The first ever Weymouth Ecover Blue Mile proved a resounding success over the weekend of 27-28 July, with an amazing 482 people taking part in Naish SUP and Fatyak Kayak races and free taster sessions.
The event – held at the Olympic 2012 water sports venue – included the UK’s first ever Naish One SUP Race Series.
Naish UK put up £1,000 in prize money for a series of races, in which all riders used the Naish One 12‘6” board. The series includes an intermediate race (400m), sprint races (100m), and a 1,500m course – the Ecover Blue Mile.
Overall winner for the Naish series on both Saturday and Sunday was Stuart Appleby, while the first woman was Claire Cumming. Winners of the male and female U-18 series were Tom Wells and 14-year-old Lily Young, who is putting her prize money towards a trailer for her water sports gear!
Alongside the racing, hundreds of people – many of them young children – tried out kayak and SUP in free taster sessions run by the Ecover Blue Mile, with trained instructors from Canoe England and Weymouth College.
Participants were asked to make a donation to the Ecover Blue Mile’s charity partner, the Marine Conservation Society and in total raised £467.11 to help protect our seas shores and wildlife.
Conrad Humphreys of Sport Environment, who organise the Ecover Blue Mile, said: “This was our first Ecover Blue Mile in Weymouth and it was an amazing success. The venue, the crowds, the participants and the enthusiastic welcome we received in Weymouth made the whole weekend a fantastic experience.”
Steve Davies, Promotions and Events Manager at Weymouth and Portland Borough Council said: “Over 2,500 people came onto the site on Saturday and Sunday and all of the sporting activities – on land and on water – were very busy for the two days. It’s been a great success.”
Alex Tobutt, representative of Naish UK, said the weekend had introduced SUP to brand new enthusiasts: “The really nice thing was that the SUP racing wasn’t elitist; anyone could take part.
“We had people of all ages and experience and some people had never done it before – and all of them were able to do it. Another great thing was that although everyone was competing, they were also helping each other and supporting each other.
“A lot of people talked about getting involved and asked about other events.
“The other nice part about the event was that we had a lot of spectators watching and cheering and some had never seen SUP before.
“Weymouth was a perfect venue; it’s sheltered and safe which makes it accessible. To get 440 people through taster sessions in a controlled environment is unheard of to be honest, so that was brilliant.”
Overall winner Stuart Appleby from Weymouth said the format was a winner: “There was good competition at the front of the races but everyone could have a go, which is what I really liked about it. And because we all had the same board, it was a level playing field.
“I’ve been doing SUP for a year or so and this is the first SUP race I’ve done. I loved getting out on the water and the whole day was good fun.”
The next Ecover Blue Mile, featuring Naish SUP and Fatyak Kayak races, Aquatriathlon, Corporate Team Event and a one-mile timed open water swim is in Plymouth, 14-15 September.
|Class & Ranking||Sat 27th July||Sun 28th July|
|Naish One SUP Race Series|
|Overall 1st Place||Stuart Appleby||Stuart Appleby|
|Overall 2nd Place||Alex Hopson||Adam Stiling|
|Overall 3rd Place||Brad Petrus||Uilleam Littleboy|
|1st Female Over 18||Claire Cumming||Claire Cumming|
|1st Male Under 18||Tom Wells||Tom Wells|
|1st Female Under 18||Lily Young||Lily Young|
|Ecover Blue Mile – Fayak Kayak Class|
|1st Overall||Tim Ellis||Stefan Halama