Saturday 11th July saw Stand Up Paddleboarding or SUP take centre stage on Weymouth Beach to kick off the two week Dorset festival for Sport and Wellbeing. An already packed town from the seafood festival flocked to watch the spectacle from the esplanade around the Pavilion. This gave a grandstand view of the 67 competitors who had travelled from all over the UK and even Ireland to battle for the title of National Championship. Of the 67 competitors, 27 were taking part in an organized race for the first time – very encouraging signs.
N1SCO is a One Design race class introduced by Hawaii based watersports company Naish. It allows competitors to challenge each other on identical boards and paddles so it all comes down to who paddles the hardest. Now the fastest growing watersport worldwide, SUP is a common site on beaches around Dorset with Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour offering near perfect conditions.
Competitors challenged each other to three race disciplines throughout the day including Sprint, mid distance and long distance races. Defending Mens Champion Ben Fisher from Plymouth defended his title despite fierce competition. In the Women’s fleet, Joanne Hamilton-Vale from Hampshire took the title having recently returned from competing in World class events in America and Europe. Weymouth Sailing Olympic hopeful Sophie Weguelin provided stiff competition, even taking the win in the Mid distance race having only last year taken up SUP for physical training. A fleet of juniors also took to the water, as young as 10 years old, impressing the crowds with their smiles and seemingly tireless energy.
David Hughes who travelled 5½ hours to compete commented ‘The yardstick for all sup events in the UK. The best event so far this season.’
Throughout the day, local SUP training company Adventure 4 All provided on water safety cover and provided taster sessions for those new to the sport. Working at full capacity between races over 100 people were given an introduction to the sport for the first time in near perfect conditions with waist deep warm water and blue skies.
Further information about N1SCO racing in the UK can be found at;
Anyone wishing to take their first step in to the world of SUP can learn locally with Adventure 4 All;
firstname.lastname@example.org or 07870659081