The Highland Spring HIHO in the Caribbean will be one of the most amazing SUP events this summer. What is it? The Highland Spring HIHO event originated in St Thomas in 1979 when a band of intrepid windsurfers set out to sail through the Virgin Islands with sleeping bags on their backs.

The event was an immediate hit and grew exponentially under sponsorship from Johnnie Walker Scotch Whiskey.  Under the current event owner Andy Morrell the Highland Spring HIHO event grew even bigger and now is the World’s most fun-filled  and unique watersports adventure as it charts a course through Caribbean Islands. So far it was for sailing and windsurfing, but this year it will also  include SUP Racing. How cool is that?

It takes place in the British Virgin Islands, a cluster of around 60 islands, that were an El Dorado for pirates in former times, with their hidden and unaccounted bays,  perfect to hide and wait for the Spanish ships in transit, loaded to the brim with gold from the new world.
Lonely islands, incredible beaches, action packed racing with constant tradewinds, wild parties – this race will be the ultimate journey,   it is an extraordinary combination of sailing, SUPing and having fun. Think Eleven City, but with turquoise water and sunshine….and instead of Leuwarden, Sloten, Dokkum and Franekker, you will visit Treasure Island, Dead Chest Island, Bitter End, Sir Francis Drake Channel, Jost Van Dyke…all these names indicating the wild and rough history of that region. Paddling along the Pirate’s routes by day, sleeping on a Catamaran by night, what more could a Stand Up Paddler wish for and dream of?
There will be SUP races every day including a 1-day prize-money leg scheduled for the Friday, July 6th:
The Soggy Dollar Challenge will pit racers on a 12-mile downwind sprint from Trellis Bay on Tortola’s East end to White Bay, Jost Van Dyke.   Teams of three racers will compete using the same board.  The course is, simply, straight downwind with a finish at the famed Soggy Dollar Beach Bar.
Stand up paddle manufacturer Fanatic joins the 2012 event as the official SUP sponsor and the event will include a Fanatic One-Design Class and an Open Class for SUP racers.
In addition to the races, daily activities are available for non-race participants including kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving (for an additional fee), yacht racing, fishing, beach trips and a treasure hunt.  Highland Spring HIHO is also well know for fine cuisine and live entertainment with excellent dinners planned for each island stop and nightly Caribbean entertainment and dancing.
“SUP continues to become an exciting portion of the event,” said event organizer Andy Morrell.  “The two sports perfectly complement each other.  We are excited to have racers & participants from all over the World attend the event.” Rates for the Highland Springs HIHO 2012 begin at $2,099 per person for a double cabin occupancy aboard a 40’ or 43’ catamaran and include lunch and dinner with drinks, all parties, most activities, taxes (except a $20.00 airport departure tax) and an official HIHO T-shirt and bag or hat.  Additional options are available including an air-conditioned 46’ catamaran upgrade, single cabin supplement, junior participation rate and Kids 6 years and Under rate.  Race fees are $125.00 per racer for competing stand up paddlers and windsurfers. “The HIHO is truly the ultimate Windsurfing and SUP destination vacation,” explained John Denney, Owner of Jupiter Paddleboarding.  “First class, family friendly, and run with the highest level of professionalism.  My wife Bari and I recommend this to anyone and everyone for a vacation of a lifetime, you only live once.”
Fanatic as official SUP supplier
Fanatic will be the official SUP supplier of the HIHO Highland Spring race in the BVI this summer, July 1st-8th! The new Fanatic Ray 12’ will be the board in the new Fanatic One Design class and the event will include a Fanatic One-Design Class and an Open Class for SUP racers. Limited edition custom graphics featuring the event sponsor logos will be incorporated into the board design. The Ray is an ideal board
for a week of island-to-island down-wind paddling through the BVI’s.
“Joining this renowned event is great,” said Fanatic boss Craig Gertenbach. “We are excited to participate and plan to send some of our Fanatic team to race. The Ray is the perfect board for the fun conditions and spirit of the HIHO, offering stability, speed and comfort in one great package” The official product launching date of the Ray will be July 15th, so details on the board will follow later in the year.
Fanatic International riders like 2011 14´0 World Champion Chase Kosterlitz, Belar Diaz and Kirsty Jones will all attend the event, to compete in the open and team classes, adding a great competitive aspect to the event too! Also windsurfer Gonzalo Costa Hoevel will attend the venue, brining a load of Argentinean participants with him.
For more information on the Highland Spring HIHO 2011, please visit also
Check out more 2012 SUP Events in our Event Calendar.