The ISA SUP World Championships are nearly here, and it’s time for Deep Cove Kayak Ops Manager Mike Darbyshire and the rest of Team Canada to head off to FIJI…are we jealous!?!? We are, but we’re also SUPER stoked to support them as much as we can! We caught up with Mike the day before he leaves to find out just what it’s all about.

DCK: So Mike, tell us about FIJI!

Mike D: So I am a member of Team Canada, taking part of in the International Surfing Association’s Stand Up Paddleboard World Championships, in two events. There are five events in total; SUP surfing, SUP technical, SUP distance, prone technical, and prone distance. Team Canada has a full team and is entering in all events so it’s really exciting for us! I am doing the SUP technical and SUP distance races. You can find details of the rest of the team on my post about them here, and check out the promo video for the event below!

DCK: Most importantly…when can we watch the live races??

Mike: Fiji is about 19 hours ahead, and the first race could be as early as Monday at noon, which will be about 5pm on Sunday here. [DCK: We’ll be posting links everywhere we can so follow our social media pages to find the details] Racing goes until the 19th November, and the schedule will be posted nearer the time as the ISA will choose the best day forecast for the surf event, and go from there.

DCK: And how do they decide who takes home the gold?

Mike: Each country can send up to 2 males and 1 female to compete in each race or surf event (and yes it is a bit ridiculous that gender equality hasn’t made it’s way into this competition). The higher up you finish, the more points you get, and there are awards for individual placings and team overall.

DCK: And what is Team Canada’s goal?

Mike: We really hope to get into the Top 10 of countries – we have a strong team, and a full team which is important as the more team members you can enter, the more points you get. Fingers crossed!

DCK: Which of your own events are you most looking forward to?

Mike: They’re both so different it’s so hard to choose! But I think the distance race takes it – the course starts at a small island, you race around a couple of other islands and back to the mainland – it’s going to be stunning…I’ll be trying to take it in while I’m pushing hard!

Fiji Race Distance Race

DCK: And what are your big challenges?

Mike: One thing that might affect me is that I haven’t raced since the end of September in our Board the Fjord race, which will be good because I am well rested, but also it might be hard to change into that race mentality again. It’s all in the head though, and I just need to be aggressive, and race my race. I’ve trained hard and well, so hopefully it will all come together.

DCK: And tell us about your training…what have you been working on?

Mike: I’ve had an awesome training program, and have been working with my good friend and incredible athlete Jen Segger. My post about it, which you can check out here, goes into lots of detail, but I’ve mostly been focusing on strength at the gym, and then interval training on the water. It’s been a tonne of fun, and I’ve really enjoyed seeing my progress. It’s going to be odd coming back and not having such an intense regime, but I’ll enjoy the downtime and spending time with my new kid!

DCK: Lastly – it’s your 30th birthday while you’re out there…what are you going to do to celebrate??

Mike: Well, depending on the schedule there’s a possibility I’ll be racing, which would be pretty cool, and if not, I think I’ll go surfing. If I’m in Fiji for my birthday, I can’t really think of a better way to celebrate than going to find a sweet break and being out on the water.

Well we are super excited to follow along with you and track your progress. GOOD LUCK and have a great time!!! We’ll be catching up with Mike when he gets back too.