Latest Trending News

Spain’s Antonio Morillo Triumphs in Thrilling Finish at India Paddle Festival

Mangalore: The inaugural India Paddle Festival witnessed an electrifying finish in the Men’s Open category of the Long Distance Technical SUP race, keeping spectators on the edge of their seats. Spain’s Antonio Morillo clinched the championship in a closely contested battle, with Denmark’s Christian Andersen securing second place, and top seed Fernando Perez from Spain finishing third. The Women’s Open category saw Spain’s Esperanza Barreras emerge victorious, followed by Thailand’s Irin in second place, and Italy’s Bianca Toncelli securing third.

Hosted at Sasihithlu Beach, Mangalore, from March 8-10, 2024, the three-day SUP event is India’s first-ever International SUP championship. The event, presented by the Karnataka Government and organized by Surfing Swami Foundation, is sanctioned by the Association of PaddleSurf Professionals World Tour (APP).

Day 2 kicked off with the heats of the SUP Technical Long Distance (10 kms) race for the Men’s Open category. Out of 20 athletes in two heats, 10 advanced to the finals, including Indian participants Sekar Patchai and Manikandan D. The day concluded with the thrilling finals of the SUP Technical Long Distance race for both Men’s and Women’s Open categories.

In the Women’s Open category, world no. 2 Esperanza Barreras claimed victory with a timing of 59:38 minutes. Irin N from Thailand secured second place (1:05:23 hrs), and Bianca Toncelli from Italy finished third (1:08:21 hrs).

The Men’s Open category’s highlight was the intense competition in the Long Distance Technical race, with Antonio Morillo clinching the title with a time of 56:59 minutes. Christian Andersen secured second place with a mere second and a half difference (57:00.151 minutes), and Fernando Perez finished third with a time of 57:28 minutes.

Antonio Morillo, reflecting on his win, said, “It was one of my best races under challenging conditions, and I am glad I could finish at the top in such a close contest. I am very impressed with the Indian stand-up paddlers and am confident they will compete at the international level soon.”

Esperanza Barreras, expressing her happiness after winning, remarked, “I am super happy to win the title at the India Paddle Festival. This is my first time in India, and I’m very impressed with the conditions here in Mangalore. The competition was strong, and the Indian girls have a lot of potential and are very competitive in nature.”

National Champion Sekar Patchai, after finishing fifth, said, “It was a great experience racing against the world’s best. We learned a lot from them in terms of techniques. I am hopeful that more such international competitions should be held in India throughout the year for us to have real-time competitive experience.”

The final day of the India Paddle Festival will feature the community race final starting at 10:00 am, followed by the Women’s Sprints at 11:00 am and the Men’s Sprint at 2:00 pm. The closing ceremony will take place at 5:00 pm.

The Association of PaddleSurf Professionals World Tour (APP) marked its entry into India with the country’s first-ever International Stand-Up Paddling championship. The India Paddle Festival is the initial step in the organization’s journey to promote the sport’s growth in the region over the coming years. Presented by Karnataka Tourism and organized by the Surfing Swami Foundation, the India Paddle Festival welcomes top athletes from the APP World Tour and aspiring professionals from the region.

Comments are closed.