From November 15th – 19th the stand-up paddler elite gathers in Pattaya, Thailand for the ICF Stand-Up Paddling World Championships 2023.
Noic Garioud (FRA) and Seychelle Webster (USA) win the world title in the sprint discipline
The annual event of the International Canoe Federation, was first held in 2019. With nearly 900 entries from 52 nations, this is the largest competition so far.
Two years after he wrested the ICF SUP sprint world title crown off American Connor Baxter for the first time, Noic Garrioud is back on top of the podium, once again turning the tables on the American. Last year in Poland, Garioud was unable to defend his crown, losing to Baxter, but now he shows he is back to his best. After undergoing two operations on a troublesome knee, he storms home over the 200-metre course to defeat Baxter, with Bulgaria’s Andrii Kraitor taking the bronze.
“I definitely wanted that title so bad, to be honest I don’t remember much of the final,” Garioud says. “My knee feels better, I can still feel it sometimes, but it’s good to be back on the podium and in first place for sure. I’m more relaxed now that I have my title, so I’ll definitely give it 100 percent for the distance and the technical races.”.
American Seychelle Webster makes her ICF world titles debut in Thailand, after taking two years off from the sport for the birth of her first child. She won an ICF world cup gold in Florida earlier this year, and then carries that form into Thursday’s final. For her it was never certain that she would return to the top level of racing.
“But I know that this is my calling, this is where I am meant to be. This is what I can’t not do, this is where I feel exactly where I have to be, paddling and sharing this sport and this life with the world“ Webster says. “You don’t have much time to yourself, and definitely not to train, so I’m training less than I ever have and performing even better. So there’s something magical that happens when you become a mother. We’re really limitless, everyone is, and I think mothers tap into that.”
Argentina’s Juliette Duhaime took the silver, and South Africa’s Tarryn King celebrated her return to the ICF world championships by grabbing the bronze.