Marie Buchanan won her second World title of the week at the 2023 ICF SUP World Champs, winning gold in the masters 50+ technical final.
Verity Thomas rounded off the championships with a brilliant bronze in the masters 40+ technical final.
SUPJunkie has provided a report for the final day.
After two full on days on the beach of Pattaya, Thailand, we have seen paddlers crowned in the fast and furious racing that is the technical discipline.
In Round 1, the athletes must paddle 500m running from the beach in a sprint start with board and paddle, paddle hard around the course navigating five buoys, wind and swell and once they get to the beach, they must dismount gracefully (there have been some face-plants!) and run through the finish line. In the semi-finals and finals, it’s a kilometre over two laps.
Races can be won and lost anywhere on the course in a Tech race, as paddling is at full speed - it’s not a long race and anything can happen and often does. If you start badly, fall in or lag way behind (these things happened in so many of the heats!) just keep paddling hard.
After the heats of Day one we had five paddlers through to the semi-finals and Marie Buchanan and Anni Ridsdill who were straight through to the A and B final respectively in the 50+ class.
So, first up this morning was Verity Thomas and Natalie Rendle who both made it through to the A final in the 40+ class. This was particularly pleasing for VJ as last year in Poland she picked up an injury so couldn’t compete as she wanted. This is Nat’s first time at an ICF event, so she was also delighted. First timer Sara Maxey performed well and got through to the B final.
Holly Pye, having pulled out of the Distance Race on Saturday due to a couple of days of sickness, probably had one of the most stacked heats in her SF. She battled through and made it to the B final.
Blue Ewer again had a stacked field and was just pipped into fourth, taking him to the B final. It gets tough at the top with only the top 3 in the Open men going through to the A final.
After the semi-finals, the B finals are run back-to-back before the A’s. Anni Ridsdill Smith was up first and came in 8th – year after year, Anni just gets better and better.
Sara Maxey was up next and came a very respectable 8th – well done Sara!
Holly followed up and what a race – she played it cool, calm and strong and finished in 4th place – we must applaud Holly as she beat some big names in this final.
Well done to Blue Ewer for coming 6th in his final – again, up against some huge names in the sport but hey, he is a huge name in the sport now – good job!
On to the A finals and this could not have been more exciting – first up our Distance Gold Medallist Marie Buchanan. The incredibly strong New Zealander pushed Marie all the way, but skills, power and utter determination took Marie to another GOLD medal – in her post race interview, you could see she could not have been more pleased. Amazing stuff Marie.
Next up VJ and again, such an exciting and interesting race to watch. VJ paddled a very tactical race, going wide at some buoys and close into others to gain places and avoiding all collisions and falls she battled her way into a BRONZE medal – we could not be more pleased personally for this athlete – Jersey will be very proud of her!
Nat came 11th in the same race – again, this is a fabulous result, and we are so pleased for you Nat.
So, all in all another good day and a great competition for our athletes. Two gold medals for Marie Buchanan and a bronze for Verity Thomas; bearing in mind there were some 900 athletes on the start line, this result is not to be under-estimated. We’d also like to congratulate all the other athletes for their fabulous and strong performances. We know this group of paddlers worked well together in Thailand off the water too and there was a huge amount of respect and support between them all.
We’d like to say thank you to Martin Rendle for all his hard work this week reporting for Supjunkie – if you would like to follow us on social media for all the latest SUP related news you can find us here: https://www.facebook.com/Supjunkie.co.uk/
The 2023 ICF World Championships in Thailand have been a huge success with 900 paddlers battling it out in 3 major disciplines, Sprints, Distance and Tech. It’s also very inclusive as not only does it have the Open category, but 40+ and 50+ and you can also enter as an individual if you fancy your chances. Next year this event is in Florida and runs from the 20-24th November – keep abreast of news from the ICF here: https://www.canoeicf.com/