SA third at SUP & Paddleboard Champs

28 February 2012

South Africa finished third out of 17 nations at the inaugural International Surfing Assocaition (ISA) World Stand Up Paddle (SUP) and Paddleboard Championships in Lima, Peru on the weekend.

The first International Surfing Association (ISA) sanctioned World Championships to feature the long standing watersport disciplines of stand up paddle and paddleboarding was hosted by the legendary Waikiki Club in the coastal suburb of Miraflores and was a resounding success, with everyone from the hosts to the competitors and their management enthusiastically endorsing every aspect of the event.


South Africans won medals in seven of the 10 individual categories, plus the team relay and the overall team standings.

Anna Notten, a 19-year-old University of Cape Town student, was Team South Africa's star, earning silver medals in both the short (5Km) and marathon (18Km) women’s Paddleboard races. Notten, who is a member of both the Fish Hoek Lifesaving and Peninsula Canoe clubs, had never paddled even half the distance of the marathon race before, citing a problem with sharks in the ocean around the Peninsula as a deterrent to training over long distances.

"Dead, I've never been so dead in my life," Notten said immediately after crossing the finish line in the marathon race. "I caught the wave in and my arms ... I couldn't even barely catch the wave; my whole body is shaking.


"I've never paddled this far in my life," Notten said. "I've never paddled half that far in my life. But coming in hearing the vuvuzelas is the most amazing feeling.

"(Heading into the event) I trained with my lifesaving friends, around the cans (buoys), but when they did long distance ski, I would do it on a board with them because we've got all of the sharks (in South Africa)," she continued. "I can't really train by myself in the middle of the ocean, so, it's quite difficult."

Notten also participated in Team SA's bronze medal effort in the Team Relay and her results contributed significantly to South Africa's points tally in the team standings.

Bridgette van Aswegan collected a bronze medal in the women's marathon SUP race and a copper medal for fourth in the women's technical (short course) SUP race.

Two medals

Ryan Butcher also garnered two medals in the men's paddleboard disciplines, earning a bronze in the short race and a copper in the marathon, while teammate Donald Brierley was unlucky to finish just outside the medals after he placed fifth in both races.

Former SA junior surfing star Penny Stemmet showed her wave-riding skills by taking a bronze medal in the women's SUP surfing final. SA longboard surfing champion Justin Bing ended ninth in the men's SUP surfing category, with SA SUP champion Ivan van Vuuren finishing 11th overall.

The Bertish brothers, Chris and Greg, placed 12th and 16th respectively in the marathon SUP race, and ninth and 20th in the technical SUP race.


South Africa's relay team, comprising Notten, Van Aswegan, Butcher and the Bertish brothers came in third, earning the bronze medal, which added 730 points to the team's tally.

Australia was far and away the leading team in all aspects of the inaugural ISA World Sup & Paddleboard Championships and cruised to victory in the team event ahead of Team USA and South Africa. They claimed seven gold medals and eight silvers, while the USA collected four golds and France one.

All the results from the ISA World Standup Paddle (SUP) and Paddleboard Championships, along with images and video footage of the action, can be found at 2012 ISA World Stand Up Paddle and Paddleboard Championships.


    1. Australia - 25 520
    2. USA - 18 860
    3. South Africa - 16 750
    4. Spain - 14 096
    5. Peru - 13 561
    6. Argentina - 12 562
    7. Brazil - 12 279
    8. France - 7 646
    9. Venezuela - 7 054
    10. Chile - 6 822
    11. Ireland - 5 015
    12. Great Britain - 4 976
    13. Mexico - 4 906
    14. Switzerland - 4 520
    15. New Zealand - 2 680
    16. Italy - 2 386
    17. Austria - 340

SAinfo reporter

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Team South Africa celebrates third place at the inaugural ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championships by blowing vuvuzelas on the podium during the closing ceremony in Lima, Peru, on Saturday (Photo: Michael Tweddle, International Surfing Association)

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