All eyes on Barcelona, Spain! The Catalan capital is hosting the first ever Iberdrola Barcelona Stand Up World Series on June 26-28, 2015! It will mark the start of both the 2015 Stand Up World Series and the 2015 Euro Cup. We asked Tristan Boxford, CEO of the Waterman League, the organization behind the event and the series, to present the event to the TotalSUP community.
But first, here is a little appetizer:
1. Hello Tristan Boxford, Barcelona is about to host for the first time a Stand Up World Series event. Why did you pick this new destination?
Tristan Boxford: Barcelona is a magical City and I can’t think of anywhere better to hold a Stand Up Race in the summer time in Europe. Thousands of people on the beach, a unique grand stand set up on the water that allows for great viewing and perfect weather and water temperatures will make for a great event this year. We are also excited about the group we are working with this year in Barcelona, as we see real potential for significant growth over the coming years, and this year’s event really just represents the first step in that process
2. Who is coming?
All the top guys will be in attendance, from World Champion Connor Baxter, to arch rival 2x World Champion Kai Lenny, Australian Jake Jensen, 2014 EU Cup Champion Zane Schweitzer, the Great Dane, Casper Steinfath, the Italian stallion Leonard Nika and the bulldog Frenchman Eric Terrien. There will also be the South African talent, Dylan Frick who really stepped up in 2014, as well as Paul Jackson, ever dangerous from Australia and the current leading light from Brazil, Vinnicius Martins. I am excited to see the Spanish stars step up this year however, as we have always seen Roman Frejo as a talent to be reckoned with, but also many more from amongst the local talent that will be stepping up to do battle. In the women’s, Candice Appleby will for sure be one to watch out for, World #2 from 2014 Angie Jackson, Céline Guesdon and OIivia Piana from France, but also the likes of Laura Quetglas and Susak Molinero representing Spain in this prestigious event. It will be exciting to watch it all go down.
3. The event is also welcoming amateur racers. Can you tell us about that?
We are excited to really build out all aspects of the event in Barcelona, from the Elite Class to the Open Racing for both 14’ but also 12’ and under fun racing, the kids, the entry level and clinics and much more. It will be a true celebration for the sport here in Barcelona and I am excited to see what will be a great kick off for the 2015 Stand Up World Series here in Europe.
>>> Amateur, Junior, Kids and Team, join the Facebook event page
and register here: http://barcelonasupworldseries.com/en/inscripciones/
4. Is this going to be a yearly event?
Barcelona is set to be an annual event on the World Series calendar – the location is perfect and as I said, we have some great partners on the ground, so we are looking to create a real legacy with this event this year to establish a successful and sustainable future moving forward
5. Two Stand Up World Series events have been cancelled (the SUP World Cup in Ferhmarn, Germany and the Oléron SUP Challenge in France). How is this going to impact the 2015 Stand Up World Series and the Euro Cup?
Yes, it was really disappointing regarding Germany, although I have worked with our partners for a long time and I am confident that it will be back in full force in 2015. The withdrawal of Oléron was a disappointment, but it was getting smaller each year, so as we look towards the growth in Europe and worldwide, we are working on a really long-term plan that will strengthen the sport, the events and provide a unique platform for both the Elite and Open Racers moving forward.
6. The Euro Tour (a new european series for 14' board racers) has been in full swing for the past month. Do you see this as “competition” for the 2015 Stand Up World Series?
I think it was a good initiative for a load of European events to be grouped together, although it is a little different from the European Cup: the European Cup is an event series (now 3 events – Barcelona – Finland – Italy) that leads to a crowned champion. The Euro Tour seems a complicated ratings system that doesn’t really define a Champion, but I think its objective is a little different too. As the top athletes that compete on the World Series say, the EU Cup provides the Title to fight for and a sequential series of events, the Euro Tour is a means to group together a few individual events.
Here is the trailer for the EU Cup:
7. What is your take on board size?
I do think that the 14’ decision was a strange one at this stage in the sport, when traveling with boards is already complicated and a real momentum had been created surrounding the key flagship events worldwide for 12’6. In my opinion, simplicity is key – one board to compete worldwide is always going to be simpler, and the 14’ board is tough when it comes to racing in the surf, quite apart from the traveling implications, so it is shortsighted in my opinion. However, that being said, when catering to the local paddlers in a local region, an open 14’ class is great and then everybody is taken care of from the Elite to the Open divisions, providing something for everyone and not complicating the traveling and competing issue across the globe.
Anything else that you would like to add?
We are excited to head over to Europe and make history this year as this first stop on the 2015 World Series will be an event to remember!
Thank you Tristan Boxford! We look forward to seeing you at the Barcelona Stand Up World Series 2015!