Video made by Andrew Cassidy of Australian Paddle Surfer Magazine.
NEWCASTLE, Australia - Erin Dark is a rising star! This young 17 year old Stand up Paddle Surfer has a lot to be excited about as she recently won not only the junior girls final, but also the open women's final of the inaugural SUP Australia National Titles.
On April 26th and 27th over 100 competitors found their way to Newcastle for the first ever SUP Australia or SUPA Paddleboard National Titles. Originally competitors met at Dixon's Park, Merewether to begin the contest, but paddling out past the waves proved to be a problem and the location was moved to Nobby's Beach.
Even there, however, the conditions were tough. According to Suplove SUP, the SUP board company Erin rides for, there was large surf with strong winds and currents that had even the elite men finding the conditions difficult. Suplove noted, "After catching a wave you had to come into the beach and run/walk about 100 metres back up the beach to paddle back out." Erin was able to stay strong despite the challenge and finished first in her semi final heat.
Day 2 of the competition was moved to yet another spot, Stockton Beach, and the ocean was an entirely new playground. The waves were smaller but with no wind the surf proved to be a lot of fun. Erin even commented via social media that the waves were fun and all the girls surfed really well.
At the end of the contest it was Erin Dark who took first, Terrene Black, second and Lynda Lim, third. Unfortunately Hannah Finlay-Jones took fourth but ended up sick on the last day which allowed Mel McMannus to surf in the final heat as a substitute to take fifth. The official results from the event can be seen on the SUP Australia Website.
About Erin Dark:
Erin Dark is from Gerringong, New South Whales, Australia. She is a high school student and has surfed since childhood but can also shred on a SUP. She loves surfing, snowboarding, wakeboarding and skating. Erin is sponsored by Suplove Paddleboards, Hightide Surfboards, and Hive Swimwear. She is no stranger to surf competition and has won numerous titles including the 2010 Australian and NSW Junior Girls Longboard Champion. Most recently she won the first inaugural SUP Australia National Women's Open Title. She also took 2nd at the NSW State Paddleboarding Championship and 3rd at the Noosa Festival of Surfing. She is one of the rising stars in the SUP scene and despite a wipeout in April 2010 causing her to break her ankle (requiring two screws to hold it together), she has dreams of one day competing in the World Championships!
About Suplove SUP:
Suplove is a dedicated SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard) Company providing high quality stand up paddle boards, gear, training and events to paddlers everywhere. They believe in being connected and respectful as well as taking care of the environment and one another. They focus on family and community and encourage taking time to rediscover, challenge and excite life. With Suplove everyone is welcome and their goal is to share the love and joy of stand up paddle with everyone, everywhere.
Results from all of the events at the SUP Australia National Titles: