The Survivor SUP course
Jamie Michells new style of SUP racing has been given the final go ahead for this weekends Waikiki Paddle Festival on Oahu, Hawaii.
The all new format, dubbed 'Survivor SUP' is a combination of BOP and endurance racing, where competitors are knocked out if they don't perform well enough in their respective heats. All the heats will be run in a Le Mans style format with competitors running to their boards before beginning the water leg, and when they're finished they've got to ditch the boards and run back up the beach to finish.
That alone as a concept is pretty tried and tested though, so Jamie's added a new element to the classic. Instead of the race lengths being based on distance, the first heats are based on a 30 minute paddle and the final five heats are aimed at 15 minute heats. At the finish line competitors either qualify or get knocked out, with the ones who made the cut going straight back to the starting line for another round. Hence the name survivor SUP!
This won't be a race where competitors hold back and conserve energy until the end, they'll have to expend it all during the first heats or they'll be knocked out! The winner will be the waterman who has trained the hardest and has the most stamina on the day. A great concept if you ask us!
As you would expect, Jamie isn't the slightest bit nervous about the event, saying:
""It's time to change up the formula and I wanted to come up with something that was a mix of all of the best elements of the many racing formats I've competed in over the years. Plus I think it's important to keep the action close to shore and exciting for spectators and competitors alike."
All the Survivor SUP action, as well as the usual paddling events will kick off this weekend in Waikiki. We'll bring you some pics and a report when it's all done and dusted next week.