The International Surfing Association (ISA) has awarded hosting rights to its World StandUp Paddle (SUP) and Paddleboard Championship to Fiji in its latest effort to enhance the sport’s global profile.
The championship will take place in the country from November 5-13. It will mark the first time an ISA event has been held in a Pacific Island nation.
“SUP surfing and racing are growing exponentially both as competitive sports and as recreational activities,” ISA president Fernando Aguerre said. “We’re always looking to take our international competitions to new territories to help share our unique values and boost the popularity of the sport.”
The 2016 World SUP and Paddleboard Championship will be the fifth edition of the event since its inception. Peru staged the first two editions in 2012 and 2013, before Nicaragua and Mexico played host in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
The championship is ever expanding, with 27 national teams and 260 athletes competing at last year’s event – a significant increase from the inaugural edition in 2012, which featured 17 nations and 105 athletes.
ISA’s campaigning has led to SUP racing’s inclusion at the 2019 Pan American Games in the Peruvian capital of Lima, and at the first-ever World Beach Games in San Diego, USA next year. Organisers of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan also recommended last year that surfing be included on the programme of events at the multi-sport showpiece.