1st BSUPA Event of 2008 goes off with a bang!
The British Stand Up Paddle Association held its first competition in the 2008 series at West Wittering Beach,Sponsored by www.2xs.co.uk and GONG sup and supported by,Prosport Sunscreen,Reef ,Grasshopper and Atan.
The conditions were an offshore wind, with small waves on both Saturday and Sunday. A decision was made to run a series of distance races, and an expression session surf contest.
The first distance race started at 10.30am and was a punishing triangular course, with a relatively easy down tide first leg then a hard leg against the tide and a final leg against the wind.
It was very hard fought with Neal Gent (GONG) coming in just ahead of John Hibbard (Starboard), and Mark Slater in third place. In the ladies Claire Blacklock won. Despite being the only woman entrant in the Open category Claire won a lot of respect by entering every race and the expression session.
The juniors had a slightly shorter course but did very well in the conditions; Bobbie Cooper(age 16) claimed first place, Lucy Howell(age 12) second and Holly Bassett(age 10) third. Later that day the second distance race was a series of 3 laps around a straight course, once again Neal Gent had a well deserved win, with John Hibbard second and Mark Slater third.
Patrice Guénolé then ran a master class on SUP freestyle with the Juniors and others getting the benefit of his tips and coaching, it was very rewarding for everyone.
In the evening everybody retired to the Bell Inn for some food, beer and music.
On Sunday the swell had picked up slightly so the first order of the day was an expression session in the waves. Patrice Guénolé set the bar high, with 360’s, drop knee turns, nose slides and big snaps, all in the small 1ft conditions, on a 12ft board. It went to show that you don’t need 6ft perfection for stand up paddle boarding. John Hibbard was showing stylish cross stepping and good use of the paddle in making turns,and looked liked he spent the winter training hard for this.
1st : Patrice Guénolé (GONG)
2nd: John Hibbard (Starboard)
3rd: Matt Argyle (GONG)
4th: Bill Dawes(starboard)
5th: Neal Gent (GONG) & Richard Marsh (Naish)
6th: Jason Manning (Starboard) & Mark Slater.
1st: Claire Blacklock (Sean Ordenez)
1st : Bobby Cooper (Gong)
3rd: Lucy Howell
The final distance race for the Juniors and Mens took place after lunch and it was another close fought race with Neal Gent (GONG) getting first, Patrice Guénolé (GONG) second, just pipping Mark Slater, third, in a sprint to the finish and John Hibbard (Starboard) fourth.
Event organiser Simon Bassett said "it was frustrating with the poor wave forecast but because paddle surfing is about flat water and surf it meant we could flip the event from surf to distance and still run an event. I was really surprised to see what top riders can do with paddle surf boards in small waves! It was good to see kids out trying competitions for the first time and really pushing themselves.”
You can see more pics of the event at www.2xs.co.uk and buy prints from
John Parker Photography and
Matt Simmons Photography