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HOME arrow SUP NEWS arrow British Stand Up Paddle Surfing Champions Crowned for 2008
British Stand Up Paddle Surfing Champions Crowned for 2008 PDF Print E-mail
By: BSUPA   
Monday, 27 October 2008
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All over the world peoplehave been trying Stand Up Paddle surfing, from Pierce Brosnan talking on theDaily Show with Jon Stewart about his love for the sport, to Jennifer Anistongiving the sport a go in Hawaii and LairdHamilton taking the sport to new levels in monster waves in Hawaiiand Tahiti.


The UK has alsobeen gripped by this exciting sport. Last year a group of stand up paddlers, gripped by the sport, set up theBritish Stand Up Paddle Association, and decided to run a series ofcompetitions to find a national champion, the first organization in the worldto represent stand up paddle surfers at a national level.


The first national Stand Up Paddle Championship series in the world, has now come to a close.  The British Stand Up Paddle Association (BSUPA) have run four events in Cornwall, Isle of Wight, South Coast and West Wales and now have national champions in distance and surf disciplines.  

With a field of over fortycompetitors which included European surf champions, masters surf champions,national and world cup ranked windsurfers and kite surfers the events haveshown how far the sport has come in a very short space of time.  Therewere also Juniors from 6 years old and ladies taking part in their owncategories,. 


The events were run, in surf,on a heat format where the top riders would be judged on surf performance withuse of the paddle. Each heat winners would progress through to the nextround.  The panel of judges would be looking for the highest scoring waveor maneuver combinations and riders would go out in heats of four with the toptwo progressing through.  The distance was run on a first past the postand each event was slightly different in terms of course, each race generallylasted 25-30 minutes and tended to be a sprint from start to finish.


Simon Bassett (BSUPA SeriesDirector) commented "at the beginning of this year we wrote the rules forthis series which is a first of its kind and our aim was to find the BritishChampion who could perform the best in all conditions. The beauty of SUP ridingis that if you do have a small wave, you can generally always ride it.  Wewere hoping for bigger surf this year, but unfortunately this season it didn'tcoincide with our event schedule.  I am convinced that results of some ofthe top four riders will be similar next season when we do get biggersurf.  It was also great to see SUP riders who turned up to their firstcontest and really enjoyed the experience, to see the juniors committed tocompeting at these events.  What we have leant about this year is theriders who have come to the BSUPA events have all made some good friends at thecontests, and there is some really stoke at the events."



Left to Right: Matt Argyle (SUPGloba), Scott Gardiner (Mens-3rd surf), Holly Bassett (Juniors-2nd surf/distance), John Hibbard (Mens-1st distance/2nd surf), Neal Gent (Mens-1st surf/2nd distance), Claire Blacklock (Womens-(1st surf&distance), Mark Slater (Mens-3rd distance), Simon Bassett (Contest Director), Not present: Bobby Cooper (Juniors-1st surf/distance), Connor Griffiths (Juniors-3rd distance)



BSUPA is proud to announcethat the 2008 Champions, sponsored by are :


Stand Up Paddle SurfingOpen Mens :


1st Neal Gent(GONG, FatFace, 2XS, Kialoa)

2nd John Hibbard(Starboard, Fatface)

3rd Scott Gardner(SouthPoint)


Stand Up Paddle SurfingWomens :


1st ClaireBlacklock (Jimmy Lewis)


Stand Up Paddle SurfingJuniors :


1st BobbyCooper  (GONG, Kialoa, 2XS)

2nd Holly Bassett(Jimmy Lewis, Kialoa, 2XS)


Stand Up Paddle DistanceMens :


1st John Hibbard(Starboard, Fatface)

2nd Neal Gent(GONG, FatFace, 2XS, Kialoa)

3rd Mark Slater(Jimmy Lewis)


Stand Up Paddle DistanceWomens :


1st ClaireBlacklock (Jimmy Lewis)


Stand Up Paddle DistanceJuniors :


1st Bobby Cooper(GONG, Kialoa, 2XS)

2nd Holly Bassett(Jimmy Lewis, Kialoa, 2XS)

3rd Connor Griffiths (Jimmy Lewis)



Bobby Cooper: 1st Juniors Surf/Distance was not present to receive her awards but is still all smiles.







Neal Gent commented"The one I really wanted to get was the surfing Champion for stand uppaddling so I am really pleased, it's been a really good year battling withJohn (Hibbard), I hope that next year the events will be bigger and we getbetter waves !"


John Hibbard added "it'sreally good to be the first National Stand Up Paddle Distance racing championin the UK,I think that at the start of the year nobody knew if this format would work,but it ended up being an extremely competitive discipline.  Its great todo something where the result is black and white!"



1st Place - Mens Open Surf Neal Gent setting up the bottom turn on a nice sloper.



Full 2008 results are available on the and websites.

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