The International Canoe Federation believes next year’s stand up paddling world championships will be the best ever held, following a site visit to Balatonfured in Hungary.

The ICF joined members of the Hungarian Canoe Federation and local organisers on a tour of the venue for the 2021 world championships, and came away impressed by the enthusiasm and the professionalism of the team involved.

The championships will be held from June 18-20 on Lake Balaton, the largest lake in Central Europe, home of the famous Cross-Balaton Paddling festival, which regularly attracts thousands of paddlers to the Hungarian region every year.

“We were already excited to be heading to Hungary and to Lake Balaton next year for our ICF SUP world championships, and after this week’s site visit we are even more convinced next year’s event will be incredible,” ICF SUP coordinator, Hoichan Kwon, said.

“Hungary is rightly considered to be one of the world’s most powerful and enthusiastic canoe paddling nations, and our visit underlined why that is the case. Not only will the venue be spectacular, but the organisation will be first-class.

“Our world championships in China were already regarded as the best SUP world titles ever, and we believe next year’s will surpass even those. There is a sense of excitement building already, and we know the athletes can’t wait to get back out into international competition again.”

The 2021 world championships will once again utilise the latest cutting-edge technology which gave athletes, officials and viewers a level of coverage never before seen at a major SUP international.

There will be focus on environmental sustainability, and education will be a priority, with presentations on anti-doping and safeguarding during the event.

On the water, there will be world championships for sprint, distance and technical classes, and junior, open and masters’ categories. There will also be a race for inflatables as a way of encouraging those with less experience to give SUP a go.

Generous prizemoney will be on offer, and excellent accommodation and dining options will be available.

Excitement is building for a return to SUP competition, with more than 200 people from all over the globe joining world champions Connor Baxter and Fiona Wylde for an hour-long webinar session on the weekend.

The second webinar, featuring ICF SUP world champions Michael Booth and Sonni Honscheid, will take place on Wednesday.

Registrations for the seminar are still open and can be found here.

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