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India Paddle Festival to Showcase World’s Best Stand-Up Paddlers in Mangalore

Mangalore: The picturesque Sasihithulu beach in Mangalore is all set to host the country’s first-ever International Stand-Up Paddling event, the India Paddle Festival, from March 8th to 10th, 2024. This three-day extravaganza will feature the world’s best Stand-Up Paddlers, including the Spanish duo of Fernando Perez (Men’s World No. 2) and Esperanza Barreras (Women’s World No. 2), along with reigning SUP Junior Champion Bianca Toncelli and national champion Sekar Patchai.

Sanctioned by The Association of PaddleSurf Professionals World Tour (APP), the India Paddle Festival will bring together 45 stand-up paddlers from around the world to compete in four categories – Men’s Open, Women’s Open, Junior U-16 Boys, and Girls. The event is organized by the Surfing Swami Foundation and presented by the Karnataka Government.

Bollywood celebrity Sunil Shetty has joined as the Ambassador for the India Paddle Festival, expressing his enthusiasm for bringing the fastest-growing water sport to the shores of India. The event has garnered strong support from top athletes like Indian cricketer KL Rahul and reigning men’s doubles badminton world No. 1 Chirag Shetty.

The inaugural event promises a mix of sports, culture, and entertainment, offering a unique blend of competition and festivities. The India Paddle Festival aims to showcase Mangalore as a prime destination for water sports, with the pristine Sasihithulu beach providing an ideal setting for the competition.

Mr. Tristan Boxford, CEO of APP World Tour, expressed his excitement about India’s potential as a significant growth market for Stand-Up Paddling. He highlighted the global participation, with athletes coming from Denmark, Hungary, Spain, Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, and more. World-class paddlers like Christian Anderson from Denmark and Spain’s Fernando Perez and Esperanza Barreras will be competing, making the event a truly international affair.

Day 1 of the festival will kick off with a Yoga session and a Community/Pro SUP Paddle session. The main event on the same day will feature the Juniors Race in the evening. The festival will also include a film festival with screenings of “It Is This,” “In Search of the Storm,” and “Powerstar” on all three days. Day 2 will see the heats and finals of the technical races for both men and women, while the final day will feature the main attraction – the sprint races along with the finals of the community race.

The India Paddle Festival marks the entry of the APP World Tour into India, and it is expected to pave the way for the sport’s growth in the region in the coming years. Karnataka Tourism presents the event, and it is poised to be a significant milestone in the world of Stand-Up Paddling.

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