invitational SUP Race held in Phuket, Thailand on the weekend. In what is quite possibly the country’s first serious, well-organised race, competitors headed to Bang Tao Beach in the famous resort town for a windless & sweltering day of stand up paddle racing.

While this is the first time I’ve ever reported on a Thai SUP race, I think the country actually has the potential to host a big international race in the future. For one, Thailand is home to some incredibly beautiful beaches. Sure, the country has more than its fair share of dodgy tourist traps, however there is a LOT of stunning coastline to be enjoyed.

 
Though Thailand’s biggest selling point could be the fact it’s home to the world’s largest board manufacturer: The gargantuan Cobra factory, where the majority of top brands have their race boards produced. In other words: Host a race here and there would be no more airlines to worry about.

Thailand has always been a hotspot as far as the industry is concerned – coincidentally I’m actually in the country right now visiting the Starboard HQ. Starboard was also responsible for sending down the top finishers to the Invitational on the weekend. The overall winner, Ollie O’Reilly, is Starboard’s assistant marketing manager at their head office just outside Bangkok.

But anyway back to the action in Phuket, here are the podium-getters from the various classes. Follow Stand Up Projects on Facebook for more and keep your eyes open for races in the future…

 
Men’s 5km
1st: Ollie O’Reilly (0:27:48) – UK
2nd: Thanupong Saisornthananant (28:35) – Thailand
3rd: David Smart (29:53) – Canada

Women’s 5km
1st: Joana Moreira (0:43:39) – Portugal
2nd: Luciana Cunha Framca (0:45:28) – Brazil
3rd: Helene Bonte (0:46:08) – France

Men’s 1km Sprint
1st: Ollie O’Reilly (0:08:37) – UK
2nd: Thanupong Saisornthananant (0:08:39) – Thailand
3rd: Jittakorn Seewangrach (0:09:04) – Thailand

Women’s 1km Sprint
1st: Alyona Zuban (0:10:20) – Ukraine
2nd: Claire Ratcliffe (0:11:34) – UK
3rd: Ekaterina Dzhvnushalieva (0:11:45) – Russia

Under 14s – 200m dash
1st: William Smart – Canada
2nd: Ben McMillian – Australia
3rd: Chalanton Prasri – Thailand

Island Relay – 800m
1st: Team Blackfish
2nd: Team CAP
3rd: Skyla’s Surf & SUP Club