Denmark to be first European host of ISA event

Denmark has been awarded hosting rights to the International Surfing Association’s (ISA) 2017 World Standup Paddle (SUP) and Paddleboard Championship.

Capital city Copenhagen will host SUP and paddleboard racing competitions, with SUP surfing meets to be held in the coastal town of Klitmøller. Specific dates for the event have not been confirmed, but it will take place in September next year.

The event will be organised by the Klitmøller-based Friends of Cold Hawaii organisation, which specialises in water sports championships, along with the Danish Surfing and Rafting Federation (DSRF), Sportevent Denmark, Wonderful Copenhagen and Copenhagen Watersports.

In March, the ISA awarded hosting rights to this year’s World SUP and Paddleboard Championship to Fiji in its latest effort to raise the sport’s global profile. The championship will take place from November 5-13 and will mark the first-ever ISA event to be held in a Pacific Island nation.

The 2017 event will be the sixth edition of the championship since its inception and the first time it has been held in Europe. Peru staged the first two editions in 2012 and 2013, while the 2014 and 2015 editions were held in Nicaragua and Mexico respectively.

ISA president Fernando Aguerre said: “We are excited to partner with our friends from Denmark whose commitment and enthusiasm for SUP is a testimony to the global growth and development of this key ISA discipline. With our 2016 Championship in Fiji this November followed by Denmark next year, SUP and Paddleboard are becoming more and more universal.

“As the world governing authority for SUP and Paddleboard, we are working every day to foster the worldwide development and growth of these disciplines. Following the inclusion of SUP Racing and SUP Surfing in the 2019 Pan Am Games in Lima, bringing this competition to Denmark and Europe will provide another outstanding platform to showcase the elite athletes competing in a world-class event, raising the global profile of the sport. “

The announcement comes after it was confirmed earlier this month that surfing would feature at a summer Olympics for the first time at the 2020 Games in Tokyo, Japan. Aguerre said the International Olympic Committee's decision would act as a “game-changing moment for surfing,” with 20 men and 20 women set to compete in the sport in Tokyo. The IOC also confirmed that baseball/softball, karate, skateboarding and sport climbing would feature at the Games in four years’ time.