Top 8 SIC Moments of 2018

Around this time of the year, we start to think about our goals and aspirations for the new year and how we plan to accomplish them. But before we fully turn our heads towards another exciting new year, we want to give a nod to some of the best SIC moments from 2018. From inspiring SIC athlete performances to new SIC products and industry awards, 2018 has been an extra special year. Take a look at some of our favorite moments below!

1) Paddle Imua Keiki O Ke Kai

The annual Imua Keiki O Ke Kai brings together racing and fundraising to benefit the special needs children of Camp Imua, and this year’s event was nothing short of amazing. Lead by our fearless leader Andrea Moller, Imua Keiki O Ke Kai, which means “go forward, children of the sea,” connects children with special needs to the ocean and the local Maui community of ocean athletes, as well as builds community among families. Tons of stoked athletes and happy kids could be seen all around the water at Kahului Harbor on Maui and SIC Ambassadors Andrea Moller, Jeremy Riggs, Kody Kerbox, Livio Menelau, and Master Shaper Mark Raaphorst were some of the many faces in attendance this year.

2) SIC Wins Supconnect Brand of the Year & Race Board of the Year

SIC was honored with the 2018 Supconnect Brand of the Year award and the Race Board of the Year award for the new RS Series. The annual Supconnect awards acknowledge brands, athletes, and gear that have made exceptional contributions to the sport and winners are selected based off of a combination of criteria including consumer and retailer feedback. In addition to the Brand of the Year and Race Board of the Year awards, SIC Global Athletes Seychelle and Jade Howson received runner-up titles for the SUP Woman of the Year and SUP Grom of the Year awards respectively.

3) Seychelle Makes Major Comeback At 11 Cities Tour

Following five back-to-back days of distance paddling, Seychelle (USA) was crowned champion of the 2018 SUP 11 City Tour in Holland. Straight out of the gate, Seychelle picked up an early victory on Day 1, however, she struggled in the next couple races - battling herself, the competition, and the elements - to maintain her lead. Heading into the fifth and final day of racing, Seychelle was sitting in second with an overall -2:30m gap. Paddling like an absolute powerhouse, Seychelle was unstoppable in her pursuit of victory, winning Day 5 by over 11 minutes and earning her third SUP11 City Tour crown by +9:30m - an amazing, well fought victory! Her inspiring comeback continues to show us the importance of always pushing through adversity and never giving up.

Photo by: SUP 11 Cities

4) Martin Wins European Championships & French Championships

Martin Vitry (FRA) was crowned Champion of Europe at the 2018 European SUP Championship in Sardinia, winning both the Technical and Long Distance races. With both of his wins, Martin officially qualified to represent Team France in the ISA World Championships in China, where Team France ultimately took 3rd place.

Martin was also crowned the French National 12'6 Stand Up Paddle champion in November at the ninth running of the French 12'6 National Championships, an event split between Bordeaux and the legendary spot at Lacanau. It was a clean sweep as he won both the Long Distance and Technical Race disciplines.

Photo by: Alba - French Calamars.

5) Rai Taguchi Finishes 2nd At All Japan SUP Championship

Following local selection races, Japanese Ambassador Rai Taguchi competed in the 7th annual All Japan SUP Championship in October. In the Distance Race, Rai Taguchi was flying on the course, just trailing fellow racer Kenny Kaneko, who was leading the pack. After rounding the second-to-last buoy, Kaneko went for the wrong buoy giving Rai the chance to take advantage of the mistake and move into the lead heading towards the correct buoy. Rai finished in first followed by Kenny, however since the other buoy had been placed incorrectly on the course, the event organizers ultimately decided to award both Rai and Kenny first place together. In the Technical Race on the Day 2, Rai started a bit slow but quickly put down the hammer to finish in 2nd place, earning him an overall 2nd place at the event.

Photo by: Nommy-465

6) Jade Wins ISA World Championship Technical

Holding it down for the SIC women in at the ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championship in China, Jade Howson from California dominated in the Jr. Pro division and won the Girl’s Technical Race. Despite the challenges of racing in a new place, against a whole different roster of racers, Jade was able to pull out the victory for herself and Team USA. Flying fast on her RS ‘Rocket Ship’, she comfortably finished first against her fellow female racers to clinch the gold. Jade also picked up a bronze medal in the Women’s Sprints for the second year in a row.

Photo by: ISA / Pablo Jimenez

7) Caio Vaz Takes 3rd At ISA World Championship SUP Surfing

Global Athlete Caio Vaz (BRA) represented his home country in the SUP Surf discipline at the 2018 ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championship. The weeklong competition was nothing short of fierce, but Caio - who suffered a major injury earlier this year - was ready to pull out all the stops for his home country of Brazil despite his recent recovery. Following several days of surfing Caio ended up proudly winning bronze for Team Brazil.

Photo by: ISA / Pablo Jimenez

8) Mariecarmen Rivera Rivera Takes 2nd Place At Pan American Claro Games

Puerto Rican Ambassador Mariecarmen Rivera Rivera won silver at the 2018 Pan American Claro Games in Lima, Peru following a true neck and neck battle to the finish line! As the top racers approached the beach, it was a very tight race for podium placements. But with an incredible display of grit and perseverance, Mariecarmen beat out Canada's Lina Augaitis in the final sprint up the beach to take 2nd.

So there it is - 8 of our favorite SIC moments from 2018! From all of us at SIC, we thank you for an epic year filled with lots of aloha and wish you a very happy new year.