OREWA BEACH, New Zealand - New Zealand's elite distance and race paddlers came together for the national championships of stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) at Orewa Beach this weekend. The NZ Sup Nationals is New Zealand's premier SUP event and the primary selection event for the ISA World SUP Championships to be held in Denmark September 1-10, 2017. The two-day championships incorporates long distance and technical surf racing events.
See summary of events and results below.
18km distance race
Saturday March 11
Course: Beach start Sullivans Bay, Mahurangi for a 3km upwind punch to a buoy off the coast, then paddlers turned south to Orewa Beach catching 2m running swells with a constant 20 knot wind. Surf finish and beach sprint at Orewa Surf Club.
Photo (L): Race start / (R) Titouan Puyo. | Photos: Georgia Schofield
A surf finish and beach run gave NSP’s Titouan Puyo line honours and 1st International with a well-paddled race, he crossed the line two minutes ahead of 2nd place getter and 1st Kiwi, Marcus Hansen and rounding out the podium was Aussie-based Trevor Tunnington.
Annabel Anderson crossed the line less than 10 minutes later defending her title and becoming the 7-time National Champion in the long distance. Penelope Strickland paddled strong coming in 2nd with South-Islander Tara Hope bringing in 3rd.
Annabel Anderson on her way to winning her 7th National title. | Photo: Georgia Schofield
- Titouan Puyo, New Caledonia, 1:17:22
- Marcus Hansen, New Zealand, 1:19:06
- Trevor Tunnington, New Zealander, 1:19:43 (living in Australia)
- JP Tobin, New Zealand, 1:20:03
- Ollie Houghton, New Zealand 1:21:04
- Annabel Anderson, New Zealand, 1:26:34
- Penelope Strickland, New Zealand, 1:31:54
- Brianna Orams, New Zealand, 1:37:53 (15-years old)
- Marlene Jackson, New Zealand, 1:39:52
Technical surf race:
Sunday, March 11
The technical surf race is a 4.5km M-shape course, in-and-out of the surf in front of the Orewa Surf Club. Conditions saw paddlers complete the course in rain squalls and onshore winds gusting 30-knots in the morning, easing over the day, with 6ft swell easing to 2-3 foot in the afternoon.
Photos: Georgia Schofield
- Titouan Puyo, New Caledonia (line honours and first international
- Marcus Hansen, New Zealand
- Trevor Tunnington, New Zealand (lives in Australia)
- Ollie Houghton, New Zealand (17-year-old, North Shore)
- Annabel Anderson, New Zealand
- Brianna Orams. New Zealand (15-year-old, North Shore)
- Victoria Stuart, New Zealand
NZ SUP president Gavin Houghton says it's a great achievement for the event to have three of the world's top-20 athletes competing - Titouan Puyo (#4-mens), Trevor Tunnington (#19- mens) and Annabel Anderson (#1-female).
2nd place finisher Marcus Hansen. | Photo: Georgia Schofield
"It was impressive to see the performance of the Kiwi athletes against these top names this weekend," Houghton says. Marcus Hansen was ahead of Tunnington in both races, while 17-year-old Ollie Houghton and JP Tobin had parity with them in the surf technical race and distance races respectively.
Almost 300 paddlers took part across the weekend's events, with ages ranging from 6-76.
"The NZ Sup Nationals not only celebrates our elite paddlers, it's a celebration of the sport across the country and it's great to see both professional and amateur athletes battling it out across the weekend."
17-year-old Ollie Houghton has a bright future ahead. | Photo: Georgia Schofield
Houghton says the level of competition increases significantly each year, largely on the back of weekly summer race series such as the City Surf Series in Mission Bay and Beach Series in Takapuna and Orewa. Auckland is still the dominant region for the sport, Houghton says. "The goal for NZ SUP is to grow the sport and get the regions more involved with our national championships."
To find a SUP event in your area click HERE.