The Odra SUP CUP and Festival in Poland – a tough river SUP competition, dragon SUP and dragon boat race from juniors to grandmasters

Join us this year for the exhilarating Odra SUP CUP, set against the picturesque backdrop of Racibórz, Poland. Scheduled to make a splash on June 21-23, this event promises paddleboarding enthusiasts a blend of competitive spirit and festive fun – also for juniors and 40+ / 50+ masters. Organized by the esteemed RTW club, under the guidance of president and coach Mariusz Miczek, the race offers a unique opportunity to paddle through historic waterways, right by the imposing Piast Castle. Celebrating its 5th edition, the event is not just a race but a tribute to the enduring legacy of Racibórz and its vibrant paddleboarding community. With the introduction of the Upper Odra Festival, participants and spectators alike can look forward to a weekend filled with SUP races, dragon boat competitions, and workshops—all in the spirit of river recreation and community gathering.

Hi, Mariusz! What TotalSUP readers from all over the world need to know about you and your club?

I’m Mariusz Miczek, the RTW club’s president and coach, leading what has become the top SUP club in Poland. My role is all about coaching, organizing events, and getting more people into SUP. RTW (Racibórz Rowing Association) established in 1888, truly boasts a 134-year legacy, albeit with a post-war hiatus.The aim was to revive the activities of a club with a rich history, situated in the beautiful setting of Racibórz. In 2016 we breathed new life into the RTW and by 2021, we had started a special SUP section.

Odra SUP Cup, Odra SUP Cup 2024, Poland, Raciborz

This will be the 5th edition of the Odra SUP Cup? How did it all start?

This year marks the 5th edition of the Odra SUP Race, a perfect time to look back at how it all started. My passion for leading a great group of people and my love for SUP were the main reasons we began this event. We have many great SUP friends who are like family to us, in Europe and Poland, and with such a beautiful river and city near the Piast Castle in Racibórz, it just made sense to invite SUP lovers here for a one-of-a-kind race. There’s no other place in Poland with such a vibe.

Odra SUP Cup, Odra SUP Cup 2024, Poland, Raciborz

What types of races and age groups do you plan with?

Participants of the event can look forward to engaging in a highly competitive environment with strong races, thanks to the challenging conditions on the river and the use of electronic timing for the second year in a row. This year, we are placing a significant emphasis on the Technical Race and the Long Distance race, events designed to be memorable for every competitor. The races will start from the largest dam of the Racibórz Dolny reservoir, covering an 11km course that includes 6km with the current and 5km against it, leading directly into the heart of our city. This year, we will have Masters 40+ and 50+ categories as well, and I wanted to add that these will be the first races where Juniors will have the opportunity to win cash prizes.

Odra SUP Cup, Odra SUP Cup 2024, Poland, Raciborz

In 2024, we’re introducing a new element to our event by incorporating the Upper Odra Festival, a celebration of river recreation including dragon boat races and any-raft competitions, making it a perfect addition for enthusiasts looking for a mix of competition and fun. Furthermore, on Friday, June 21st, in the old Odra river basin, the Roth Park will host workshops, the Dragon Boat event, adding more variety and excitement to our lineup.

This integration of traditional SUP races with the festive atmosphere of the Upper Odra Festival, combined with the diverse range of activities available, is aimed at not just SUP enthusiasts but also families and spectators looking for a fun day out. With races catering to different age groups and skill levels, and a predicted increase in participant numbers, the event promises to be a comprehensive celebration of SUP and river sports.

Odra SUP Cup, Odra SUP Cup 2024, Poland, Raciborz

What conditions can participants prepare for?

The conditions on the river always bring a surprise, as the water flows and presents a challenge unlike racing on still water. This element turns the event into an exciting adventure, offering participants a unique and thrilling experience. The unpredictable flow of the river not only tests the racers’ abilities but also adds a layer of excitement, requiring them to adapt and strategize on the move. This unique feature of our races ensures that every participant, from seasoned athletes to first-timers, walks away with memorable experiences and a sense of personal achievement.

This year, we have secured accommodation in beautiful cottages at a resort, just 15 minutes away from the start line. We provide transportation from the resort to the start line and back. From Friday to Sunday, along the boulevards, we will have the opportunity to dine at the Old Rowing Marina, where we can enjoy Polish cuisine.

Odra SUP Cup, Odra SUP Cup 2024, Poland, Raciborz

You would like to elevate Odra Race to a higher level by starting to gain ICF certification and attract and gain trust more athletes and enthusiasts from around Poland and Europe. What are your plans about this?

Getting this certification is the right thing to do. This year, unfortunately, due to various reasons, we won’t be able to achieve this goal, but we promise to try our best for the next 6th edition of Odra Sup. Regarding the ICF, everything is clear and understandable for us, and the information we have guarantees that we can organize such an event in Racibórz, Poland. After the fourth edition of the Odra SUP Race, we believe we are organizationally capable of obtaining certification. However, we want to focus once more on refining our own event organization. Obtaining such certification is seen as a future goal for races because it ensures adherence to international standards of quality, and competitiveness.

Odra SUP Cup, Odra SUP Cup 2024, Poland, Raciborz

What makes this race interesting for athletes from abroad to join? Are you expecting international athletes?

Europe boasts numerous stunning locations, but the essence of any event lies in its people and the unique setting. We have the chance to start races under a great dam, a setting unmatched anywhere else in Europe—with a flowing river and the walls of the Piast Castle. From the very beginning, I’ve focused on the youth, the most important group to my heart.

Odra SUP Cup, Odra SUP Cup 2024, Poland, Raciborz

As for names, it wasn’t the time to draw big names from the world of SUP due to costs, financial prizes, etc. However, we welcomed a friendly club from Taranto, led by my friend Mario, the coach of Claudia Postiglione. Claudia and her team visited us two years ago. We have participants from Germany, the Czech Republic, and Ukraine, including the leading junior, Damodara. This year, since our regatta takes place a week after the European Championships, some competitors from Szeged plan to come directly to us. We count on the presence of friendly clubs, in which we also participate, to appear. The Netherlands guarantees their arrival. I can reveal today that these will be the first regattas where, among others, juniors will be financially rewarded—more information coming soon.

Odra SUP Cup, Odra SUP Cup 2024, Poland, Raciborz

How can you manage a high level race? Who are your sponsors?

The main sponsors and co-organizers include the City Hall of Racibórz and the District Administration Office. This year, the main patronage will be held by the Marshal of the Voivodeship. Our sponsors are RESTUBE, which has been with us for another year, and RAPID, with whom we have established cooperation and share a common mission. As for this year’s sponsors, we will soon be speaking loudly about them.

Odra SUP Cup, Odra SUP Cup 2024, Poland, Raciborz

Tell us a bit about what athletes can do before or after the race in your region!

Racibórz is a special place with lots of cool things to see and do. Imagine a big, old castle called Piast Castle right in the middle of the city. This castle is really old and has lots of stories to tell. Our city is also known for making beer. There’s a brewery in town where they make all kinds of beer just like they did hundreds of years ago. In Racibórz, you can try traditional Silesian dishes and local specialties in numerous restaurants and cafes. It’s a place where history comes to life, and there’s something interesting around every corner.

Odra SUP Cup, Odra SUP Cup 2024, Poland, Raciborz

For more information:
TotalSUP event page
Event homepage
Facebook event

Organiser: RTW Raciborskie Towarzystwo Wioślarskie / Mariusz Miczek

Photos by the courtesy of: RTW Raciborskie Towarzystwo Wioślarskie

About the Author

Dóra Hegedűs

Dora is a female grandmaster SUP racer who joined the world of paddling in 2019 and quickly developed an irrepressible passion for the sport. Originally from Hungary, Dora now resides in Aarhus, Denmark, and despite her affinity for flat waters, she loves to participate in international races and is dedicated to making SUP racing an inclusive sport for women over 50 - a vibrant age where, as Dora believes, life truly begins to sparkle with fun and excitement. Fluent in Hungarian, English, Italian, French, and (soon) Danish, she is a polyglot. In her professional life, Dora is a business coach and therapist.