It’s been a fun year for GBSUP, both on and off the water.
We have had some exciting races at some epic locations and seen some significant changes behind the scenes.
Earlier in the year, we had to sadly say goodbye to Mark Price, who took a tough decision in stepping down from the helm of GBSUP due to personal reasons. Mark took on the GBSUP series back in 2017 and made it what it is today, so we can’t thank him enough for his efforts in shaping GBSUP. Adrian Soper and Sarah Thornely stepped in temporarily to ensure delivery of the 2021 season could be completed and remain the successful series it has become known for.
Whilst you have all been racing, the team has been working on a new strategy and approach for how GBSUP could move forward. Given the fantastic SUP family and community spirit we all feel, we took the next logical step to form GBSUP into an official Community Interest Company. Adrian initially brought in two additional people to create the new social enterprise, welcoming Philip Mather and Scott Warren to the board of directors. Our next move will be to restructure GBSUP and form a complete steering board with a focus on inclusivity, diversity, and growing the series.
Over the coming year, we will be working on several exciting new initiatives, including strengthening the Challenge Tour and Junior participation, bringing them both into the series.
We also have a specific ‘Race from a box’ project we are launching, focusing on a new regional feeder racing model to promote new paddlers into racing and take GBSUP to more places than ever before.
We have already made a couple of changes to the series. For 2022 we are no long differentiating the water type, for both the Distance and Technical events with a move to any water rather than a flat water or ocean series.
2021 was an exciting year for fundraising, late in the previous year we chose to support the RNLI and focus our activities on raising money and awareness to this amazing charity and at the time of writing this we had raised over £5000 for this awesome cause.