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Stand Up Paddle Championships come to Cornwall

13th October 2009 Print
Stand Up Paddle Championships come to Cornwall

Exponents of the latest form of surfing will be gracing the Cornish waves this weekend (17/18 October) to decide the new British champions. In a brand new event for Watergate Bay, the Extreme Academy will host the final round of the British Stand Up Paddle Association (BSUPA)’s national championships.

The sport, which blends longboard surfing with paddle power, is one of the fastest-growing activities in the country and has attracted numerous celebrity afficionados including Hollywood stars Jennifer Aniston and Kate Hudson.

“Stand up paddle surfing has really surged in popularity over the last couple of years,” said event organiser Richard Marsh of the BSUPA. “The sport is really accessible. It appeals to people from a wide range of watersports backgrounds, from windsurfers to fishermen, but this year it has been the competitors with a strong surfing background who have been dominating the events.

“We have two different disciplines - there’s a distance race where the competitors paddle a set course of anywhere between two and six miles, and we also run a traditional-style surf competition where riding waves is the focus.”

As the deciding event on the four-stop series, the ‘Extreme Academy BSUPA 2009 Series Finals’ is expected to attract many of the country’s top paddleboarders, who will go head to head not only to win the final competition of the year but also battle it out for the overall BSUPA 2009 Series Title Crowns.

Physical fitness and good technique are essential for the energy-sapping distance race, while in the surfing division the judges will be looking for classic surfing technique combined with stylish use of the paddle.

With the stand up paddle (SUP) boards typically between 11ft to 12ft in length the discipline suits experienced longboard surfers - such as series leader Jock Paterson and pro longboarder Eliott Dudley - who are used to manoeuvring larger boards in the waves.

Said Richard Marsh: “The people with a surfing background know how to surf heats and they know what the judges are looking for, but at the other end of the scale we’ve got some novices who take part in the distance races and find it really accessible. At the moment there is some close rivalry in the middle of the fleet - it’s always changing and always entertaining.”

Competition begins at 10am on both Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th October. Entry forms and information about the sport can be found on BSUPA’s website at For information on the venue go to

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Stand Up Paddle Championships come to Cornwall