The International Canoe Federation and the Chinese Canoe Association announced they will host the ICF Stand Up Paddling World Championships in October, boasting prize money of $50,000 USD.
The world championships will be staged at Qingdao, on China’s Yellow Sea coast, from October 24-27. Qingdao was the venue for the sailing competition at the 2008 Olympic Games.
And in an extra coup for the ICF, the organisers of the highly successful Beijing 2008 sailing competition will work with the canoeing federation on the preparation and the running of the ICF SUP World Championships.
“This is a very important development for us, because organising a SUP World Championships requires considerable logistical planning,” ICF President, Jose Perurena, said.
“This partnership will ensure everything that is needed to make our world championships a success, including boat transport, accommodation, meals and athlete well-being, will be handled by experienced and professional personnel.”
Perurena said the professionalism of the event together with generous prizemoney will attract top-class athletes from around the globe.
“Last year athletes expressed their disappointment and frustration when, due to circumstances outside our control, we were forced to cancel our SUP World Championships in Portugal,” he said.
“We promised we would be back in 2019, and today we can announce we will deliver on our promise. The 2019 ICF SUP World Championships in China is set to be an event to remember.
“The Chinese Canoe Association is very enthusiastic, the location is a former Olympic venue and will be fantastic, and the athletes are going to see once again the ICF’s commitment to stand up paddling.”
The ICF SUP World Championships will be part of a busy three weeks for the canoeing community in China, with the country also hosting the ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships and a dragon boat world cup.
“Canoeing across all disciplines is growing strongly throughout China, which is fantastic for the sport and a great reflection on the commitment and drive of the Chinese Canoe Association,” Perurena said.
The 2018 ICF SUP World Championships in Portugal were cancelled at the last minute after a local court challenge backed by the International Surfing Association.
Because of the lateness of the court decision, the ICF decided not to challenge the verdict and to instead focus its attention on hosting a very successful 2019 World Championships.
“The SUP community told us they were very angry and frustrated that they had been denied the chance to compete at such a big, important event because of a court challenge,” Mr Perurena said. “We are confident the 2019 World Championships will withstand any attempt to thwart the event.”