Whilst most of our attention has been focused on the SUP racing scene action over in Europe & North America, there is a SUP outpost in Asia that has seen the stoke of paddleboarding erupting! Germany’s Sonni Hönsheid & Hungary’s Daniel Hasulyo headed east to take part at the fun and rapidly growing Taiwan Paddle Games, hosted by Starboard Taiwan. Both dream team riders made a great weekend of it and got the local paddlers stoked on everything Paddleboarding from autograph signing sessions to mixing it up in the fun amateur 3km race before getting serious in Sunday’s main event – the Elite 12km Technical beach race, where both riders took first place in their respective race categories.
“We triumphed in Taiwan again! The atmosphere, the energy on the beach and the race course were once again simply outstanding! The passion for both the sport and the Tiki was just incredible here!
Maggie, Ricky and their entire crew have welcomed us like family and for 2 days run a show that can only be complimented!
The extremely fun Tiki Challenge, an ultra-competitive Starship Battle and the actual Distance Races were all packed with participants (double number since the year before) and it was very nice to see the rising level of paddling of the entire Taiwanese SUP community!»
~ Daniel Hasulyo
“It’s my first time in Taiwan, this is such a beautiful country, people are really welcoming and there’s a lot off the excitement for water sports!! The Taiwan Paddle games were super well organized, very professional. This event has the potential to become a world-class event!! From the Starship to the kids’ races, it was a full weekend racing, laughs and good times! The Long distance was quite challenging as the wind picked up and there was current so I’m really happy to be able to win this race. Congratulations to all the competitors, see you next year!”
~ Sonni Hönsheid
«From my side, the focus was on the 12km long distance race, where most of Asia’s TOP paddlers showed up to the battle. There was a solid crew from HongKong lead by 2017 ICF World Champion Him Wong, young gun Jack Seymour and 2018 HK SUP Champion Alan Ng, while also our Starboard Team Rider Glenn from the UK lined up at the START and pulled off a podium finish! I was very happy to make the best out of the conditions and created a solid gap to the field, the course had a bit of everything, upwind, sidewind, little waves from all over and lots of currents! It was definitely a «technical» and certainly not an easy course! I was very happy with all the results, with a special shout out to all the ladies and Sonni and Aom for their 1st and 3rd finish!
Overall I think Taiwan has the most exciting SUP development of Asia and I’m really happy to see the insane enthusiasm around the sport!
Massive thanks to my girlfriend, Sai, for taking amazing pictures, Starboard SUP Taiwan for putting on the great event and a big round of applause to all the finishers!“
~ Daniel Hasulyo
«What a weekend great weekend at the Taiwan Paddle Games. Big smiles, good times, hard racing and I enjoying this amazing place! Thank you, Maggie, Ricky all the team and friends for this beautiful event! This is definitely one to mark in your calendar for next year!»
~ Sonni Hönsheid
«…and I discovered my passion for Starship racing, haha!!»
Pic credits: Sai Nepaka