The London SUP open is a 3 day event in partnership with the Hackney Festival of Fitness . It will celebrate the sport in dramatic fashion, as English Summertime comes into full swing and the largest fitness festival in the UK will provide a unique and spectacular access point to the World of SUP.
One of the most visual elements of the London SUP Open is its iconic Race down one of the World’s most famous waterways, the River Thames, a race that takes in London’s most celebrated landmarks (Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, the London Eye, etc.).
With the worlds best lining up to paddle through the heart of London this is an event not to be missed. Confirmed athletes are for the men’s race Michael Booth from Australia, the Hasulyo brothers from Hungary and Titouan Puyo from New Caledonia, while in the Sprint Racing, Casper Steinfath from Denmark, Mo Freitas from Hawaii and the Nika brothers from Italy.
However, the all rounders that are clearly double threats such as 3 times World Champion Connor Baxter, Current World Champion Arthur Arutkin and a major new contender on the APP World Tour, Lincoln Dews, will certainly be names to watch out for in London, as the season kicks off in style.
Also to watch out for will be the Tahitian contingent, the likes of Martin Vitry from France and a host of Italian talent, together with young guns such as Tyler Bashor from California and Noic Garioud from New Caledonia.
For the women there is an impressive line up of Champions that include 2014 World Champion Lina Augaitis, 2015 World Champion Candice Appleby and 2016 World Champion Fiona Wylde.
Also to watch out for, Olivia Piana from France who has proven deadly across the global racing scene, along with Sonni Honscheid from Germany, one of the most dominant figures in the sport, particularly in any form of distance racing. Also to watch out for are two US stand outs, April Zilg and Seychelle Hatting, along with the young Hawaii talent, Annie Reickert and the powerhouse from Japan, Yuka Sato.
Unfortunately we have 2 injuries coming into this first event, so we will not be seeing the current World Champion Shae Foudy in the line up, nor will we see the young talent from Slovenia, Manca Notar. We hope that they both recover quickly and can be back in action by New York. Also the 2017 World Champion Terrene Black is unable to make this first event due to important commitments back home, but will be present through the remainder of the 2019 season.
For 2019, the Race Course has been extended, and will run the opposite direction from last year, starting at Tower Bridge, right under the Tower of London, as the athletes will head West through the centre of London, past Parliament and out to Putney, famous in the world of water-sports for the UK’s quintessential ‘Boat Race’.
The race will be over 13 KM testing the ability of the World’s best to read the currents and take advantage of the ebbs and flows that the River Thames provides, to deliver an incredibly competitive and appropriate race course for the Opening race of the 2019 APP World Tour. For course map and details, please go to appworldtour.com.
With a whole host of new elements to be introduced through the 2019 season on the APP World Tour, the first will be a new format for Sprint Racing, that will consist of smaller heats and dynamic new courses that will spice up the racing, and provide a more dramatic showcase for the sport.
The London sprint race will consist of 4 person heats, each athlete with their own docking berth for the start. Once the horn sounds, the athletes will have a short burst out to the first buoys, at which point the two athletes to the left will turn left, and the two to the right will turn right, splitting the field in half in each direction. The athletes will then head to the outer perimeter of the course in towards the inside bank and back out to the first buoys for the final turn into the finish. It is here that they will meet again with the other two competitors, and see where they stand for the final sprint into the finish.
As always, the Sprint Racing will feature the APP’s heat elimination structure, with a repechage round to provide athletes with as much opportunity as possible to make it through to the Final 4 and the Winners Podium. The 190m course will be action packed and fast paced, and will provide a dramatic showcase for the sport at this large scale Festival in the heart of London. You can watch it all go down LIVE from 10:45am UK time (GMT+1) on Sunday 19th May at www.appworldtour.com and @appworldtour.
Traditionally, the APP World Tour has celebrated race winners in Sprints and distance at each event, but the Overall Event Title was always the focus, along with the Overall World Title that crowned the most versatile and best performing Male and Female Athlete on Tour across both disciplines.
However, for 2019, to celebrate the different skill sets required for the two forms of Racing and the Champions in each of the disciplines, the APP will not only be celebrating the Race winners at each event for the respective disciplines, but also the Overall Champions at the end of the year.
What does this mean? It means that at the end of the 2019 Season, the Overall World Racing Champions for Men and Women will be crowned, but also the Overall Sprint and Distance Champions as well, to celebrate the top performers of the year in their respective fields of excellence!
But the fun is not just limited to elite athletes, there is a 6 KM, 3 KM and 1 KM junior paddle race.