BSUPA National Stand Up Paddle Champions Crowned

Cold and Bleak at Newgale

The weather was against the final event of the BSUPA series, but despite the 20 knot onshore winds the distance race went ahead on saturday. John Hibbard had a fight on his hands on the first two legs battling against the strong onshore wind, Chris "Guts" Griffiths and Mark Slater had managed to get ahead of him, but after rounding the final bouy and with now on a downwinder John’s fitness and his new board helped him pick up the rolling swells and catch up the Mark and Chris and claim first place. This cemented John’s season with three first place wins (Gwithian, Isle of Wight and Newgale) making him the first BSUPA National Distance Champion.

The surf started to pick up and the decision was made to run a non-counting expression session, as the waves were small wind swell. Neal Gent surfed hard and managed to win the expression session.

The next day the wind had increased to over 30knots and despite two recce parties checking out other more sheltered breaks no ridable waves were found. The contest director, Simon Bassett, made the decision to pull the contest, this mean’t that the totals of the last two wave contests would be used to determine the overall winner (Gwithian and the Isle Of Wight). It was a close run season, but Neal Gent came first, with John Hibbard second and Scott Gardiner third.

The competitors retreated to a local pub as the wind had really started to crank, to award the prizes, sponsored by us here at

The Trophies
The Trophies sponsored by

Neal commented "The one I really wanted to get was the surfing Champion for stand up paddling so I am really pleased, its been a really good year battling with John (Hibbard), I hope that next year the events will be bigger and we get better waves !"

Neal Gent
Neal Gent – BSUPA Surf Champion 2008

Photo Credit : Jon Parker Photography

John added "its really good to be the first National Stand Up Paddle Distance racing champion in the UK, I think that at the start of the year nobody knew if this format would work, but it ended up being an extremly competitive discipline. Its great to do something that the result is black and white !"

John Hibbard
John Hibbard National Distance Champion 2008

Photo Credit : Jon Parker Photography

The BSUPA Champions
Matt Argyle, Scott Gardiner, Holly Bassett, John Hibbard, Neal Gent, Claire Blacklock, Mark Slater, Simon Bassett

Photo Credit : Jon Parker Photography

The final points were added up and the BSUPA National Champions, sponsored by are :

Stand Up Paddle Surfing Open Mens :

1st Neal Gent (GONG, FatFace, 2XS)
2nd John Hibbard (Starboard, Fatface)
3rd Scott Gardner (SouthPoint)

Stand Up Paddle Surfing Womens :

1st Claire Blacklock

Stand Up Paddle Surfing Juniors :

1st Bobby Cooper (GONG)
2nd Holly Bassett

Stand Up Paddle Distance Mens:

1st John Hibbard (Starboard, Fatface)
2nd Neal Gent (GONG, FatFace, 2XS)
3rd Mark Slater (Jimmy Lewis)

Stand Up Paddle Distance Womens :

1st Claire Blacklock

Stand Up Paddle Distance Juniors :

1st Bobby Cooper (GONG)
2nd Holly Bassett

The Results for the whole 2008 season are available here :

British Stand Up Paddle Association National Championship Results 2008