Daniel Hasulyo wins his 4th Singapore Ocean Cup Champion title — and what a day to remember. The Hungarian Dream Team rider jetted to Singapore for the annual Singapore Ocean Cup, and did SUP clinics with the enthusiastic local SUP crew, hosted by Aloha Sea Sports.
Daniel breaks down this challenging but exciting SUP (and multicraft) race on Sentosa Island, Singapore;
“The 2023 edition of the Singapore Ocean Cup was once again a great celebration of ocean paddling sports, with paddlers coming together from all over the world to battle it out in many different categories. Outrigger Canoes (OC6, Doubles, Singles, Men/Women/ Mix), Surf-skies and SUPs tackled insane heat, humidity, currents and storms over 2 days of pure passion-driven paddling.
On Day 1, I had the honour to be invited to join the OC6 Mixed Kiwi Team, and furthermore to be seated in seat #3 to help the crew in the Plate Final. The last time I paddled an OC6 was in 2017, when I almost passed out during the 18km long course, this time I was very happy to be able to add to the power of the team and keep our boat fighting all the way till the finish line, coming in 2nd just a few boat lengths behind the the Six Peas team, on the 10km course. There is something magical about the power and synchronicity of an OC6 once it gets into motion and it was a real experience to line up with all the boats and crews at the start line, as it did really feel we were going to battle.
Day 2 was all about SUP for me. To leave space for all local paddlers and over seas participants to shine, as now a tradition, I only paddle the LongDistance course where I can really bring an extra gear to the race and push myself to the limits, in some of the gnarliest currents and weather conditions available around the World. This year’s 14.5km distance course did not disappoint once again. All single crafts left the beautiful beaches of Sentosa with solid sunshine and heat above 35*C, but with dark clouds bubbling up behind, there was definitely tension in the air. With the changing tides, I knew that every minute counted, because the longer you stayed out in the channel the stronger the currents would become.
So as soon the horn blew I shot out with a strong pace, leaving the 2 strongest Indonesian paddlers, Lukas and Nando behind, heading out to round the Southern Islands. Despite heavy boat traffic, I crossed the Singapore Channel without any issues, but about halfway through the massive storm reaching from behind sucked out the air from the bay and all of a sudden it felt like we were paddling without air with suffocating pressure making every stroke a battle.
As we turned the 2nd Island and turned back towards the Singaporean Skyline, the city was swallowed by darkness and thunders, but with too many paddlers scattered around the course, the decision was made and they let us paddle the whole race. All of a sudden cold wind began to blow and with thunders and lightning striking almost every minute it felt like paddling into the end of the World. I managed to paddle across the channel before the sky fell on us, just in time, and as with the lead paddlers of the OC1s and SurfSkies we hugged the coastline again a very thick rain shower covered the whole city, giving an extra spooky atmosphere to the race, and the final kilometres.
I honestly love paddling in extreme conditions like this and the rain came just at the right moment giving extra freshness to muscles and body, so I paddled in for the victory with a big smile but I could imagine some of the other paddlers suffering the conditions as behind us currents where getting stronger and the visibility was not secured anymore. Luckily everyone made it back safe and only a few paddlers had to be collected as they didn’t make the cut-off times at the security points with enough safety boats patrolling the course, we were allowed to paddle one of the most entertaining and enduring events of the year.
Special shout out to P’Aom, for taking home the Victory on the Woman’s SUP Long Distance Course the day before, proving to be one of the strongest Asian Woman paddlers at the moment.
Also would like to express my gratitude to Mr. Loh for allowing me to use Aloha Sea Sports center for my own trainings over the week and the 4 day Pro Workshop that I conducted with the best Singaporean Paddlers in preparation for ICF, and Mike and Sandy for welcoming us like family, every time, but especially at the end of this 3week+ Asian Tour.
Still, one of my favourite events on the calendar, looking forward to the 2024 edition! Now all focus on the big one coming up in a few weeks time!
Keep on charging,