Get ready for the Gorge! This year’s 2019 SIC Gorge Challenge promises to bring all the excitement and action of a world class stand up paddle racing event. With something for everyone, from Pro to Youth divisions, it is a fun-filled family weekend in Hood River, OR on August 16-19th, 2019. Here are the deets.
SIC Gorge Paddle Challenge: Most Competitive SUP Race in the World
Hood River, OR— The 9th Annual SIC Gorge Paddle Challenge returns to the Hood River Waterfront Park on August 16-19th, 2019 for back-to-back action packed days of stand up paddle board (SUP) racing, plus the first ever Kids’ Event featuring instruction and inspiration from the leading Pro racers in the field.
Called the Most Competitive SUP Race in the World for 2018, the SIC Gorge Paddle Challenge challenges athletes from across the globe to compete for $18,000 in prize money. Previous competitors hale from far-off lands such as Australia, France, Japan, New Caledonia, Tahiti, Hawaii, as well as throughout the US and Canada.
2 Days of Dynamic Competition including a New Kids Event
The SIC Gorge Paddle Challenge hosts two full days of exciting competition, including events for all ages and different racing classes. This year, the Gorge Paddle Challenge will also feature a special Kids Event on Friday, August 16. The Kids Event, all-inclusive for ages 6 and up, will be held from 2-4PM and will feature instruction from professional SUP athletes, including Hood River’s own Fiona Wylde. All levels are welcome, including first-timers.
“We are excited to introduce more kids to the sport of Standup Paddling, and we feel fortunate to be able to offer this event for 2019,” says Erin Gates, a partner in the SIC Gorge Paddle Challenge.
The weekend will feature two days of SUP racing including the Downwind Race and the Course Race. The Downwind and iconic Downwind Double Down race (2 back-to-back downwinders) are the highlight of the event for most competitors. It includes an 8-mile downwind run from Viento to Hood River, thought to be one of the most exciting downwind runs anywhere in the world. The SIC Gorge Paddle Challenge offers multiple race classes for the event, including SUP Foils, OC-1, OC-2, and Surf Ski, as well as Open and Elite classes for SUP.
Beyond SUP Racing: Gorge Paddle Challenge hosts Music, Food, Vendors
For spectators, the course race is always exciting, with all of the action taking place in full view of the Hood River Waterfront Park. This year, the Course Race day will feature sprint-length course races and a Pro/Grom relay where the top SUP athletes in the world will team up with kids in a friendly race designed to build camaraderie and encourage teamwork.
More than just a race, the SIC Gorge Paddle Challenge is a festival featuring the event’s sponsors, who will be showcasing the latest gear. Sponsor booths are definitely worth checking out—this is a great chance to ask questions of the people behind the products and interact with the top brands in the industry.
In addition, the SIC Gorge Paddle Challenge features local food carts, a beer and wine garden, live announcing throughout the event, and live music on Saturday from 5-7 pm. The event will kick off each morning with yoga classes that are also open to the public.
Come Early, Stay for the Downwind Double Down Challenge
Other activities planned for the days leading up to the event include Sponsor Spotlight happy hours and downwind shuttles, as well as the Kickstand Kickoff party on Friday, August 16, at Kickstand Coffee and Kitchen, with live music and no-host bar and food. Anyone is welcome and encouraged to attend these events.
The SIC Gorge Paddle Challenge welcomes athletes, enthusiasts, and families alike to participate in a fun-filled weekend of competition and entertainment.
“This year promises to be full of fun for the whole family,” says Gates, “so plan your trip now for the 2019 SIC Gorge Paddle Challenge!”
For more information and to register for the event, please visit www.gorgepaddlechallenge.com
For frequent updates, follow the Gorge Paddle Challenge on Instagram and Facebook.