MANDURAH, Australia - Australia’s richest Stand Up Paddle (SUP) event offers equal prize money for men and women and draws over 160 international, interstate and local competitors each year. The Stand Up Surf Shop King of the Cut is the first major international Stand Up Paddle (SUP) event in Australia to offer equal prize money for male and female competitors. Arguably Australia’s most prestigious SUP race, the Stand Up Surf Shop King of the Cut is a 24-kilometre race that will take place on Saturday December 2nd, 2017 in Mandurah. King of the Cut Chairman Greg Kerr said it was only fair to offer equal prize money.
“SUP is one of the few sports that has started on an even gender basis - all our racing in WA reflects this, so it was a very easy step for us to apply this equality to the prize money for the King of the Cut as it is something we strongly believe in,” Kerr said.
“The majority of competitors are male and about 15 per cent of the field are female, so we felt it fair to offer additional prizes for males finishing in fourth and fifth.
“We are very proud to be able to reward all competitors equally and lead by example in Australia by being the first major SUP event to do so.”
First place prize is $5,000, second prize is $1,750 and third prize is $1,200 for male and female professional classes, as well as a first-across-the-line bonus of $1,000. In the male pro class, fourth and fifth placed racers will receive $800 and $600 respectively, bringing the total prize pool to $18,300, making it the largest prize purse for an SUP event in the country.
2016 winners of King of the Cut. | Photos: SUPWA: Woolacott
Olympic Gold Medallist and Women’s National Marathon SUP Champion Belinda Stowell-Brett said that equal prize money is a fantastic step forward.
“When there isn’t a strong field of female competitors, then, I understand from an organizers perspective that it’s difficult to justify equal prize money as there are less registration fees coming from female competitors.
“It’s fantastic that the King of the Cut organizers have taken that futuristic step with equal prize money, which I hope increases participation from the girls. I think it’s up to us to be more equally represented in the field and I encourage all female SUP competitors from Perth, Australia and overseas to enter.
Only select events in the USA offer an equal prize purse for male and female paddlers, namely the Paddle Pacific Games, Hood River, Carolina Cup and Pier Paddle.
King of the Cut is set to attract about 160 top local, interstate and international competitors including EuroTour Champion Michael Booth (Starboard), Travis Grant (NSP) fresh off his podium finish at the world’s most prestigious event the Maui 2 Molokai (Hawaii), 7-time Surf Lifesaving Ironwoman Champion Karla Gilbert OAM and Olympic Gold Medallist and Women’s National Marathon SUP Champion Belinda Stowell-Brett.
Competing for world tour points or state representation, King of the Cut competitors will start at The Dawesville Cut at Port Boulevard and finish at Secret Harbour. The King or Queen of the Cut title will be awarded to the first paddler across the line, regardless of board class or age.
The optimal weather conditions namely the powerful and consistent “Fremantle Doctor” sea breeze makes this fast event a favourite with SUP racers. The event is also the headline act of West Oz Downwind Week, which combines five races in the space of a week providing additional opportunities for visiting competitors to race, train and enjoy the camaraderie and festival-like atmosphere.
Titouan Puyo on his way to winning the 2016 King of the Cut. | Photo: SUPWA: Woolacott
In it’s sixth year, the 2017 King of the Cut has some exciting additions:
- The Estuary Run – a 9km paddle from Dawesville Cut to Central Mandurah down the Estuary. It’s a great opportunity for novice paddlers to gain experience while being chaperoned along the course by professional paddlers. Finishing with a sundowner and dinner in Mandurah as a prelude to the KOTC.
- The Half Cut - a shorter 10km race. This event will be held on the Sunday, the day after the main race. This is a great opportunity for a downwind paddler of medium level to participate and experience the thrill of Western Australian Downwinding. The Oceanside run is the first half of the famous KotC run, fantastic medium to large runners to propel paddles down the Peel Coast.
- Open Board Class For Prize Money - With the popularity of the Unlimited Class and listening to feedback from the Pro Riders, there is now a Male and Female Open Board division* for the Pro Class - the first 5 male paddlers across the line and first 3 female paddlers, regardless of board length (14' or UL) will take out the prize money. An Unlimited board has yet to win the KotC, the technical nature of the course seems to even out the board lengths. *The Female Pro Class will have two initial divisions - Unlimited Pro and 14' Pro. Soon as the Unlimited Pro class registration receives four entrants, the divisions will be combined - exactly the same as the men.
- Foiling Class - the KotC will open up a foiling division as a demonstration class for 2017. Whilst this division won't compete the Open Prize money (or the line honours KotC trophy), Enviroplumb has kindly sponsored a $500 cash prize for first Foiling Board across the line.
- New Age Divisions – Female under 40 14'; Open Female Unlimited (not Pro Class); Male over 60.
- Outriggers For The Cut - Last year, Outriggers (OC1) were invited to compete in the King of the Cut. The Outrigger community shares similar values to the SUP community and having this traditional craft involved in Australia's Premier SUP Downwind Event is a great addition. Welcome onboard Outriggers!
For more info visit the King of the Cut website HERE.