Dream Team rider Daniel Hasulyo heads east to Jiangle, Fujian Province to see what is happening on the Chinese SUP scene – and there is a lot happening! The SUP race scene has been booming for the last 3 years since ICF SUP World Champs took place there back in 2019.
Daniel won every event he took place in, but it wasn’t his race results that he was most excited about. He was blown away by the thriving paddleboard scene that is developing – both the rise in the number of paddlers taking part and level of the top athletes.
“China now is the number 2 strongest paddling nation in Asia and their racing seen is possibly one of the most alive that I have seen among many nations.”
The highlight event was the 16km Jiangle SUP & Canoe Marathon, which took place down the river in mixed craft. Daniel raced his All Star and the Lima race paddle. Here’s Daniel’s recount of the race;
“16kms of breathing scenarios and an intense pace through the gorges and misty mountains of Jiangle set the atmosphere for a big day of SUP and Canoe racing. The heavy rain didn’t do anything to dampen the mood of the close to 200 participants from paddling all day.
I was very happy to take 1st place in the 2023 China – Jiangle Canoe & SUP Marathon and represent Team Starboard on the podium at one of the most frenetic relays I have ever participated. The weather and rain couldn’t stop us all day, in the Team relay, 3 boys one and 1 girl randomly lucky-picked together, the race was made on 2 people Canoe, 1 Kayak, 1 SUP and a dragon SUP (4ppl) we absolutely smashed it!
So proud of our team we also had a Paddle for Glory Challenge where the top 4 kayakers of the distance race challenged the top 4 SUP athletes, in a Kayak-SUP-Canoe (big board boxing in case of tie) format, where I finished 3rd, as some of the kayakers were actually very good paddleboard paddlers as well – but I couldn’t say the same the other way around. I was happy to make it to the semifinal considering it was the first time I ever kayaked in a competition and in general. Very happy to have taken the win in the 16kms Marathon race. Beautiful course through the gorges of Jiangle, even though it was heavy rain I didn’t really feel it as the adrenaline was pumping full power!
Can’t wait for the next edition! Hope to see you there.”
~ Daniel Hasulyo
Here are some more photo hights from the weekend