The ‘Saucy Jack Classic’ Set to Headline the Aussie Summer of SUP This Weekend
There’s a big race happening in Oz this weekend, with the Saucy Jack Classic set to cap off a great summer of SUP down under. Combining a world class field of athletes and a unique event format, the Saucy Jack (formerly known as Harry’s Paddle) has grown into one of Australia’s premiere SUP races over the past few years.
The 4th annual edition will feature several world ranked athletes including Kelly Margetts, Jake Jensen, Matt Nottage, Trevor Tunnington, Paul Jackson, James Casey, Toby Cracknell and Tomo from Japan, while on the women’s side it’ll be Angie Jackson, Terrene Black and Karla Gilbert battling for the win.
The Saucy Jack, which is named after a local shipwreck at the event site near Stockton, New South Wales, uses a format similar to that of the Pacific Paddle Games but with a unique twist. There will be the standard BOP style surf race and distance race combo, however the top 10 finishers from the BOP race will go into a head-to-head knockout sprint showdown, which will help decide the overall event champions.
Should be a great weekend, with a couple of hundred paddlers expected to show up. It’ll be very interesting to see who can put in the best all round performance between the surf and distance races at this early stage of the season. We’ve had back to back races on Australia’s East Coast over the past month, which have shown the level of competition has clearly gone up a notch this year.
While this is one of the last big races of the “Aussie season,” it’s actually one of the first big events of the international race season. The Saucy Jack Classic has become one of the two biggest races in Australia, along side the King of the Cut, so this year SUP Racer will be awarding the race “guaranteed points” on the world rankings.
You’ll hear a lot more about these “guaranteed points” changes to the world rankings in the coming days and weeks, but the basic formula is that Saucy Jack (along with several other great events around the world) will be awarded Race Index scores ahead of time, which will hopefully give the international race season more structure and make the rankings far easier to understand and follow.
The 2016 Saucy Jack Classic will score a minimum of 30% on the Race Index, meaning there are 30 world ranking points on offer to the champs. Points will be awarded based on overall event results.
We’ll be on the road all day Friday – many paddlers are road-tripping from Queensland’s paddling mecca of the Gold Coast down to the New South Wales central coast for this event – and the racing starts early Saturday morning, so check back for race updates late Friday evening USA time.