The return to Century City – a SUP DASH!

The return to Century City – a SUP DASH!

An old favourite was revived this year, with the return of SUP racing to the Century City Sports Festival –  a weekend full of active and competitive fun in all sporting disciplines.

The SUP DASH was a 750m technical course on 14-foot racing boards,  involving a mixture of straight sprints, left or right turns around buoys and bridge piers. It’s a real lung-buster, and tests the fitness of the paddlers, along with their technical expertise right from the starting gun.
The sprint course was split into two 100-metre sections with a turn in the middle; requiring an explosive start and good balance at the turn so as not to lose the speed and cadence the paddlers gained in the first section. These 200m sprints count towards ranking points for our athletes who will be travelling to Europe to paddle the SUP racing circuit for the next few months.
Cameron Tripney, our Open Men’s Sprint winner, is also the 2022 ICF Junior World Sprint champion. He will be joining the elite Starboard Dream Team this year to paddle in some of the European circuit races in Spain, Italy and Austria, testing his vigour as he moves into the  very competitive Open Men’s section internationally.
Tarryn King, our Open Ladies’ Sprint winner, is no stranger to international competition, with a few world championship medals to her credit in both SUP and surfing. She keeps a healthy balance between being a young mom with her SUP and surf training and also runs a SUP coaching squad in the Muizenberg area.
The balance of our athletes are dedicated local paddlers, who train in the southern and northern areas of Cape Town.

During the SUP DASH event, we also held a “learn to SUP” programme.

This offer was thoroughly enjoyed by an entire family who came along to “get their feet wet”. There were also a few keen  family members of regular racing paddlers,  who could not wait to try out the paddleboards alongside the very capable instructors from SUP CAPE TOWN. They all agreed it was an enjoyable session, and the smiling photos certainly confirm that! We were so grateful for SUP CAPE TOWN coming alongside us in this event, and look forward to many more with them. Keep your eyes open for further paddling opportunities by following us on social media and via our event calendar 

The race results are detailed in the table below:

The races were arranged by Stand-Up Paddleboarding South Africa (SUPSA)
Supported by SUP CAPE TOWN
Sponsored by CENTURY CITY as well as  OLYMPIC  and RACE FOOD
We are extremely grateful for all the assistance!

Should you wish to enquire about getting involved in this sport or joining our events, please contact us at

A Warm West Coast Welcome to 2024 paddling

A Warm West Coast Welcome to 2024 paddling

Race report by Faz Perin, 10km SUP paddler….

This year’s entry to the event was seamless!

The West Coast Canoe Club kept us up to date via their Facebook page with all the relevant info and routes, and the registration on the morning was quick and efficient.

The weather was  great for the event – sunny with a cool breeze.  It ensured a good workout, paddling against the wind and tide simultaneously, and the breeze was a great relief.

The new course for the 10km race this year was the best one so far, and the wind conditions allowed us the opportunity to explore the river on both sides of the bridge.

Finding a line

As always, the “West Coast Gees” that comes with this race is phenomenal! Paddling with so many contestants all enjoying the water and the sport, is a sweet satisfaction that brings happiness. The support from fellow paddlers on the water, as well as residents in the bay, is heart warming and much appreciated.

Finding a line

The prize giving is always good fun with loads of incredible prizes with Appliance City as the main sponsor for the lucky draw.

This year I was the lucky winner of a beaut of a steam iron. Now, I just need to teach my my kids how to use it!

The results for all paddlers are in the images below:

Thanks to the SUPSA organisers, Etienne Laubscher from WCCC, Oscar Chalupsky for an inspirational talk, as well as all the organisers and sponsors to make this event a fabulous start to a new year of paddling. Thank you!

Paddling is for all ages and stages of life. Don’t be afraid to join the local SUP events. It’s not about winning. 

Stand-up paddling is about leisure and fun, connecting with other water-loving folk, and spending time out in nature, which is rejuvenating every time! 

This year SUPSA plans to focus on social paddling, so get ready to come and join us. No matter what board, no matter what your age. If you can swim, you can paddle with us. Bring your friends and family too!

Keep an eye on our calendar link below for the social events. 

SUPSA 2024 calendar

For more Velddrif 2024 race images, click to view our Facebook race album:

http://StandUpPaddlingSA on FB race images




While we were sleeping…. The SA SUP Team tackled the ICF WORLD SUP Championships in Pattaya, Thailand!

On the other side of the world (generally at around 3am our time) our little team from South Africa was taking on some of the biggest names in the ICF World SUP Championships! In average daily temperatures of 33º Celsius, a humidity level of 80%, and the water temperature being 22º C, they were often drained by the tropical heat before their races had even started! They said it was like living in a sauna, so post-race recovery took place daily at the hotel pool.

Junior athlete, Chiara Vorster, achieved a 1st place in the B Final sprints against girls her age who get to compete regularly on the international circuit, and have access to the latest equipment.  She also achieved a 5th place in the final A of the Junior Women’s technical race and an admirable 11th place in the 10km Long Distance Junior Women’s race! We can see her success story is just beginning!

Our well-known SUPer star, Tarryn King, decided to join as a last-minute entry, and heads home with a 3rd place bronze medal in the Open Women’s sprint section, where she is a well-esteemed competitor. After a great progression through all the heats of the Open Women’s technical series, Tarryn sadly suffered a bad fall at the start of the B final. Never one to give up, she fought her way back to finish with an 11th place.

Gareth, our men’s 40+ long distance athlete, also did extremely well in gruelling windy conditions, and finished with an 18th place out of 67, when a good chunk of the athletes who registered did not even start the race. He commented that his South African coastal downwind training stood him in good stead for the less-than-perfect side wind conditions they experienced on the day.

Our SUPSA president, Anja, who is also the SA team manager, decided to test the racing waters herself this year. She gained a 5th place in her first Open sprint heat, and a 21st placing in the inflatables section. Well done for tackling the racing from both sides of the story! Now she truly understands how tough the racing field is, and what her athletes go through.

Chris Couve is a former SA team paddler who now resides in Bangkok as he works for Starboard. He completed the sup inflatable race, ending 21st in a strong Open Men’s contingent.

One of the joys of racing are the friendships and connections formed with other paddlers. This year, our team found two former South Africans paddling under other nationalities as they have been living abroad for many years.

Holger Hassenpflug now resides in Austria and paddles in the 50+ men’s category. His results were as follows:
– 9th in inflatable race
– 9th overall in Sprint 50+ men
– 6th overall in Technical 50+ men

Marlene Bergh, who now resides in New Zealand, paddles with the 50+ women, and she placed as follows:
– 2nd overall in Technical 50+ women
– 6th overall in Long Distance 50+ women
– 3rd overall in Sprint 50+ women

It’s wonderful to see South Africans able to flourish wherever they may go! We will keep our eyes on these folk and support them too!


We salute our local group – a small team, but they made massive efforts that were certainly not unnoticed. Despite the always-looming obstacles of a very high exchange rate, difficulty finding new boards locally, and limited exposure to large SUP events of this stature, they placed more than respectably in their events.   Those that do travel as often as they can, know that it comes at a huge financial cost, massive travel overlay times, and personal sacrifice in order to train sufficiently, and yet, they successfully triumphed over all of these hurdles. We wish them safe travels home and all the best as they prepare for their future SUP events.

All images courtesy of the Planet Canoe Facebook page.

SA Champs postponed to 2024

SA Champs postponed to 2024

To whom this may concern, 

We regret to inform you that the SA Stand-Up and Paddleboard Championships will not take place in St Francis this year. The decision was made due to low interest and the high costs to host the event, which would not justify the low number of participants entering.

However, we are pleased to announce that we will be hosting events in Durban and Cape Town respectively, featuring various disciplines. The times recorded at these events will count towards paddlers’ ranking for 2023, as well as the selection trial times for qualifying for the ICF World Championships in Thailand in November 2023.

We are still finalizing the details, but preliminary information indicates that the events will take place on 24-25 June in Cape Town, while our Durban event will be split between the East Coast Classic, taking place on 27-28 May 2023 and an additional event in June.

We hope to build and strengthen the sport over the next year so that we can host a successful event in 2024 in St Francis. We encourage athletes from across South Africa to attend both these provinces’ events so that you can ensure your ranking and a spot on the SA SUP Team.

SUPSA will circulate the qualifying times for the SA SUP Team so that you can train and aim for your age category. We wish all athletes the best of luck in their training and hope to see you all at the events.

Thank you for your understanding and ongoing support.

Should you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact me. 

Kind regards,

Anja Marie Burger 

SUPSA President & Team Manager 


A Stormy Freedom Paddle in 2023- Part 1 – the Short Course

A Stormy Freedom Paddle in 2023- Part 1 – the Short Course

As Freedom Paddle Race Day became an impending reality, a potential squall opened the floodgates for the usual pre-race jitters.

The race organisers took it all in their stride, changing tactics and issuing conditional lists. This was done to help the 410 registered paddlers decide if they really were racing material suited for a stormy paddle.

Despite numerous drop-outs, a few seasoned SUP and prone board paddlers decided to tackle the challenge. Here is their feedback, to give you a true taste of participating in this iconic race.

The hype starts at registration, on the day before the well-organised race.

Due to limited parking space the paddling craft are all dropped off at and left on racks overnight. This helps reduce chaos on race day. Paddlers sign in and get a very generous goodie bag.  All they need to do on race day, is arrive, do the safety check and go paddle!

“My hubby helped me out with dropping my board etc….. He said everything was pretty slick and well organized. I was happy with the booking process and the comms etc.”  (Gaby Nordgaard)

Great goodie bag. Loved the Prescient dry bag which is useful for all water based sports. Registration was super efficient and quick. (Lynne Beachy-Head)

On offer for regular mortal paddlers, was a 10km short course.

This was intended as almost a mini-version of the island experience. It entailed a 1km headwind paddle out to sea, and then a downwind back. Completing five laps would make up the total distance.

“We’d had such beautiful weather all week, so I was hoping for great conditions like last year, but that was wishful thinking. On seeing the churning water and fierce winds, and hearing that some of the early starters for the long paddle had quit, I seriously considered not attempting the start. But nothing ventured, nothing gained, and we positioned ourselves on the starting line with some difficulty staying upright!”  (Lynne Beachy-Head)

When foul weather threatens, the organisers choose alternative options to ensure the safety of all involved. It does not always make the course easier, but ensures that they can still participate to the best of their abilities.  The 5 laps intended were shortened to 3, but even this did not make for easy going.

“Thankfully the course was changed to suit the conditions, but the slog to reach it heading into the wind had me resorting to my knees. Having rounded the buoy, I was hoping to catch runs back but the unpredictable swell was from all directions. This meant I had to stay on my knees and could only stand up after the breakwater to make a vaguely respectable exit, and end my attempt after only one lap. It was just too gruelling!”  (Lynne Beachy-Head)

“The conditions were pretty gnarly with strong wind and big swell. The vibe was great though! I only ended up doing 1 lap, but in retrospect I feel like I should’ve pushed myself and done another lap. (It ended up being only 3 laps in the end, but I only found out afterwards.) It’s fine, and was a great experience all round – I’ll definitely do it again!” (Gaby Nordgaard)

“Yesterday was a question of should I stay or should I go? The hype got to each and every paddler and it was difficult not to go and see for ourselves. On the short course there was knee paddling into squalls for the first 2 rounds. Most paddlers bailed after one lap. Three of us remained standing and Mark Bind showed us some prone paddling techniques which were quite amazing to see on a 14 foot Naish! The downwind section was fun closer to the wall, if your legs were strong enough to time it right between side-swell, with some swimming in between, and an enormous sun fish looking on.  (Evette Terblanche)

Gary Van Rooyen reports about the short course race:

“Absolutely brutal, really tough…..Even the short course was a kilometre straight out to sea, very, very tough. Well done to the girls!  You know, they spent most of their time on their knees, but well done for even trying. It was terrible – the wind, the chop, the swell, NOT pleasant at all. but well done to them!”

This is only the start of the story – follow on to the Prone and Long course articles. These also have details of the experiences and lessons learnt by the paddlers taking on the trip to Robben Island under gruelling open ocean conditions. 

All photos courtesy of Prescient Freedom Paddle photographers.