Canoe federation undeterred by surfing claims over StandUp Paddle

File Photo : Canoe Federation
SPORTCAL|10-May-2017 12:02

Canoeing - 05 May 2017 : The International Canoe Federation today vowed to continue the fight for control of the growing StandUp Paddle discipline, despite the International Surfing Association's claims that it is now the sole governing body for SUP.

The ISA announced a "historic partnership and sanctioning agreement" with the Association of Paddlesurf Professionals, acquiring a minority ownership stake in the APP World Tour and providing an official ISA sanction of all tour events

Fernando Aguerre, president of the ISA, said in a statement: "Through this partnering with the APP, we have solidified our role and leadership as the world's sole governing body for SUP in all its forms."

However, the ICF disputes that, arguing that as a paddle sport, SUP should fall under its jurisdiction. The issue is said to be of such importance to the ICF that its president Jose Perurena is personally leading the fight.

Simon Toulson, secretary general of the ICF, told Sportcal: "The ICF continues to contest that SUP is a paddling activity particularly on calm waters and inland waterways where our members use SUP regularly in their clubs and at competitions. 

"There can be more than one federation in a sport and in this case there clearly are two involved with SUP. We don’t agree that ISA is the sole world governing body."

The ISA and ICF have been at odds over SUP since August when surfing was accepted as one of five additional sports for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (along with baseball-softball, karate, sport climbing and skateboarding).

The ISA then applied to Buenos Aires 2018, the organising committee of next year’s Youth Olympics, to fast-track SUP on to the sports programme, only to be denied, it claimed, by the ICF. A two-hour meeting between the ISA and ICF, hosted by International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach in January, failed to yield an agreement. 

Last month, in an angry Instagram post, Aguerre said that a “federation that doesn’t have a history with the sport, is claiming the sport.”

In their joint statement, the ISA and APP said: "Both the ISA and APP share an ambitious vision in the global development, growth and sustainability of SUP, including the objective of seeing SUP included in future editions of the Olympic Games under the ISA's leadership and authority."

The ICF argues that the ISA announced SUP as its discipline without consultation, and has disputed allegations it blocked SUP’s place on the Youth Olympics programme. It maintained it offered to organise SUP at Buenos Aires 2018 in partnership with ISA, but that is not permitted by the IOC.