KUANTAN, 12 September – Amazing and it was well organized!
That the most appropriate word for the organizers who has successfully organized the first ever Pahang Ocean Paddle International Challenge (POPIC) 2022 which ended at Teluk Chempedak, Pahang yesterday.
POPIC, the first ever international canoe challenge which offers a total cash prize amounting to RM300,000 has successfully achieved its organizing objective.
According to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Stagemaker Sdn. Bhd, the organizer of POPIC 2022, Emir Abdul Jalal, the challenge, which was held for the first time in Pahang, had received positive feedback from the participants, including famous paddlers from abroad.
“In fact POPIC Race Director, Oscar Chalupsky also praised the organization of the event which is considered as one of the best canoe championships in the world. This proves that POPIC has started to gain a name on the international stage.
“I also reveived a very good response from the participants. Averagely, they consider POPIC which we have just organized for the first time as a tournament that has its own class and uniqueness.
“These views and positive comments, including from some former world champions such as Dawid Mocke, make us (as organizers) more enthusiastic to organize POPIC next year,” said Emir in a press conference.
POPIC 2022 kicked-off with the Stage 1 race at Pantai Hiburan, Rompin on Sept 7 followed by Stage 2 at Pantai Lagenda Pekan (Sept 8); Stage 3 at Pantai Balok, Kuantan (Sept 9); Stage 4 at Pantai Cherating, Kuantan (Sept 10) and Stage 5 at Pantai Teluk Chempedak, Kuantan on Sept 11.
Although it was organized for the first time, POPIC 2022 quickly captured the hearts of the participants by offering seven categories – men’s and women’s international SS; men’s TK1 national; men’s and women’s TK2 national and men’s and women’s inter-varsity.
The tournament, which involved a total route of 80 kilometers, managed to attract the participation of several leading names in international canoeing, including Mocke from South Africa who appeared as a former four-time world champion.
Also participating include the former world runner-up in the Under-23 category, Mackenzie Hynard from Australia, as well as experienced Australian paddler, Rob Jenkinson, who appeared as a two-time former world champion.
In the women’s competition, Danielle McKenzie, a paddler from New Zealand who won the World Championship in 2019 in France, as well as Julie Jenkinson, a former four-time world champion from Australia, also graced the tournament this time.
Emir said that Stagemaker is ready to expand the organization of POPIC, which is now labeled as Pahang’s new signature, as announced by the state Tourism, Culture, Environment, Plantation and Commodity Exco, Datuk Seri Mohd Sharkar Shamsudin.
“If you follow what Oscar said, it is possible that POPIC event will be able to attract the participation of about 200 participants next year. So we need to start from now and improve what needs to be done.
“What is important is that the preparation should be well designed to ensure that the organization of POPIC next year is better than this time. Regardless, I consider this all a challenge for us as the organizer.
“On this occasion, I would also like to thank the state government, especially Pahang Tourism, Tourism Malaysia for the trust given to organize this event,” he concluded.