Sardinia will once again be welcoming the Open Water Challenge (OWC). The OWC is traditionally a kiting and windsurfing event, which will be celebrating its 10 year anniversary. But this year the international event will see the integration of a SUP festival! an international watersports event which is celebrating its 10th anniversary! The whole event will be staged at Torregrande, an area recently won the prestigious title of European Cities of Sport, and will take place from 20th till the 22nd September. A 3 day SUP festival and party awaits paddlers of all backgrounds who venture to this island gem in the Mediterranean! TotalSUP talks to Eddy Piana who is organising the SUP festival along side race director Sergio Cantagalli.
Hi Eddy, why are you excited about the race?
OWC has been invovled in the promotion of SUP and paddleboard activities since the early days, since we have seen the discipline grow and expanding in any direction. Edition after edition we have adapted our event format to fit the needs and trend of the sport. We are proud to say that today, the Open Water Challenge SUP Festival is a “classic” and iconic event staged at Torregrande, Sardinia. The 2018 edition brought for the first time to Italy a European stand up paddle competition, where we had competitors from 10 nations, the athletes battled it out in the technical and long distance races. The team victory went to France, second the Spaniards and in third place Denmark. This event was a great opportunity and an exiting experience, but our aims are still yet to be reached, with this ambitious project we are looking forward to the future!
What is unique about the races?
Naturally speaking Sardinia captivates with its wild scenery, out-of-this-world beaches and crystal clear seas! It occupies a special place in the Mediterranean sea!
The race program is over 2 days with 4 different event format, fitting every skills and strength. The aim is to do a a down wind long-distance, then provide more technical conditions for the Sprint and Chrono team race. The team Time event or CRONO Team Racing is where teams of 3 will be battling for their best time on a 4 KM course. Get your team-mates together and “beat the clock”! Best time wins the prize money!
What is also special about the event on a paddling level is that with the SUP racing elite athletes will race together with amateurs, with the same spirit, enjoyment and it will still have fun! The festival has an unique atmosphere You’ll feel right at home here and very welcome! It is very much related to the passion that we (me and my team) put into this event.
On top of that, we can combine the beauty of the natural environment together with the historical traditions of the island, this allows the racers to have an unique experience aimed at those who like to experience a different type of “competition”. That is why our main event since the beginning was the Tharros Cruise. This is when amateurs take part in a cruising/fun-race,along theancient settlement of historical Tharros (now an archaeological site), a natural amphitheatre overlooking the sea bordered by the imposing Capo San Marco lighthouse. This race is a 8 KM cruising route open to everyone (kids included) who would like to participate, or for those who just want to go out on the SUP in a fun environment, without aiming for the podium. This race has no boards’ restrictions and a prize for everyone!
What are the typical paddle conditions like in September?
In Sardinia due to its geographic nature, weather conditions on the island are pretty much unpredictable. The period we chose in September is supposed to bring good weather and steady breezes, but strong Mistral wind gusts are always to be expected. Temperature are usually mild (22-30) during the day, and the fresh afternoon breeze will cooler down.
Who is confirmed for the race at this point in time?
We’re still in the process of gaining confirmations as registrations will open shortly, we are also working to be part of EURO SUP Tour circuit, this will increase our attention to the international riders. Right now Olivia Piana and Bruno Hasulyo are confirmed and we are expecting other top national riders to follow suit!
After the race is over, what can the paddlers do?
The OWC SUP Festival is a non stop the party! Threedays dedicated to the world of Stand Up Paddle with lots of side activities, music and entertainment, all framed by a festive Sardinian atmosphere including some good eating and drinking. The weekend is “non-stop-the-action” event program for 2 days of pure SUP activities and fun!
Interested in registrating for this race? Follow this link and start your journey to the OWC SUP festival!
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