Get on board for the UK's first Naish One SUP Race Series
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.
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
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
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.