(SAN CLEMENTE, CALIF.) — Standup paddling’s finest athletes and filmmakers came together for one of the most memorable nights in the sport’s history, the 2013 SUP Awards presented by Body Glove. With hundreds of guests packing the Historic Casino in San Clemente, Calif., SUP Magazine and industry pros celebrated the top male and female paddlers, expeditions, philanthropic efforts and films of 2013.
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Host Dave Boehne got the crowd amped as New Zealand’s Annabel Anderson was awarded the ultimate honor, Female Paddler of the Year, while Kai Lenny of Maui also recieved top honors as Male Paddler of the Year.
“There’s insane talent in this room,” Anderson said.
“I’m really happy,” said Lenny. “For me, standup paddling has turned into something really special. I’m so lucky to travel around the world and see all these amazing places and meet amazing people… I’ve had a great year.”
Also receiving commendation for their athletic achievements in standup paddling were Nicole Pacelli of Brazil and 2012 Female Paddler of the Year, Candice Appleby, who were voted second and third in the women’s category, as well as Maui’s Slater Trout and 2012 Male Paddler of the Year, Connor Baxter, who came in second and third respectively on the men’s side.
“Last year I don’t think I fully appreciated this because I was so focused on the following weekend… To get this award feels pretty good. Thank you to my competitors,” Appleby said.
“I’m really happy!” said Pacelli of being voted #2 Female Paddler.
“I’m so stoked for this whole week,” said Connor Baxter. “It’s been such a good time in Cali.”
“It means everything to me,” said Trout. “Tonight is really special. It’s another year for the books.”
Recognizing the young rippers in the world of SUP, Florida’s Izzi Gomez was voted Female Rookie of the Year, while Mo Freitas of Hawaii took home Male Rookie of the Year.
“This is pretty cool,” said Gomez. “I’m super excited.”
“I just want to thank everyone,” Freitas said. “Seeing all the boys come up here last year, I thought ‘I want to go up there’.”
After the incredible wins at last year’s Battle of the Paddle (BOP), the newly crowned Female Paddler of the Year, Annabel Anderson, was awarded Female Performance of the Year, alongside Danny Ching, who was honored with Male Performance of the Year.
“Last year, it was a dream come true— I think I was in disbelief when I got to the finish line,” Anderson said. “That was just one performance….I think this is just the beginning.”
Justin Riney’s XF500 circumnavigation of Florida took home the Top Expedition award, while SEA Paddle NYC was named Top Philanthropic Effort for its strong support of multiple autism charities as well as the Hurricane Sandy Relief effort. Nicholas Teichrob’s and Anthony Bonello’s film, “STAND,” was given top honors as well, winning Movie of the Year.
“It’s not about paddling, it’s about the responsibility we have as watermen and waterwomen,” said Riney. “I’m so grateful to be up here today.”
“It makes me really proud to be part of this community,” said SEA Paddle NYC’s Richard Lee.
All eyes and ears were focused on legendary waterman Laird Hamilton, who was presented with the SUP magazine Lifetime Achievement Award for his incredible impact on the sport. Hamilton’s help progressing standup paddling is unprecedented, as he was instrumental in the pioneering and promotion of the sport. The 2013 SUP Awards featured an awe-inspiring display of talent and was an historic evening for standup paddling.
“The energy in this room is what drives the sport,” said Hamilton.
CLICK HERE for more on the 2013 SUP Awards presented by Body Glove.
SUP magazine would also like to thank the Payette River Games, Futures Fins, Kona Brewing, Natural Vines and Kru Vodka.
For more information, visit: SUPtheMag.com