ICF SUP World Championships 2021: Day 1 of the World Championships in Hungary 

(text by Anja Burger, images by team)

What a day it has been! Our open athletes woke up this morning, knowing that there would be serious game time today. A gruelling 1000m course was set for the technical race – with 7 turns, a full-on sprint pace and an extra 200m sprint or two, as if the race pace was not enough!

Chelsea started with the technical course, and pushed herself into the next round by securing the 5th position in her first heat. She ended the technical quarter finals with a 7th position, fighting it out against some of the top female paddlers. In the open men’s race, both our guys competed in the first heat – a gruelling one – where only the first 4 paddlers get selected to compete in the quarter final.

The technical races were followed by sprints for the open men and women. Chelsea took off  in the second heat, placing herself magnificently in 4th position, causing the team to jump up and down in absolute bliss. She had her quarter final sprint at 16:00, where she paddled an incredible 1:11.42, landing her in 5th position. Unfortunately only the top 4 make it to the semi-finals but she will still be competing in Final C on Saturday.

Gareth had a gruelling sprint against incredibly strong paddlers. Even with a show-stopping time, he did not qualify for the next round. Well done, Gareth! A time of 1:06.34 should’ve gotten you into that next round!

Sinda had us on the edge of our seats! He started his first heat with power and speed, then to our great distress fell in the water after just 50m. We have never seen anyone get back on his board so quickly, then he went on from last to 3rd position – securing his place in the quarter final! This race was against the well-known Hungarian paddler, Bruno Hasulyo; the Greek Phaedon Doukas and a Russian paddler, Dmirty Petrov. Sinda paddled his heart out to secure himself in 4th position. He will be sprinting it out again in the semi finals on Friday, 10 September at 17:20.

The races were followed with an opening ceremony held by the Host’s Organising Committee, with the flags of 31 countries being waved and celebrated. There are 500 participants representing these countries on 5 continents – an amazing feat after the impact of lockdown on the sport in the last 2 years. 

As from tomorrow, the races will be televised on Planet Canoe’s Youtube station: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvSjQnnetuc

Tomorrow, our athletes Gareth, Sinda, Robert, Evette, Gary, Guy, Elmari and Chiara will take off on their long distance courses in the morning. This will be followed by the sprint heats and quarter finals for Guy, Gary, Robert, Elmari, Evette and Chiara as well as Sinda’s semi final for sprints in the afternoon.

Our athletes are so grateful for the incredible support they have been receiving from the members of the whatsapp group. Please keep it going strong!

Make sure you keep an eye out for the live broadcasting on Planet Canoe’s youtube channel.

Find it here: https://www.youtube.com/c/PlanetCanoe/videos?view=2&sort=dd&live_view=502&shelf_id=0

Catch some live feeds on the SA SUP Team instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/sasupteam/

or via Xpression on the Beach’s facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/XpressionOnTheBeach

More will be shared on the SUPSA website as well as SUPSA’s Facebook and Instagram page (links in footer).

You can also join the WhatsApp group for supporters, https://chat.whatsapp.com/C5lS6pnUHzj32xBImzrb2h 

The events schedule and results can be found here: