Stand-up paddleboarding is not just about Zen-like paddling and yoga moves — this sport has an adventurous side. Just ask Seychelle Hattingh, a Florida Keys native who has racked up an impressive list of records, including the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance paddled in 24 hours and the “Fastest on Earth” female SUP title.
So, you tackled a Guinness World Record for SUP?
Yes, in December 2015 at Benderson Park in Sarasota, Florida. I paddled a 5-kilometer loop 38 times, which added up to 110.47 miles. It was the greatest distance on a stand-up paddleboard on flat water in 24 hours by a woman. Technically, two paddlers have gone farther, but they haven’t gotten approved by Guinness. They make it really hard.
In 2016, you also were a “Fastest in Florida” series winner and earned the women’s “Fastest on Earth” title.
I found I could be successful at both speed and distance, which is an anomaly in SUP. You don’t typically get an athlete who can do both; I had to totally change my training.
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Have you ever had any crazy or harrowing moments on the water?
Those moments happened on the yachts, like getting caught in a nor’easter in the Gulf Stream at about the same latitude as Bermuda and dismasted off Oregon. The 12.5-foot boat I captain now … we don’t get into too much trouble. Although, I was bumped by a shark the other day, which was scary.
You also hold a 100-ton USCG Masters license and worked as a professional yachtswoman?
There’s nothing quite like seeing new places from the water. I loved the boats too. One summer, I worked aboard a wooden motoryacht built in 1910.