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Wednesday, April 17 2024
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Mangaluru

Mangalore to Host Inaugural India Paddle Festival

Mangalore to Host Inaugural India Paddle Festival
Photo Credit : Facebook

Mangaluru: Mangalore is gearing up to host the groundbreaking India Paddle Festival, commencing on Friday, March 8, 2024, marking a historic moment as the country’s premier International Stand-Up Paddling (SUP) event. The three-day extravaganza, sanctioned by the Association of PaddleSurf Professionals World Tour (APP), promises a dynamic fusion of athleticism, culture, and entertainment against the stunning backdrop of Sasihitlu Beach.

Leading the event is Bollywood icon Suniel Shetty, serving as the Ambassador and expressing fervor for introducing the “fastest-growing water sport” to Indian shores. Joining the cause as Goodwill Ambassadors are star Indian cricketer KL Rahul and badminton ace Chirag Shetty, emphasizing the significance of this championship in Mangalore, renowned for its affinity for water sports.

The impressive lineup of 45 international paddlers includes World No. 2 Spanish duo Fernando Perez and Esperanza Barreras, reigning SUP Junior Champion Bianca Toncelli, and national champion Sekar Patchai. Beyond showcasing top-tier athletes, the India Paddle Festival aims to elevate Mangalore’s status as a premier destination for surfing and water sports.

Tristan Boxford, CEO of APP World Tour, expresses excitement about India emerging as a key growth market for SUP, citing the picturesque Sasihitlu beach as an ideal venue. Athletes from Denmark, Hungary, Spain, Korea, Indonesia, and Thailand contribute to the international flair of the competition.

The festival’s kickoff will feature a Yoga session, followed by a Community/Pro SUP Paddle session on Day 1, leading to the Juniors Race in the evening. Day 2 will highlight technical races, culminating in the eagerly awaited sprint races and community race finals on the last day. The comprehensive schedule also includes a film festival, featuring ‘It Is This,’ ‘In Search of the Storm,’ and ‘Powerstar’ over the weekend.

Presented by the Karnataka Government and organized by the Surfing Swami Foundation, the India Paddle Festival signifies a pivotal moment for SUP enthusiasts in the region. Beyond positioning Mangalore as a global SUP hub, the championship lays the foundation for the growth of this water sport in India, underscored by the strategic entry of the APP World Tour into the country.

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