Although it was the serenity of Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) that attracted Richmond’s Tara Hope to the sport only five years ago, her competitive streak kicked in and she’s found success on the national stage.
Competing at the 2018 National SUP championships on the Hibiscus Coast’s Orewa Beach from March 22-24, Tara exceeded her expectations and became the new national women’s surf race champion in the elite category.
Her golden run didn’t stop there and she also placed second in the elite distance race.
“I’m still coming to terms with what happened, it’s a bit surreal still. I’m beyond stoked,” says Tara, mother of two boys, 8 & 6 years.
SUP is the fastest growing water sport in the world and has a steady increase in participants from the Tasman region who can often be found on the water at Tara’s training sites of Tahunanui beach and Rabbit Island.
Tara’s championship win came down to a sprint for the finish as she held off the current world champ and took the title, a win that could see her compete at the world championships in Brazil this November if successfully selected in June.
“It would absolutely be a dream come true to represent New Zealand, and travel to Brazil,” says Tara.

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