27 March 2024

A new race format and more entertainment is in store for what promises to be an exciting Lake Rocks Festival. 

The Austrian city of Villach is set to play host to the third edition of the annual Stand Up Paddling event that will run from May 9 to 12. 

It will be the second successive year that it will form part of the International Canoe Federation SUP World Ranking Event series. 

The beautiful Lake Faak and the Drau River that runs through Villach’s old town will stage a thrilling selection of races. 

Competition will begin on May 9 when paddlers ranging from beginners to top athletes will participate in the much-anticipated city race. 

The newest addition to the schedule is the speed race which will feature on May 10 along with the team race. 

ICF SUP World Ranking Event points will be on the line on the weekend with the long-distance race on May 11 and the technical race on May 12. 

Lake Rocks Festival SUP 2024

There will also be a two-kilometre fun race on May 11. 

Last year’s Lake Rocks Festival proved to be a huge hit with more than 500 starters from 20 nations making waves in Villach. 

Michael Sternig, head of the organisation of the Lake Rocks Festival, fully expects this year’s event to be even bigger and better. 

“This will be a unique opportunity for all the participants as they can book an all-races-pass where you get to see three different locations with the river in the town and two different beach clubs at the Faaker See,” said Sternig. 

“We will do our best to ensure the festival will be bigger than last year.  

“In 2023, we had 22 different nationalities and I can already see from this year’s registration list that we will have athletes from nations that have not previously participated. 

“It will be a great festival as we will have a lot of entertainment for people to enjoy.  

“We will have three live bands performing on the evenings of the Thursday, Friday and Saturday.” 

Sternig said the event and the discipline of SUP were both enjoying great growth in Austria. 

Lake Rocks Festival SUP 2024

“Because we have so many lakes around our town and all of them have a SUP rental station, we wanted an event that could bring all this together,” added Sternig. 

“That’s what we achieved with the Lake Rocks Festival. 

“SUP is growing very fast – faster than we imagined it would.  

“It has been a trend in Austria for the past five years and is continuing to get bigger.” 

The Lake Rocks Festival is the second stop in the ICF SUP World Ranking Event calendar which begins in Comacchio, Italy with the Spring SUP Race from April 5 to 7. 

Third leg of the season takes place in Sweden in August, while a World Cup is scheduled to be held in Greece in September and the World Championships is planned to be staged in the United States in November. 

Registration is now open for all the events giving paddlers the chance to excel on the big stage.

Pictures by Andy Klotz Photography

Click here for registration details

Related links

Stand Up Paddling