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2014 SUP & Paddle Fest to commence late August

Karla Gilber © Whitmore/Surfing Queensland



SUP News 

The Gold Coast looks forward to SUP & paddle fest 

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 18 August, 2014 - As the 2014 Immerse SUP & Paddle Festival looms, former Ironwoman Champion Karla Gilbert (Palm Beach, QLD) has leapt into a rigid training regime to prepare for both Marathon and Technical races as she vies for one of two positions in the Queensland State SUP Team that will compete at the Australian Titles in Currumbin later this year.

The three-day Immerse SUP & Paddle Festival will also be held in and around Currumbin August 29th-31st and caters for SUP and Paddle disciplines in Marathon, technical sprint and SUP surfing.

After 10 years competing in the elite ranks of the Iron Woman series, the mother of two has now turned her competitive focus to SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard) Racing. Having recently returned from Hawaii, Gilbert has adapted her training to shorter courses.

“I’d been doing a lot of base work leading up to Hawaii where I did a 42 km downwind race from Maui to Molokai, so since I’ve been home I’ve been really working on my skills a bit and doing a lot of speed work to get ready for the bop race [technical sprint race],” said Gilbert.

The Immerse SUP marathon is 20km and has three course options based on wind, weather and swell conditions on the Gold Coast.

“I hope we get a northerly on the day and have a purely downwind race from Broadbeach to Currumbin, but the weather has been a bit funny this year so we will have to wait and see what happens on the day. It’s rare that you will ever get perfect conditions for a race like this one, so it’s just important to be really fit because it’s the same conditions for everyone,” Gilbert continued.

Gilbert will compete in the elite field of paddlers alongside Queensland’s fittest and best, however an 8km social race is also on offer for those looking to venture into marathon SUP racing.

“I think it’s awesome that there is a social race in the festival and it’s open to everyone, which is great to give people who aren’t quite up to paddling 20ks a goal to work towards and it’s great for the sport’s growth,” said Gilbert.

The three-day Immerse SUP & Paddle Festival will provide the exclusive qualification pathway for Queensland athletes aiming to compete at the 2014 Australian SUP Titles, which will also take place on the Gold Coast later this year, and subsequently the 2015 International Surfing Association (ISA) Paddleboard and SUP World Championships.

The Pathway:

1. 2014 Surfing Queensland Immerse SUP & Paddle Festival

2. 2014 Australian SUP Titles

3. 2015 International Surfing Association Paddleboard & SUP World Championships

The 2014 Immerse SUP and Paddle Festival is supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland as part of a growing calendar of sporting, cultural and regional events across the State.

Ben Whitmore

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