Pics: Peter Knight
On Saturday 29th September, 18 SUP Clubs from around the UK came together to take part in the 6th British SUP Club Championships held at Bray Lake Watersports in Berkshire. This year saw the event sell out in just over a week, with an amazing 225 paddlers travelling from as far as the North East, Devon and Wales.
Since the event started in 2013, it has grown substantially with more and more clubs attending – including 7 new ones for 2018.
For those who have not been, the day is action packed from start to finish! Paddlers enter one of an astonishing 22 categories and take part in either a distance, technical or novice race. Points are awarded to every paddler taking part and then the top 6 results for a Club are added together along with the results from individual sprints and team events. The Club with the most points wins – simple!!
Well maybe not so simple for the organisers as the distance race saw 139 paddlers take to the water, with PJ Simmons (Waterborn SUP) and Marie Buchanan (Waterborn SUP) winning first overall in the distance. For the technical race, it was also a clean sweep for Waterborn SUP with brother and sister, Ben Pye and Holly Pye, taking the first overall prizes, with the novice categories being won by:
- Novice 12’6 board – Jonny Anderson (Northern SUP Race Team) and Sadie Atkinson (Juice Boardsports)
- Novice All Round – Matt McAllan (SUPsect) and Laura Beatty (SUPSect)
- Novice Surf Shape – Jamie Ward (Waterborn SUP)
New for 2018 was the N1SCO One Design category, with Naish kindly providing a free board to each of the clubs to use on the day. Organisers added this category in recognition of the popularity of the Naish Series and the fact some clubs are 100% N1SCO One Design.
Full results can be found here: Technical (https://www.webscorer.com/race?pid=1&raceid=153801) Distance (https://www.webscorer.com/race?raceid=154013)
As part of the competition, Clubs takes part in a series of team events including a team relay and Dragon racing.
With help of sponsors Red Paddle Co, the event put on the biggest Dragon race in the UK with 3 heats of 6 Dragons and the top two from each going through to the final. This year’s race was won by Waterborn SUP (Devon) with Northern SUP Race Team (Northumberland) in 2nd place and Bay SUP (Bournemouth) in 3rd place.
It is not just the adults who have all the fun, throughout the day the juniors (aged 6 to 16yrs old) took part in a series of races, sprints / distance and technical, run by Sam Ross (SUP Coach).
Points are awarded in a similar way as the adults and this saw Bay SUP (Bournemouth) being crowed Junior British SUP Club Champion 2018.
Summary of juniors – Sam Ross
With sprints, a distance race and a technical race we had a busy day with the juniors. Many are now seasonal racers but we still had many new to racing taking on new challenges in a new environment. There was some particularly impressive racing in the U14 girls fleet who were incredibly impressive in the distance race.
The u10 and u12’s 10’6 technical race had it all when it comes to racing with some going the wrong way, correcting, epic buoy turns and nail biting racing.
A huge well done to all the juniors and a massive thanks to Candice Betts as well as all the parent volunteers for their support and help.
To help make sure that those who were unable to attend could still feel part of the day, Sup Junkie took over the British SUP Club Championships Facebook page providing live streaming and commentary.
From Sup Junkie “XXX”
A massive thank you has to go out to the fantastic team at Bray Lake Watersports, who once again pulled out all the stops to put on such an amazing event. The amount of work that goes into running an event of this scale should not be under estimated.