2023 ICF SUP World Championships: Hear from the fired up Starboard Dream Team

The 2023 ICF SUP World Championships (15-19 November) in Pattaya, Thailand has officially kicked off! TotalSUP caught up with the Starboard SUP Dream Team Riders to ask about their SUP racing season to date, board set up and the ICF Worlds expectations.

Photo by: Warren Won

Fiona Wylde:

Image source: Starboard SUP

SUP season to date: I’m coming from a bit of a different perspectives because I was out of the race season for all of the 2022 and really only had a few events in 2023 cause I was still rehabbing my shoulder. But this time on the sidelines has allowed me a different perspective to racing and it’s been fantastic to see a lot of the new young ladies that are coming up to the top and young athletes on both male and female side.

I think that they’re pushing super hard so not only the racing is going to be harder but it’s all going in a good direction and I’m excited to see what the World Championships brings.

The World Championships is a unique event because it’s one of the few times in stand-up paddling where you have five straight days of racing. So it’s going to be really cool with the Sprints, the tech, the distance, the inflatable races, the one design classes, with everybody competing in multiple events and bringing a lot of different, unique elements to the racecourse.

We have some athletes that are younger and those that bring a lot of experience that are a bit older, so everybody’s going to fuel off of one another bringing their highest performance. And of course this is the World Championships so everybody’s going to be pushing the best they can, myself included.

Board set up: Most likely, I’m going to be using the 14×20 AllStar. I know that there is a possibility of a little bit of chop in the Pattaya area. If for whatever reason it is completely glassy flat, I will most likely use the Sprint, the hollow sprint. I’m just excited to be able to come to Starboard headquarters in Thailand, have the boards there and get ready to race with the whole team.

ICF Worlds expectations: My own expectations for the event… Well, I want to put together good races. That would be the goal. You know being on the start feeling strong and having good power throughout the whole race. Making smart decisions throughout the race, making sure that I keep my blood sugar levels in control the whole time. There’s so many different elements that go into a good race to produce a good result. And I just hope that I can put together all of those elements. So regardless of the result, I’m happy with the performance that I have on race day. I look forward to it and I look forward to seeing all of you!


Daniel Hasulyo:

Photo courtesy of Daniel Hasulyo

SUP season to date: It’s been a very exciting racing season, I truly enjoyed spending time in China where both the Paddle Jiangnan 2023 and the 1st 50km Legend from Fuzhou to Shanghai, and also exploring South Korea from Busan to Yang Yang Beach. Also very happy to see new competitors getting strong, pushing for new boundaries and founding new motivations. Beside racing I had the chance to spend most of my training in Bali throughout the year, just came back from Singapore, so I can only confirm that the Asian SUP Racing seen is very much alive!

Board set up: I’ll be racing in the Long Distance and the Technical Race. As for the board set up, I’ll leave it up to the conditions but will make sure to have the best board for the day.

ICF Worlds expectations: My expectations…World Class Racing, incredible atmosphere, possibly the largest SUP get together in a long time, a lot of good reasons to be in Thailand this November.


Clément Colmas:

SUP season to date: It’s been an amazing season for me with some good and bad ! Overall see an improvement in my results. I just got the European Champion Title on both Technical race and Long distance after some podium results in the EuroTour and the APP World Tour. I won the Long Distance gold in Madeira and the 3rd place during the World SUP festival.

Board set up: I am very much looking forward the ICF Worlds in Pataya which will be the final biggest event of the year! My weapon of choice for the Worlds is the Allstar, the most versatile board and one preferred in choppy conditions. It just get better every year!

ICF Worlds expectations: I got 3rd place last year in the Long Distance race so I am looking to have better this year!


Michael Booth: 

Photo by Georgia Schofield

SUP season to date: Another great season for me. Have still managed to race well and be at a high level with a full life. Really still enjoying paddling and still fighting for wins.

Board set up: Based on my experience testing at Pattaya I think it will be an AllStar location with generally some wind, backwash and boat wake. I may take the GenR for the Tech race but will make the decision closer to the event.

ICF Worlds expectations: I’ve come to expect a fantastic event from the ICF so I expect this year to be no different. I really enjoy that it is an open event and allows all paddlers to participate across the age groups. Gives such an amazing atmosphere and it’s a celebration of the sport.


Noïc Garioud: 

Photo credit: EuroTour 2023

SUP season to date: I’ve had a really good season so far. Won the EuroTour overall title, a couple of great events and the ISA 200m Sprint World Champion Title.

Board set up: I have a couple of options, either the brand new 2024 Allstar or the 2023 one, depending on conditions. I’ll gear them up with a VMG fin probably Mako 35, or XW.

ICF Worlds expectations: This year the ICF World SUP Championships are going to be if not the biggest, one of the biggest events to date. So definitely super excited to be part of it and as a racer you always look for a podium and a gold medal. I’ll try my best and we shall see!


Fernando Pérez Serra:

Image source: Fernando Pérez Serra Instagram

SUP season to date: I can wrap up this season as completely crazy with lots of races and different places but something in common – good experiences in each races and super good times.

Board set up: I will race on the Starboard Allstar 14×21 in the Technical and Long Distance races.

ICF Worlds expectations: My expectations… I want to be in the top 5 of Long Distance and Technical race


Holly Pye:

Photo by Miguel Sacramento

SUP season to date: The 2023 has been a really exciting year, I think there are a few underdogs to watch out for and there will be some unexpected names coming out of Asia for the racing in Thailand too

Board set up: I’m going to be using the Starboard GenR 14×21.5 with the Starboard Lima paddle as I’ll be competing in all three disciplines- the long distance, sprint and technical races. I can’t wait!

ICF Worlds expectations: I’d love to beat my own result from 2022 where I got 13th at the ICF Worlds in Poland but i spent most of 2023 out of action due to injury. Because of this, I haven’t got any expectations going into the ICF Worlds. I want to do the best I can but I’m hoping mainly to gain racing experience whilst I’m out there.


Ole Schwarz:

Image source: Ole Schwarz Instagram

SUP season to date: I would say it’s the first season after COVID19 pandemic that all events are actually happening and you don’t have worry they will be cancelled last minute.

That makes training much easier, this year my focus was on the canoe downriver Championships in Augsburg Germany. Unfortunately the results were not perfect. After that my focus was 100% on the ICF SUP World Championships in Pattaya. And the last month I only did paddleboarding. My canoe is already collecting dust.

Board set up: I’m competing in the 200m Sprint and the Technical Race. I’m not really good in ocean racing so my focus will be on the 200m. For boards I’m not 100% sure, it depends on the conditions. But I’m really excited to try the new 2024 Starboard Sprint.

ICF Worlds expectations: My expectations… I’m not really sure about the Technical race but will try my best. I also know that the guys who train on the ocean will be really strong. 200m Sprint is going to be my race I think I’m really well prepared and hope to finish at least in the top 10.


Maddi Leblanc:

Photo by: Warren Won

SUP season to date: This past SUP racing season for me has been my most successful season to date! 🙂 Most especially I’m proud to be the Canadian National Women’s Champion in all three disciplines – Sprint, Tech and Distance).

Board set up: I’ll be competing in all three disciplines at the ICF Worlds this year and I’ll be riding the 2024 Starboard AllStar 14×23 and/or the Starboard GenR board 14×21.5 depending on what the conditions are like.

ICF Worlds expectations: My expectations for the World Championships are to achieve a few personal bests. Last year at the ICF Worlds in Poland I was injured which didn’t allow me to feel fully healthy and prepared. I want to paddle stronger, happier, and healthier this year. I want to put on a performance that I’m proud of and one that showcases all of the hard work I’ve put into my training 🙂 I’m excited for what’s to come!


Linus Karlsson:

Photo by Robert Hajduk / Planet Baltic SUP Race 2023

SUP season to date: Overall, I’d say it’s been a challenging season with some sickness but in the end I would say I’m satisfied with the results that I’ve managed to achieve. I definitely have had higher expectations but I have learnt a lot and I know what to work on. My highlight so far would be the Spring race in Italy where I ended up 2nd in Technical & also the qualifying race in Skrea. I made a statement for myself that I can manage those rough conditions.
Board set up: My board set up for the ICF Worlds will be my trusted Starboard Allstar 14×23 together with my Starboard Lima paddle in size L & Flash Fin.
ICF Worlds expectations: My expectations for the Worlds are definitely high. I will try to enjoy every moment and do my best and then we see what’s coming!

Rai Taguchi

Photo credit APP World Tour 2023 / Busan SUP Open

SUP season to date: This year’s racing season has been extremely difficult. I had to get used to my new board. By the second half of the race season, I had gotten used to riding the board and I was able to paddle it the way I wanted in races. I had particularly bad results in the race on choppy water, so I focus on practicing on that area.
Competition formats: At the ICF Worlds, I will participate in three events: Sprint, Long Distance and Technical.
ICF Worlds expectations: It will be definitely the biggest race of the year.  This is the world’s best event in terms of the number of players participating and their level. I think this is a suitable tournament to determine the best in the world and I decided to match this year’s peak to the ICF. To that end, I’ve been doing everything I can to increase the amount of practice so I’m really looking forward to it. For sure it will be an exciting race.


Davide Alpino

Photo by Miguel Sacramento

SUP season to date: This seasons has been emotionally intense, starting good with winning the Technical Race in Comacchio (ICF world ranking event in Italy), then podium at Agios Nikolaos and the fifth place sprinting at the EuroSUP. Some victories in the Italian Race Championships and some hard moments at the World Championships (Long Distance) and in the EuroSUP Tech race, where expectations were higher than results actually achieved!
Board set up: I will have the two of the Starboard brand new boards, the 2024 Gen-R and Allstar, both 14×21,5. I will do all! Sprint, Tech and Distance, to maximize the fun time!
ICF Worlds expectations: I have not result expectations – I just wanna feel free to give my 100 % and do it.

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About the Author

Anna Nadolna

Anna is the Founder of SUPer Whale, a Cambridge(UK!)-based emerging watersports brand and a stand-up paddleboarding community. She is a certified SUP Flat Water Instructor accredited by International Surfing Association (ISA). Anna is also a digital marketing, storytelling aficionado and a growth hacking enthusiast.

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