The SAS Hurley Classic has been a staple part of kayaking’s competition circuit for a while. A chance for the best freestyle sit down paddlers to show off their skills – all in front of a gazing crowd just metres away. With the growth of SUP we’re stoked to see 2015 will feature SUP racing and the whole event becoming a festival of paddle sports. Andrew Jackson got in touch with us to give a bit more flavour of what’s to be expected at this year’s gathering.
‘The SAS Hurley Classic has been running for 25 years. It’s one of the oldest white water kayaking events in the world. Over the 25 years the event has always grown and taken on new freestyle activity. It’s also one of the biggest events of its kind.
We are always seeking new activity and have looked at SUP over the last couple of years. Looking is never enough for us outdoorsy types so there has been a load of trying too.
So our question was how can we do something that uses what we have at Hurley and make an event with elements of normal SUP racing and a special SAS Hurley Classic spin.
The SAS Classic has two comps – Boaters Boarding at 200 metres and Elite at 500 metres. Both star with a run and jump to boards, then there is the race across the strong currents, an upstream turn before a downstream race. The Elite racers then head off around one of the Hurley islands whilst the boaters boarding return across the current. From this point both races finish with an upstream paddle and climb of the ‘Ramp of Doom’
In Kayaking the prestige of winning at Hurley is held almost as highly as winning a world title, with many top SUP racers already expressing an interest the title looks like gaining the same status with the boarders.
At Hurley we run an event for the elite, for the intermediate and for beginners merging serious competition with serious fun.’