AUSTRALIA’S best SUP racers and surfers have converged on the Gold Coast for the Toyota Australian SUP Titles, which start tomorrow.
Competitors will represent their respective States across three disciplines: surfing; technical race between 4-8km of several laps in and out through the surf; and a 20-30km marathon.
The surfing and technical racing in both SUP and prone paddleboarding has a three-day window from Thursday to Saturday. The marathon in both disciplines will be held on the Sunday.
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Currumbin is one of the main centres for SUP in Australia with several training groups boasting some of the world’s leading racers.
Local Jake Jensen returned from Hawaii this week where he finished fourth in the 2014 Stand Up World Series and will lead a quality field in both the technical race and the marathon.
Jensen will be pushed by a host of surfers who have featured prominently in recent international races including Beau O’Brian, Lincoln Dews, Kelly Margetts and Toby Cracknell. The unpredictably of the technical race ensures the field is wide open.
In the women’s event, former ironwoman champion Karla Gilbert returns to defend her national titles in the technical race and marathon. Again the racing is expected to be tight with young Currumbin paddler Ke’ale Dorries and Sondra Purser also performing well during recent international races.
In the surfing event, the Gold Coast’s Jackson Close, this year’s silver medal winner at the ISA World Titles, will defend his Australian title and will be pushed by former champions Justin Holland and Beau Nixon. The Gold Coast’s Shakira Westdorp, who won bronze at this year’s world titles, is defending her Australian title.
This year’s event includes a series of community races open to the public and entries along with those for the prone paddleboard divisions are still being taken at www.australiansuptitles.com.