Thursday, 30 March 2017
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Portugal’s First Stand Up Paddleboard Festival - April 7th, 8th & 9thStand Up Paddleboarding, better known as SUP, is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. All types of people from 5 to 80 year olds are enjoying this amazing pastime.

Nick Robinson owner of Algarve SUP was one of the first companies to popularize the sport in Southern Portugal. Now in his 3rd year of business he has taken hundreds of guests along the stunning Algarve coastline. He enjoys adventure and was the first person to stand up paddle the breadth of the Algarve from Sagres to the Spanish border, following that up with a 260km paddle through central Portugal in 2016.

In 2014 Nick founded the "Guadiana Challenge" and with a few friends set out to complete a 32km paddle from Mértola to Alcoutim. Three years on, Nick has partnered up with Tom Longhurst, who is a keen paddleboarder and owner of Algarve Marquees. Tom, no stranger to events was delighted to be asked to join the team in which Gustavo Lima from GL-Events & Business Network has been since 2016, and help Nick make this years event bigger than ever.

"We're really trying to promote the sport so anyone can come along and try a board on Saturday and Sunday at the quay in Mértola," mentioned Nick. "It's such an easy sport to learn and the health benefits are tremendous! There will be the widest variety of boards to try for free. It's your chance to try out SUPing for the first time, as there will be experienced instructors on hand to show you how."
There will be great food on the riverside, festival music, chill out bar with campfires, free camping and a huge waterslide into the river.

Sunday 9th April is a chance to meet surf and paddle legends: Andrew Cotton, world famous big wave surfer, Spike Reid, SUP Explorer extraordinaire (he’s just paddled 3,000 km down the Ganges River in India!) and Kiko Matthews who will be demonstrating her training to row the Atlantic. There will also be a SUP race clinic with world rated paddleboard professional, Leonard Nika and an opportunity to meet the WSA (Water Skills Academy). You can find out how to become a SUP instructor from them.

The race itself is split into three main categories: a 32km race, the main event (which is the 32km paddle from Mértola to Alcoutim) and for a family adventure or a novice we have a 10km fun paddle.

Find out more, or sign up at www.guadianachallenge.com.