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HOME arrow SUP NEWS arrow Get on board for the UK's first Naish One SUP Race Series
Get on board for the UK's first Naish One SUP Race Series PDF Print E-mail
By: Naish UK   
Wednesday, 24 April 2013
The rapidly growing sport of Stand Up Paddling (SUP) has received another big boost in the UK, with the announcement of a brand new event in the Olympic water sports venue, Weymouth.

The UK’s first Naish One SUP Race Series has been organised as part of the Ecover Blue Mile – Race for the Environment weekend on 27-28 July. Naish UK have put up £1,000 in prize money for the event.

Britain’s biggest SUP star, Dorset-based Ryan James, has already confirmed his participation, despite a busy schedule of international competition this year. The Ecover Blue Mile takes place just along the coast from Ryan’s home town, Poole.

The Weymouth race series features a 100m sprint, a 400m intermediate race, and a 1500m event – the Ecover Blue Mile. Races take place on both days and are open to first-timers with a minimum age of 14, as well as experienced SUP racers.


For Ryan, 38, the event is another sign that the sport is taking off in the UK: “It’s the fastest growing sport in the world because it’s so accessible,” said Ryan, whose events this year will take him to Hawaii, California and across Europe.

“You can do this on any waterway – the sea, a river or a lake. And it’s easy to pick up – it’s like standing on a barn door when you’re learning. And you’re up and riding in 30 minutes if you have a good instructor.”

Ryan took up the sport in 2009 when he was recovering from shoulder surgery after a snowboarding accident. He says SUP has come a long way since then: “I used to get funny looks when I went out in Poole Harbour. People would be laughing at me from the beach! So it’s incredible how it’s taken off since then. And it’s easy to see why because it’s such a fantastic feeling, being out there on the water.”

One of the factors behind Ryan signing up to the event is the message behind the Ecover Blue Mile, which is raising money for the Marine Conservation Society: “It’s good to support an event which is fundraising for the marine environment and which cares about the sea.”

Naish UK are supplying the boards and safety equipment for competitors who don’t have their own. Alex Tobutt of Naish UK said the series was an ideal opportunity for people to take up the sport and a great chance for people to see top class competitors in action.

He added: “We chose the Naish One 12‘6” class because it’s so accessible for everyone. You can carry it in the boot of your car or take it on a plane with you. So this really ties in with the Naish ethos of getting people out there and having fun.

“Teaming up with the Ecover Blue Mile is a good fit for us because of our environmental message, which is to use the water and not wreck the water.”

The Ecover Blue Mile was launched in Plymouth in 2010 by triple round-the-world racing yachtsman Conrad Humphreys, who is an oceans champion. The Ecover Blue Mile events seek to raise awareness about the marine environment by encouraging people to get active on the water.

Conrad believes the launch of the Weymouth races is great news for the Ecover Blue Mile: “SUP is going through tremendous growth at the moment, with lots of people accessing our waterways and it’s great to be hosting the Naish One series at our Weymouth event.

“I hope the crowds at Weymouth will enjoy the excitement of a weekend of fantastic racing.”

Naish UK will also be supporting the Plymouth Ecover Blue Mile, which this year takes place on 14-15 September.

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