The Carolina Cup | The 13.2-Mile Elite Graveyard Course
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    Robert B Butler | PR | Raleigh | Wilmington www.RBButler.com www.NCPressRelease.org WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC – The five-day West Marine Carolina C… Read More
    Robert B Butler | PR | Raleigh | Wilmington www.RBButler.com www.NCPressRelease.org WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC – The five-day West Marine Carolina Cup returns to Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, April 19-23, 2017. All races, clinics, and demos will originate at host hotel Blockade Runner Beach Resort. Presented by Surftech and sanctioned by the World Paddle Association. Host Hotel: Blockade Runner Beach Resort Organized by: The Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club Read Less
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Permission granted for reprint and redistribution – Photo credit required
Annabel Anderson of New Zealand, strategizing her launch of the 2017 Graveyard Race at West Marine Carolina Cup – Courtesy of Laura Glantz
2017 Graveyard Race start at the West Marine Carolina Cup, Wrightsville Beach – Courtesy of Laura Glantz
2017 starting line at the West Marine Carolina Cup Graveyard Race – Courtesy of Laura Glantz
2017 West Marine Carolina Cup – Courtesy of Peter Newman, Aerial Images ILM
2017 West Marine Carolina Cup Graveyard Race – Courtesy of deRosset Gordon
2017 West Marine Carolina Cup Graveyard Race – Courtesy of deRosset Gordon
2017 West Marine Carolina Cup Graveyard Race – Courtesy of deRosset Gordon
2017 West Marine Carolina Cup – Courtesy of Laura Glantz 
2017 West Marine Carolina Cup – Courtesy of Peter Newman, Aerial Images ILM
2017 West Marine Carolina Cup – Courtesy of Peter Newman, Aerial Images ILM
2017 West Marine Carolina Cup Graveyard Race – Courtesy of deRosset Gordon
2017 West Marine Carolina Cup – Courtesy of Peter Newman, Aerial Images ILM
Annabel Anderson of New Zealand Earns 5th Carolina Cup
Titouan Puyo of France Repeats in Men's Division
Annabel Anderson of New Zealand completes 13.2-mile Graveyard Race, her 5th consecutive victory, at West Marine Carolina Cup – Courtesy of Samantha Black
WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC – "Winning once is hard, performing and winning consistently over time is just plain difficult," said New Zealander Annabel Anderson in a recent interview. Achieving the near-impossible, Anderson earned her fifth-consecutive victory in the 7th Annual West Marine Carolina Cup, the world's largest gathering of professional and amateur standup paddleboard athletes. 

"I executed exactly what I wanted to do and opened up the after-burners at the 2-hour mark," said Anderson, the top-ranked and fastest woman in the world, leaving her competitors minutes behind at the finish. "I am extremely grateful to be back and able to challenge for number five."

Titouan Puyo of France, ranked fifth in the world, captured his second men's division title with a repeat performance from 2016. Puyo's endurance was surprising considering a 24-hour missed flight delay in Philadelphia, arriving on-site the evening before the race. 

With 10 to 20 mph winds, 2 to 4 ft seas, flowing tidal inlets, and choppy flatwater, the 13.2-mile Graveyard Race, already one of the most challenging professional-division courses in the world, was even more grinding and gruelling in 2017.

Ranked tenth in the world, North Carolina's April Zilg placed fourth in the Graveyard elite women's competition.

"Every year this race is different," said Anderson. "It's got a bit of everything to test our entire skill set. That's what makes it the Carolina Cup. The Graveyard Race is one of the classics."

13.2-mile Graveyard Race (Elite Professional Division)

Top-10 Women:

1. Annabel Anderson, New Zealand
2. Fiona Wylde, OR, USA
3. Olivia Piana, France
4. April Zilg, Wrightsville Beach, NC, USA
5. Seychelle Hattingh, FL, USA
6. Lena Ribeiro, Brazil
7. Penelope Strickland-Armstrong, New Zealand
8. Susak Molinero, Spain
9. Hannah Hill, OR, USA
10. Lexi Alston, CA, USA

Top-10 Men:

1. Titouan Puyo, France 
2. Travis Grant, Australia  
3. Georges Cronsteadt, Tahiti 
4. Steeve Teihotaata, Tahiti  
5. Connor Baxter, Hawaii 
6. Vinnicius Martins, Brazil  
7. Kelly Margetts, Australia  
8. Josh Riccio, HI, USA  
9. Rete Ebb, Tahiti 
10. Danny Ching, CA, USA
Titouan Puyo of France captures 2nd consecutive Graveyard Race title at the West Marine Carolina Cup – Courtesy of Karen Pennington
Titouan Puyo of France – 2016 and 2017 Men's Elite Champion in the West Marine Carolina Cup Graveyard Race – Courtesy of Samantha Black
Titouan Puyo of France (R), Male Champion of the 2017 Graveyard Race congratulates 2nd place finisher Travis Grant of Australia – Courtesy of Laura Glantz
Organized by the Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club and sanctioned by the World Paddle Association, the West Marine Carolina Cup is a key stop on the World SUP Tour. All races, clinics, demos, plus the expo and trade show originate at host hotel Blockade Runner Beach Resort in Wrightsville Beach. 

The 2017 Carolina Cup itinerary, April 18-23, includes the renowned World SUP Tour Graveyard Race, a demanding and grueling 13.2-mile ocean and flatwater race; the 6.5-mile Money Island Open Race; the 3.5-mile Harbor Island Recreational Race; the 9-mile, 6-person Outrigger (OC-6) Blockade Runner Flatwater Race; the new 4-person SUP Dragon World Series; and a popular Kids Race for children 7 to 14. Competitors include Olympians, world-record holders, champions, professionals, amateurs, and first-time paddlers. 



Annabel Anderson (center) congratulates Fiona Wylde (far left) – 2017 West Marine Carolina Cup – Photo by deRosset Gordon
Contact:

Mark Schmidt
Race Director
Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club
P: 910-620-1835
E: Mark@WrightsvilleBeachPaddleClub.com 


Robert B Butler

#Carolina Cup #StandUpPaddleboard #SUP #GraveyardRace #WrightsvilleBeach #NorthCarolina #WestMarine #SurfTech #WBPC #BlockadeRunner #OC6 #DragonWorldSeries #Surfski #AnnabelAnderson #TitouanPuyo 

Permission granted for reprint and redistribution​​​​​​​

North Carolina's April Zilg – 4th place in the Women's Elite Championship 2017 West Marine Carolina Cup Graveyard Race – Courtesy of deRosset Gordon
Lena Ribeiro, Brazil, 2017 West Marine Carolina Cup, pre-race photo by deRosset Gordon
Olivia Piana, France, 2017 West Marine Carolina Cup – Pre-race photo by deRosset Gordon
Seychelle Hattingh, FL, USA, pre-race photo by deRosset Gordon
Annabel Anderson celebrates 5th Graveyard Race title at the West Marine Carolina Cup – Courtesy of Karen Pennington
Annabel Anderson's farewell to Mary Bagget, owner of Blockade Runner Beach Resort, home of the West Marine Carolina Cup – Courtesy of Karen Pennington
World’s Top-Ranked Woman Seeks 5th Carolina Cup Victory
An interview with World’s Top-Ranked SUP Athlete Annabel Anderson
Top-ranked in the world and 4-time West Marine Carolina Cup Champion Annabel Anderson of New Zealand
WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC – The fastest standup paddleboard woman in the world, and world’s top-ranked each year since 2012, Annabel Anderson will seek her 5th consecutive victory at the 2017 West Marine Carolina Cup, April 18-23. All races, clinics, demos, plus the expo and trade show will originate at host hotel Blockade Runner Beach Resort.

In a recent interview, Anderson shared her thoughts about the upcoming Cup competition, how she maintains her dominance, a glimpse into other aspects of life in New Zealand, and how she feels about returning to the world’s largest gathering of professional and amateur racers in Wrightsville Beach.

Congratulations on maintaining your number-one world ranking for yet another year! How do you continue to be so successful?

“Thank you! Winning once is hard, performing and winning consistently over time is just plain difficult. There's something that pops up every year to test you, and taking these challenges in stride makes you stronger over time. Staying mentally fresh is something that is important, and I do this by having a defined off-season to allow me to do other things. I spent a lot of the winter back home in the South Island of New Zealand designing and building a house, and riding and racing mountain bikes. It's kept me out of mischief!”

How does it feel and what is it like being a global role model? 

“It's both a privilege and a responsibility and one that I take seriously. There are always eyes on you, and you have to lead by example. Like everyone, I'm faced with significant challenges on a day-to-day basis and have to rise to the occasion and overcome these. I've had some bumps in the road to overcome off the water in the past year. When people see that you face the same things they do, it gives them a lot of belief that they too can rise to the occasion and overcome whatever they are facing.” 

Are you excited about returning to North Carolina, defending your championship, and going after victory number five at the Carolina Cup?

“I'm always excited to come back to Wrightsville Beach! I love the chance to catch up with good friends, to meet new ones and spend a couple of hours in the pain cave grinding it out around the Graveyard course. A lot can happen out on that course, so I'll just focus on putting together a complete race. It's hard to believe that this will be my 5th trip to North Carolina.” 

What are your thoughts about the Graveyard Race, its degree of difficulty, and your strategy to win this year?

“The Graveyard is one of the classics. It's got a bit of everything to test our entire skill set. You never really know what direction you'll be going until just before the start and there are so many different factors that contribute to trying to put together a complete performance. My strategy is what it always is – to roll my own race and make it from the start to the finish.” 
Annabel Anderson – Courtesy of Ben Levy
The Carolina Cup is a long trip from New Zealand. How do you prepare for the race and adjust your body clock?

“Plain and simple, it's the roughest trip I have all year, and it can really knock you around. I try to arrive a couple of days beforehand. I coach all day Thursday and have event commitments on Friday, which means Carolina Cup is a true marathon test of stamina to survive the travel, race week and then make it through the actual race itself!”

Who will be your key competitors at West Marine Carolina Cup in 2017?

“While the depth of talent is always talked about in the men’s field, it's almost stronger and more condensed in the women's field. There are a lot of girls who are extremely hungry for a win to stake their name and claim in the sport right now. You can expect the usual suspects of Candice Appleby, Sonni Honscheid, Terrene Black, Shae Foudy, Angie Jackson and Fiona Wylde to be dangerous, but there are some dark horses outside of these names that I'll be looking out for that I know are very hungry.” 

What's new in your life since Carolina Cup 2016?

“It is hard to believe another year has rolled around already! I have quietly launched Salty Sweaty Coaching, sharing my 20 years of training and racing experience at the highest levels with others, both remotely and in a squad environment, helping people develop skills and achieve their personal goals. I’ve already seen some incredible progress with the people I've been working with, and I get a huge amount of satisfaction seeing this. Look out for some very good excuses to come and play in some very rad places in the coming months. People are welcome to come and speak with me during the Carolina Cup to find out more or contact me online.” www.annabel-anderson.com/coaching
A winner off and on the water – Annabel Anderson at the SUP Awards
Organized by the Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club, sanctioned by the World Paddle Association, and based at Blockade Runner Beach Resort, West Marine Carolina Cup attracted most of the top professional paddlers in the world in 2016, as well as amateur and elite racers from practically every state in the nation.

The 2017 Carolina Cup itinerary, April 18-23, incorporates the renowned World SUP Tour Graveyard Race, a demanding and grueling 13.2-mile ocean and flatwater race; the 6.5-mile Money Island Open Race; the 3.5-mile Harbor Island Recreational Race; the 9-mile, 6-person Outrigger (OC-6) Blockade Runner Flatwater Race; the new 4-person SUP Dragon World Series; and the popular Kids Race for children 7 to 14. Competitors include Olympians, world-record holders, champions, professionals, amateurs, and first-time paddlers.





The Graveyard Race starting line 2016 – Courtesy of Matt Born, Star-News
Contact:

Mark Schmidt
Race Director
Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club
P: 910-620-1835

Robert B Butler
Communications | PR
P: 919-455-8345

#CarolinaCup #StandUpPaddleboard #SUP #GraveyardRace #WrightsvilleBeach #NorthCarolina #WestMarine #SurfTech #WBPC #BlockadeRunner #OC6 #Surfski #WPA #WorldSUPTour #DragonWorldSeries #AnnabelAnderson #TitouanPuyo

Permission granted for reprint and redistribution – Photo credits required

The Graveyard Race starting line 2016 – Courtesy of Sally T Butler
Carolina Cup joins World SUP Tour
Four-Time Graveyard Race Champion and World Champion Annabel Anderson of New Zealand – Courtesy of Ben Levy
WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC – West Marine Carolina Cup, the world’s largest gathering of professional and amateur standup paddleboard athletes, has added the World Paddle Association’s World SUP Tour in 2017.

The World SUP Tour is a new international series of 11-races across five nations, binding the sport’s biggest standup paddleboard races. Carolina Cup is the second race on the schedule in 2017, following Rincon in Puerto Rico. Salt Life will sponsor a season-end cash bonus for the top finishers.

The Carolina Cup received more good news last week as its signature event, the 13.2-mile Graveyard Race for the pros, was elevated to 7-Star status – the highest ranking and one of only three races in the world to attain the lucky-7. “This year we’ve got three stand out, standup events,” said Chris Parker of SUP Racer. “The massive Carolina Cup at the start of the season, the epic Gorge Paddle Challenge [OR] in the middle, and the almighty Pacific Paddle Games [CA] towards the end of the year.”

Parker includes the 32-mile Molokai-2-Oahu as an “honorary” fourth major race of the season, “which sets up a ‘Grand Slam’ of four events similar to what we see in the world of tennis.”
2016 Graveyard Race Champions Annabel Anderson of New Zealand and Titouan Puyo of France – Courtesy of Robert B Butler
Organized by the Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club and sanctioned by the World Paddle Association, the West Marine Carolina Cup attracted most of the top professional paddlers in the world in 2016, as well as amateur and elite racers from practically every state in the nation. Almost 1,000 people participated in last year’s races and clinics, based at Blockade Runner Beach Resort.

The 2017 Carolina Cup itinerary, April 19-23, incorporates the renowned World SUP Tour Graveyard Race, a demanding and grueling 13.2-mile ocean and flatwater race; the 6.5-mile Money Island Open Race; the 3.5-mile Harbor Island Recreational Race; the 9-mile, 6-person Outrigger (OC-6) Blockade Runner Flatwater Race; the new 4-person SUP Dragon World Series; and the popular Kids Race for children 7 to 14. Competitors include Olympians, world-record holders, champions, professionals, amateurs, and first-time paddlers.
The Money Island 6.5-mile Race – Courtesy of Emmy Errante and Lumina News
Workshops on the agenda include one-on-one clinics, World Paddle Association certifications, paddling techniques, racing preparation, equipment selection, flatwater racing, ocean racing, surfski and kayak technique and racing, pre-race paddle tours of local waters, with more to be finalized in the coming weeks.

Clinic instructors from Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, Hawaii, California, and North Carolina include iconic professional paddlers Annabel Anderson, Connor Baxter, Candice Appleby, Michael Booth, Sonni Honscheid, Travis Grant, Titouan Puyo, Danny Ching, Dan Gavere, Jesse Lishchuk, Zane Schweitzer, April Zilg, and more.
Courtesy of Carolina Cup
Thursday, April 20, over 50 suppliers will be open to retailers only, re-opening for retailers and the public on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The expo and demos are free of charge.

“The success of the Carolina Cup is our continued focus on all paddlers from professionals to beginners,” said Mark Schmidt, race director. “Paddlers will have a great opportunity to see and try a wide variety of equipment and ask questions directly to the manufacturers and pros.”

Presented by Surftech, the five-day West Marine Carolina Cup returns to Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, April 19-23, 2017. All races, clinics, demos, plus the expo and trade show will originate at host hotel Blockade Runner Beach Resort.
OC-6 – Courtesy of Carolina Cup
OC-6 – Courtesy of Blockade Runner Beach Resort
A portion of event funds will benefit the North Carolina Coastal Federation, a nonprofit organization with a mission to protect and restore water quality and natural habitats of the North Carolina coast. 




Contact:

Mark Schmidt
Race Director
Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club
P: 910-620-1835

Robert B Butler
Communications | PR
P: 919-455-8345

#CarolinaCup #StandUpPaddleboard #SUP #GraveyardRace #WrightsvilleBeach #NorthCarolina #WestMarine #SurfTech #WBPC #BlockadeRunner #OC6 #Surfski #WPA #WorldSUPTour #DragonWorldSeries #AnnabelAnderson #TitouanPuyo
Courtesy of Dragon World Series
West Marine Carolina Cup Adds Trade Show, OC-6,
Jr. Championship in ‘17
The Expo – Courtesy of Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club
WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC – Already one of the biggest and paramount paddle gatherings in the world, the West Marine Carolina Cup is expanding in 2017 with the addition of a one-day retailer-only trade show, a nine-mile outrigger canoe race with six-person teams, and a 6.5-mile junior championship standup paddleboard race for youth under 18.

Organized by the Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club and sanctioned by the World Paddle Association, the West Marine Carolina Cup attracted most of the top professional paddlers in the world in 2016, as well as amateur and elite racers from practically every state in the nation. Almost 1,000 people participated in last year’s races and clinics.

The Carolina Cup itinerary incorporates the renowned Graveyard Race, a demanding and grueling 13.2-mile ocean and flatwater race; the Money Island 6.5-mile Open Race; the Harbor Island 3.5-mile Recreational Race; and a very popular Kids Race for children 7 to 14. Competitors include Olympians, world-record holders, champions, professionals, amateurs, and first-time paddlers.
Starting Line – Courtesy of Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club
“The success of the Carolina Cup is our continued focus on all paddlers from professionals to beginners,” said Mark Schmidt, race director. “The sport isn’t strictly about the pros. It’s about the everyday paddler, people new to the sport, and the youth. We accommodate everybody at Carolina Cup.”

Presented by Surftech, the five-day West Marine Carolina Cup returns to Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, April 19-23, 2017. All races, clinics, and demos will originate at host hotel Blockade Runner Beach Resort.

​​​​​​​
“We have so many manufacturers here because of the draw of the Carolina Cup,” said Schmidt. “They want the exposure to the amateur and professional racers as well as retailers on the East Coast.”

Thursday, April 20, over 50 suppliers will be open to retailers only, re-opening for retailers and the public on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The expo and demos are free of charge.
Learning the strokes – Courtesy of Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club
“Paddlers have a great opportunity to try many brands of boards and paddles and ask questions directly to the manufacturers and pros,” said Schmidt. “There’s not another race or place on the East Coast where you can see and test such a wide variety of product and get this kind of feedback.”

Workshops on the agenda include one-on-one clinics, World Paddle Association certifications, paddling techniques, racing preparation, equipment selection, flatwater racing, ocean racing, surfski and kayak technique and racing, pre-race paddle tours of local waters, with more to be finalized in the coming weeks.

Clinic instructors from Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, Hawaii, California, and North Carolina include iconic professional paddlers Annabel Anderson, Connor Baxter, Candice Appleby, Michael Booth, Sonni Honscheid, Travis Grant, Titouan Puyo, Danny Ching, Dan Gavere, Jesse Lishchuk, Zane Schweitzer, April Zilg, and more.
Partial view of The Graveyard Race course – Courtesy of Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club
A portion of event funds will benefit the North Carolina Coastal Federation, a nonprofit organization with a mission to protect and restore water quality and critically important natural habitats of the North Carolina coast.  




Contact:

Mark Schmidt
Race Director
Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club
P: 910-620-1835

Robert B Butler
Communications | PR
P: 919-455-8345

Keywords
#Carolina Cup #StandUpPaddleboard #SUP #GraveyardRace #WrightsvilleBeach #NorthCarolina #WestMarine #SurfTech #WBPC #BlockadeRunner #OC6 #Surfski
                                                   A brutal start for the 2016 Graveyard Race, Carolina Cup, courtesy of North Carolina Press Release
Graveyard Race, 2016 Carolina Cup, courtesy of Robert Baggett
Graveyard Race, 2016 Carolina Cup, courtesy of Robert Baggett
Graveyard Race, 2016 Carolina Cup, courtesy of Robert Baggett
Frenchman and New Zealander Capture Elite Victories in 2016 Carolina Cup
Champs Annabel Anderson and Titouan Puyo, ​Graveyard Race, 2016 Carolina Cup, courtesy of Robert Baggett
Annabel Anderson and Titouan Puyo, 2016 Graveyard Race Champs, Carolina Cup, courtesy NC Press Release
Annabel Anderson and Titouan Puyo, 2016 Graveyard Race Champs, Carolina Cup, courtesy NC Press Release
Wrightsville Beach, NC, USA – Annabel Anderson of New Zealand captured her fourth consecutive victory in the women’s division of the Carolina Cup’s elite Graveyard Race. In an incredible achievement, Anderson bested her nearest competitor Candice Appleby of California by over five minutes on the grueling 13.5-mile ocean and flatwater standup paddleboard course.
Annabel Anderson and Titouan Puyo, 2016 Graveyard Race Champs, Carolina Cup, courtesy NC Press Release
Travis Grant and Titouan Puyo, ​Graveyard Race, 2016 Carolina Cup, courtesy of Robert Baggett
On the men’s side, Frenchman Titouan Puyo picked up his first Carolina Cup championship, upsetting an impressive field of the world’s best competitors, including last year’s champion Travis Grant. “We’ve seen that coming for a couple of years, he has such amazing talent, he just pulled it together today,” said Chris Parker, SUP expert and race analyst with SUPRacer.com. “For anybody to paddle away from Connor Baxter, Danny Ching, and Travis Grant at the end of a race is unheard of. That was a huge result for him.”
 
“We definitely had the fastest conditions and the highest level of competition,” said John Beausang, Carolina Cup co-founder and owner of SUP’s Mullet Magazine. “It was extraordinary. We had far more competitors in the Graveyard race this year. This is the best Carolina Cup.”
Chris Curry and Maddie Miller, Money Island Champs, 2016 Carolina Cup, courtesy NC Press Release
Chris Curry of Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina and 15-year old Maddie Miller of Jupiter, Florida took the top spots in the Money Island 7-mile flatwater competition. Justin Markel of Havre de Grace, Maryland, and Karen Kennedy of Miami, Florida championed the Harbor Island 3.5-mile race.
Karen Kennedy and Justin Markel, 2016 Harbor Island Champs, Carolina Cup, courtesy of NC Press Release
The 6th annual West Marine Carolina Cup, based at host hotel Blockade Runner Beach Resort in Wrightsville Beach, was the first major stop on the 2016 world SUP race circuit. The Cup is organized by the Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club and sanctioned by the World Paddle Association.
 
Top-line race results:
 
Graveyard Race 13.5-mile
 
Men (14’)
 
1. Titouan Puyo, New Caledonia, France
2. Travis Grant, Australia
3. Danny Ching, California
4. Trevor Tunnington, New Zealand
5. Kelly Margetts, Australia
 
Women (12’6)
 
1. Annabel Anderson, New Zealand
2. Candice Appleby, California, USA
3. Sonni Honscheid, Germany
4. Fiona Wylde, Oregon, USA
5. Terrene Black, Australia
 
OC-1 Division
 
1. Barry Blackburn, Wilmington, NC, USA
2. Erik, Bigsby, Wilmington, NC, USA
3. David Rush, Wake Forest, NC, USA
 
OC-2 Division
 
1. Anna Blackburn, Wilmington, NC, USA
2. Steve Lewis, Wilmington, NC, USA
3. Tyler Hustrulid, Wilmington, NC, USA
 
Prone 12’6 Division
 
1. Jack Bark, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, USA
2. Hunter Pflueger, Honolulu, HI, USA
3. Kurt Lager, Honolulu, HI, USA
 
Prone 14’ Division
 
1. Bobby Frey, Selbyville, DE, USA
2. Rob Kavcic, Mississauga, ON, Canada
3. Dave Stringer, Agoura Hills, CA, USA
 
Prone Unlimited Division
 
1. Roch Frey, Encinitas, CA, USA
2. Brian Pasternak, Ocean City, NJ, USA
3. Robert Parucha, El Segundo, CA, USA
 
Money Island 7-mile Race
 
Male (14’)
 
1. Chris Curry, Wrightsville Beach, NC, USA
2. Kevin Rhodes, Wilmington, NC, USA
3. Michael Fithian, Rumson, NJ, USA
4. John O’Hara, Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA, USA
5. E.J. Johnson, San Diego, CA, USA
 
Female (12’6)
 
1. Maddie Miller, Jupiter, FL, USA
2. Lauren Dorsey, Miramar Beach, FL, USA
3. Dawn Ehman, Ocean City, MD, USA
4. Julieta Gismondi, Yonkers, NY, USA
5. Kimberly James, Wilmington, NC, USA
 
Male (12’6)
 
1. Kevin Haigis, Annapolis, MD, USA
2. Jason Phipps, Riva, MD, USA
3. Harris Davis, Fair Haven, NJ, USA
4. Scott Jorss, Washington, DC, USA
5. Matthew Mahoney (N/A)
 
Prone Division (ALL)
 
1. Aimee Spector, Redondo Beach, CA, USA
2. Chris Cannavaro, Summerville, SC, USA
3. Kristen Smith, Wilmington, NC, USA
 
Harbor Island 3.5-mile Race
 
Male (12’6)
 
1. Justin Markel, Havre de Grace, MD, USA
2. Dana Hogan, Charleston, SC, USA
3. Len Fiume, New Bern, NC, USA
4. Trevor McKenna, Elmhurst, IL, USA
5. Bryan Wisdom (N/A)
 
Female (12’6)
 
1. Karen Kennedy, Miami, FL, USA
2. Jeanna Bunting, Wilmington, NC, USA
3. Ashley Chrisman, St. Louis, MO, USA
4. Saylor Emmart, Wilmington, NC, USA
5. Seanna Robinson, Toronto, ON, Canada
 
Robert B Butler
Sonni Hoenscheid of Germany crossing the finish line of the Graveyard Race, 2016 Carolina Cup, courtesy of Robert Baggett
Sonni Hoenscheid of Germany crossing the finish line of the Graveyard Race, 2016 Carolina Cup, courtesy of Robert Baggett
Four-time champion Annabel Anderson,  Graveyard Race, 2016 Carolina Cup, courtesy of Robert Baggett
2016 Carolina Cup, courtesy of Robert Baggett
TWC interviews Titouan Puyo of New Caledonia, France, 2016 Carolina Cup, courtesy NC Press Release
More 2016 Carolina Cup Photo Links:
 
Photos by Emmy Errante
 
Photos by Matt Born
Top-Ranked Annabel Anderson of New Zealand Returns for Carolina Cup
Top-ranked woman in the world Annabel Anderson of New Zealand, three-time winner of The West Marine Carolina Cup Graveyard Race, Lahui Kai Racing
WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NORTH CAROLINA, USA – “Yes, I can confirm that I will be back in Wrightsville Beach to have another crack at the Carolina Cup,” said Annabel Anderson, three-time champion in the Cup’s elite and grueling 13.5-mile Graveyard Race and top woman in the world in standup paddleboard.
 
The 6th annual West Marine Carolina Cup, April 19-24 in Wrightsville Beach, will be the first major stop on the 2016 world SUP race circuit. All races begin and end at host hotel Blockade Runner Beach Resort.
 
Eight hundred paddlers are expected to start in three different races on Saturday, April 23 — the 3.5-mile Harbor Island race, 6-mile Money Island race, and 13.5-mile Graveyard race. Competitors will include Olympians, world-record holders, champions, amateurs, and first-time paddlers.
 
“Annabel Anderson is an extraordinary athlete,” said Australian Christopher Parker, paddleboard expert and race analyst with SUPRacer. “Not only does she usually win women’s races by a solid margin, she often beats most of the men … sometimes all of the men, as she famously did in France a few years ago.”
 
Last year Anderson beat fourth-ranked Sonni Honscheid of Germany for the top spot. Rounding out the top five were Angie Jackson and Terrene Black of Australia, and Lina Augaitis of Canada, world ranked at five, six, and seven.
 
The women’s elite competition this year will include second-ranked Candice Appleby of California, returning to the Carolina Cup for the first time since 2012. “Anderson and Appleby rarely meet,” said Parker. “It’s always a great battle when they’re on the same start line.”
 
“The Graveyard race is just plain tough,” said Anderson. “It throws a bit of everything at you and you never really know which way you’re going until just before the gun goes. I’ll approach it as I always have - take it as it comes and look forward to making it to the finish line.”
Six-time New Zealand National Champion Annabel Anderson, winner of the 2016 NZ SUP Nationals, courtesy of Barbara Newton
The public is invited to meet racers at a free movie showing of Standing On the Water, Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at Epic Food Company. The movie is the real life story of Denmark’s Casper Steinfath, who overcame his fear of the water and became a two-time ISA standup paddleboard world champion.
 
New on the Carolina Cup race schedule for 2016, the six-man Hawaiian outrigger canoes (OC-6) will take center stage and compete at noon on Sunday, April 24.
 
“We believe this is the first ever OC-6 race in Wrightsville Beach,” said Mark Schmidt, Carolina Cup race director. “This will be a chance for spectators to watch some of the biggest names in Hawaiian outrigger paddling.”
 
Outrigger designer Johnny Puakea, founder of Puakea Designs, will teach an outrigger clinic during the Carolina Cup giving paddlers the chance to learn from one of the top pros in the industry.
 
Other clinics and demonstrations scheduled throughout the five-day event will feature many of the top experts in the paddling world, including Larry Cain, Travis Grant, Lina Augaitis, Dan Gavere, Dr. Bob Arnot, Fiona Wylde, and Zane Schweitzer.
 
Race visitors will have the opportunity to try boards, canoes, and a variety of equipment at the Demo Zone. Sixty vendors will have the latest equipment, boards, and boats on display. Zone sponsor Carolina Paddleboard Company will feature a rare, unlimited, six-man outrigger canoe from Puakea Designs.
 
“The Carolina Cup has become famous for not only attracting the Travis Grants, Danny Chings, and Annabel Andersons of the world,” said Parker, “but also for drawing hundreds of weekend warriors and first-timers from near and far. Now in its 6th year, the Carolina Cup is not just a race, it’s a festival.”
 
Organizers expect over 1,000 registrations for races and clinics in 2016.
 
All races will be visible from host hotel Blockade Runner Beach Resort and the causeway bridges in Wrightsville Beach.
 
The West Marine Carolina Cup, presented by Surftech, is organized by the Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club and sanctioned by the World Paddle Association.
 
A portion of event proceeds benefits The Ocean of Hope, paddlers dedicated to people affected by cancer.
 
 
Contact:
 
Mark Schmidt, Race Director
910-620-1835
 
 
 
 
Robert B Butler
Communications | PR
 
 
“Biggest paddle race in America” returns to North Carolina April 19-24, 2016
2015 Carolina Cup - Graveyard Race Launch - Photo courtesy of Peter Newman and Aerial Images ILM 
WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NORTH CAROLINA, USA – “I look forward to the Carolina Cup paddleboard race each year,” said Travis Grant of Australia, 2015 male champion in the Cup’s elite and punishing  13.5-mile Graveyard race. “It’s the first big race of the season, and I think it’s great that the biggest paddle race in America is held on the East Coast.”
 
The 6th annual West Marine Carolina Cup presented by Surftech will be the first major stop on the 2016 world SUP race circuit April 19-24, in Wrightsville Beach. All races begin and end at host hotel Blockade Runner Beach Resort.
13.2 Mile  Elite Graveyard Surf to Sound Race Course
“The Graveyard race is a very fitting name,” Grant said.  “It is just that: a tough one. Anyone can potentially win,” he continued. “There are a lot of different elements to get right — surf, flatwater, inlet currents, wind — and there’s always a slight bit of luck involved.”
 
Last year Grant beat three-time winner Danny Ching, ranked number three in the world, from Hermosa Beach, California. Grant is second in the world rankings (SupRacer.com).
 
Ching and Grant will be back, along with internationally ranked competitors from roughly twenty countries including New Zealand, Australia, France, Canada, Spain, and Mexico.
 
Eight hundred paddlers are expected to start in three different races on Saturday, April 23 — the 3.5-mile Harbor Island race, 6-mile Money Island race, and 13.5-mile Graveyard race. Competitors include Olympians, world-record holders, and champions in the disciplines of standup, prone, surfski, and outrigger canoe paddling. 
Courtesy of Peter Newman, WILM Aerial Images
New on the race calendar for 2016, the six-man Hawaiian outrigger canoes (OC-6) will take center stage and compete at noon on Sunday, April 24.
 
“We believe this is the first ever OC-6 race in Wrightsville Beach,” said Mark Schmidt, Carolina Cup race director. “One of the things we try to do with the race each year is to make it more inclusive to all of the different watercraft.”
 
Outrigger competitors will paddle Bradley Lightning canoes, commissioned by Reggie Barnes of Eastern Surf and Skate Supply, in heats around Harbor Island.
 
“This will be a chance for spectators to watch some of the biggest names in Hawaiian outrigger paddling,” said Schmidt. “To see an event like this would typically require traveling to California or Hawaii. It will be a great show.” Schmidt said.
 
Outrigger designer Johnny Puakea, Danny Ching’s paddle coach and founder of Puakea Designs, will teach an outrigger clinic during the Carolina Cup giving paddlers the chance to learn from one of the top pros in the industry.
 
Other clinics and demonstrations scheduled throughout the five-day event will feature many of the top paddle experts in the paddle world, including Larry Cain, Travis Grant, Lina Augaitis, Dan Gavere, Dr. Bob Arnot, Fiona Wylde, and Zane Schweitzer.
 
Visitors to the event will have the opportunity to try boards, canoes, and a variety of equipment at the Demo Zone. Sixty vendors will have the latest equipment, boards, and boats on display. Zone sponsor Carolina Paddleboard Company will feature a rare, unlimited, six-man outrigger canoe from Puakea Designs.
 
All races will be visible from Blockade Runner Beach Resort and the causeway bridges in Wrightsville Beach.
 
The West Marine Carolina Cup presented by Surftech is organized by the Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club and sanctioned by the World Paddle Association. Organizers expect over 1,000 registrations for races and clinics in 2016.
 
A portion of event proceeds will benefit The Ocean of Hope, a team of paddlers dedicated to the sea of people affected by cancer.
 
 
 
Contact:
Mark Schmidt, Race Director
910-620-1835
 
Robert B Butler
Communications | PR
 
#CarolinaCup #SUP #StandupPaddleboard #WPA #GraveyardRace #WrightsvilleBeach #BlockadeRunner #NorthCarolina
Carolina Cup Lands Major Support for 2016 Race
Photo courtesy of Peter Newman and Aerial Images ILM
WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NORTH CAROLINA, USA – The Carolina Cup, the world’s largest gathering of stand up paddleboard racers, landed key support from West Marine as the 2016 title sponsor.
 
“We are honored to have West Marine on board,” said race director Mark Schmidt. “Watersports and the water lifestyle are a unique and special family. West Marine has been a mentor and part of this family for almost 50 years.”
 
Organized by the Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club and sanctioned by the World Paddle Association, the 2015 Carolina Cup attracted top paddlers from roughly 20 nations and 40 states. An estimated 950 people registered for last year’s races and clinics.
 
“We’re so excited about West Marine’s title sponsorship of this event,” says Deb Radcliff, West Marine Senior Vice President, Marketing. “The Carolina Cup is one of the premier international stand up paddleboard racing events, and we’re proud to have West Marine associated with a race of this caliber. Getting people out on the water is what we’re all about, and The Carolina Cup encourages people to participate in stand up paddling at all skill levels. It’s a ideal partnership, and we’re looking forward to a great event!” 
 
Schmidt also announced Surftech as presenting sponsor for The Carolina Cup. “Surftech is a pioneer of design and innovation in the paddleboard community, making some of the very best high-performance SUP equipment available,” said Schmidt.
 
The 6th annual West Marine Carolina Cup presented by Surftech is expected to attract more than 1,000 competitors from around the world.  Races, clinics, and expos will be in Wrightsville Beach, April 19-24. All races will begin and end at Blockade Runner Beach Resort.
Australian Travis Grant captured the 2015 men’s stand up paddleboard championship in The Carolina Cup’s grueling 13.2-mile Graveyard Race. Danny Ching of California, multiple Battle of the Paddle winner and three-time champion of The Carolina Cup, placed second.
 
In the women’s division of the elite Graveyard Race, the top-ranked paddler in the world, Annabel Anderson of New Zealand, returned to Wrightsville Beach and successfully captured her third consecutive victory. Sonni Hönscheid of Germany placed second in the women’s division.
 
A portion of event proceeds benefits The Ocean of Hope, paddlers and ocean enthusiasts dedicated to raising awareness and funds for Sarcoma Alliance to help those fighting cancer.
 
 
About West Marine
Founded by a sailor in 1968, West Marine Inc. has grown to become the largest omni-channel specialty retailer exclusively offering boating gear, apparel and footwear, and other waterlife-related products to everyone who enjoys recreational time on or around the water. With more than 260 stores located in 38 states and Puerto Rico and an eCommerce website reaching domestic and international customers, West Marine is recognized as the dominant waterlife outfitter for cruisers, sailors, anglers and paddlesports enthusiasts. West Marine has everything you need for your life on the water. For more information about West Marine, its products and store locations, visit westmarine.com or call 1-800-BOATING (1-800-262-8464). West Marine's stock is traded on NASDAQ under the symbol WMAR.
 
About Surftech 
Surftech, "The original board manufacturing company," was founded in 1989 in Santa Cruz, California by Randy French. A pioneer of composite technologies, Surftech was the first company to introduce composite manufacturing to the surfing, paddling, and SUP industry. Surftech's business model has always been about giving board builders a way to scale and expand their businesses with a seamless solution that would complement their existing lineups. In the early 90's, Surftech partnered with a world-class international factory that matched their commitment to excellence, providing unparalleled capabilities, strong environmental practices, unmatched craftsmanship and most importantly could scale to meet demand. Surftech brands include Channel Islands, Donald Takayama, Bob McTavish, Robert August, BARK Paddleboards, Softtop, Blacktip and is the North American Distributor for the NSP brand (Nature, Science, Passion).
 
Contact:
 
Mark Schmidt
Race Director
Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club
P: 910-620-1835
E: Mark@WrightsvilleBeachPaddleClub.com
 
Lindsey Johnson
Director of Communications
West Marine
P: 831-761-6944
E: LindseyJ@WestMarine.com
 
Rob Farrow
Vice President, Marketing
Surftech
E: Rob@Surftech.com
 
Robert B Butler
Communications | PR
P: 919-455-8345
E: Robert@RBButler.com
Race information and registration: 
 
Looking back...
 
2015 Carolina Cup
Australian Travis Grant and New Zealander Annabel Anderson Capture Elite Victories
2015 Carolina Cup - Graveyard Race Launch - Photo courtesy of Peter Newman and Aerial Images ILM
Australian and New Zealander Capture Elite Victories in 2015 Carolina Cup
 
 
WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC – Australian Travis Grant captured the men’s stand up paddleboard championship in the grueling 13.2-mile Graveyard Race at The Fifth Annual Carolina Cup. Danny Ching of California, multiple Battle of the Paddle winner and three-time champion of The Carolina Cup, placed second.
 
In the women’s division of the elite Graveyard Race, the top-ranked paddler in the world, Annabel Anderson of New Zealand returned to Wrightsville Beach and successfully captured her third consecutive victory.
 
“The international field here was huge,” said Christopher Parker, SUP expert and race analyst with SUPRacer.com. “We never see anything like this. This was the second most competitive race of all time and the most all-round challenging. The level of competition, the conditions, the surf at the start and finish, the flatwater, headwind, downwind, sidewind … it’s brutal.”
 
Organized by the Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club and sanctioned by the World Paddle Association, The Carolina Cup “attracted top paddlers from approximately 20 nations and 40 states,” according to co-race director John Beausang. “An estimated 950 people registered for this year’s races and clinics,” all based at Blockade Runner Beach Resort April 22-26, 2015.
 
On a complex set of algorithms, Parker follows and ranks stand up paddleboard pros and races around the world. “The Carolina Cup is in extremely exclusive territory,” says Parker, explaining the upcoming boost of The Carolina Cup to the second highest ranked race in the world, behind California’s Battle of the Paddle, considered the “Super Bowl” of SUP.
 
“The Carolina Cup has evolved into a sophisticated, world-class sporting event,” said Nicolas Montoya, General Manager of Blockade Runner Beach Resort. “Attendance for The Carolina Cup has been excellent,” added Blockade Runner owner Mary Baggett. “Professionals arrived a week before the races offering clinics and one-on-one instruction for people in the Carolinas and Virginia interested in the sport of SUP.”
 
Top Five Elite 13.2-mile Graveyard Race Winners
 
Men
 
1. Travis Grant, Australia (residing in Hawaii)
2. Danny Ching, California
3. Georges Cronsteadt, Tahiti
4. TitouanTitou” Puyo, New Caledonia
5. Connor Baxter, Maui
 
Women
 
1. Annabel Anderson, New Zealand
2. Sonni Honscheid, Germany
3. Lina Augaitis, Canada
4. Terrene Black, Australia
5. Angie Jackson, Australia
 
More race information and results:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
A portion of the proceeds will benefit The Ocean of Hope, paddlers and ocean enthusiasts dedicated to raising awareness and funds for the Sarcoma Alliance to help those fighting cancer.
 
Contact:
 
John Beausang
Co-Race Director
The Carolina Cup
910-616-9675
John@distressedmullet.com
 
Robert B Butler | PR
Travis Grant of Australia, 2015 Men's Champion, Graveyard Race, The Carolina Cup - Photo courtesy of North Carolina Press Release
Travis Grant of Australia, 2015 Men's Champion, The Graveyard Race, The Carolina Cup - Photo courtesy North Carolina Press Release
Annabel Anderson of New Zealand, 2015 Women's Champion, The Graveyard Race, The Carolina Cup - Photo courtesy of North Carolina Press Release
Danny Ching of California, 2012, 2013, 2014 Men's Champion, The Graveyard Race, The Carolina Cup - Photo courtesy North Carolina Press Release
2015 Carolina Cup - Graveyard Race Launch - Photo courtesy of North Carolina Press Release
2015 Carolina Cup - Graveyard Race Launch - Photo courtesy of North Carolina Press Release
2015 Carolina Cup - Graveyard Race Launch - Photo courtesy of North Carolina Press Release
2015 Carolina Cup - Graveyard Race Launch - Photo courtesy of North Carolina Press Release
2015 Carolina Cup - Graveyard Race Launch - Photo courtesy of North Carolina Press Release
Soundside Money Island and Harbor Island Races, The Carolina Cup - Photo courtesy North Carolina Press Release
2015 Carolina Cup - Graveyard Race Launch - Photo courtesy of North Carolina Press Release
2015 Carolina Cup - Graveyard Race Launch - Photo courtesy of North Carolina Press Release
 
 
Jack, Don, Dylan, and Jenny Alderman, courtesy North Carolina Press Release
Parents and Son to Compete in Carolina Cup's 
‘Graveyard’ Race
 
WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC – The Alderman family is back. For the fifth consecutive year, family members will load up the SUV and make the four-hour trek from Johns Island, South Carolina to The Carolina Cup in Wrightsville Beach, April 22-26.
 
Why the excitement? Joining parents Don and Jenny Alderman in the grueling Graveyard Race will be 13-year-old Dylan, alongside the world’s best stand up paddleboarders, navigating the 13.2-mile ocean, inlet, and waterway course encircling Wrightsville Beach.
 
The Carolina Cup, one of the world’s largest and most respected stand up paddleboard races, is expected to grow to well over 1,000 participants in 2015. Last year’s race attracted athletes from 31 states and 11 countries, according to John Beausang, one of the founders and race directors of the Carolina Cup.
 
“This year it’s even bigger. It’s possible that we will be the largest race in the world this year, or at least, in the top three,” said Beausang.
 
“The Carolina Cup is really the only race we travel to besides Hawaii,” said Jenny Alderman. “The reason we travel to Wrightsville is because the whole family has fun. Simple as that. Even though it is a large event with top athletes from around the world it really does have something for everyone.”
 
Weeklong family-friendly activities include clinics, exhibits, demonstrations, and special events all culminating in four stand up paddleboard races that meet the spectrum of skills from beginner to world-class Olympians and professionals. All races and activities are based at Blockade Runner Beach Resort.
 
The signature event at the Carolina Cup is the elite Graveyard Race. Reigning three-time male champion Danny Ching of California, a multiple Battle of the Paddle winner and world champion OC1 paddler, will defend his title. On the women’s side of the Graveyard, the top-ranked paddler in the world, Annabel Anderson of New Zealand, will return to defend her two consecutive titles.
 
Ching’s challengers include Australians Travis Grant, Jamie Mitchell, Kelly Margetts, and Lincoln Dews, Mexico’s Fernando Stalla, Hawaii’s Connor Baxter, Florida’s Slater Trout, and other world-ranked champions. 
 
The Alderman’s youngest son Jack, 11, will participate in the Harbor Island Recreational Race a 3.5-mile flat water adventure for beginner to intermediate SUP enthusiasts.
 
"They [the Aldermans] should get a special family award," said John Beausang. "They're enjoying the Carolina Cup the way we intended it, with the whole family having fun all weekend long.”
 
The outdoor expo at Blockade Runner is “probably the largest on the East Coast,” added Beausang. “Every leading manufacturer, including title sponsor SUP ATX, will be here with boards, accessories, gear, and clothing.”
 
“You don’t have to race to come down. It’s such a great spectator sport. Even the pros, these top athletes in the world, are very approachable and nice,” said Beausang.
 
A portion of proceeds will benefit The Ocean of Hope, paddlers and ocean enthusiasts dedicated to raising awareness and funds for the Sarcoma Alliance, which helps those fighting cancer.
 
The Carolina Cup is sanctioned by the World Paddle Association.
 
 
 
 
Contact:
 
John Beausang
Co-Race Director
The Carolina Cup
910-616-9675
john@distressedmullet.com
 
Robert B Butler | PR | North Carolina Press Release
 
 
The Alderman Family in Hawaii, courtesy North Carolina Press Release
 
 
World Spotlight on North Carolina’s
5th Annual Carolina Cup
 
WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC – Crowned as one of the world’s five major stand up paddleboard races for 2015 by Australia’s SUPracer.com, The Carolina Cup, celebrating its fifth year, returns to Wrightsville Beach, April 22-26.
 
“Last year’s race was one of the most competitive races in the world with athletes from 31 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, B.V.I., and 11 countries," says John Beausang, one of the founders and race directors of the Carolina Cup. “This year it’s even bigger. We have 19 of the top 20 paddlers in the world and 30 of the top 40 already committed to The Carolina Cup. It’s possible that we will be the largest race in the world this year, or at least, in the top three.”
 
Expected to grow from 750 participants last year to well over 1,000 in 2015, The Carolina Cup features a weeklong family-friendly festival, including clinics, exhibits, demonstrations, and special events all culminating with four stand up paddleboard races to meet the spectrum of skills from beginner to world-class Olympians and professionals. 
 
Stand up paddleboard spread first from Hawaii to California to Florida, and then up the East Coast 6 or 7 years ago. The sport in North Carolina has “just exploded,” says Beausang, founder of DistressedMullet.com. “Anywhere there is water access … you’re going to have a paddleboard.”
 
“Wrightsville Beach is unique because it’s so concentrated. We have the ocean side, sound side, Harbor Island, spoil islands, and the Intracoastal Waterway,” says Beausang. “Blockade Runner Beach Resort [host hotel] is one of the most perfectly situated event venues. One side faces the ocean while the other side faces the sound with a beach. So you have the best of everything.”
 
The signature event at the Carolina Cup is the elite Graveyard Race. “It’s one of the most technical courses on earth and involves 13.2 miles navigating around the island of Wrightsville Beach,” says Beausang. “It’s a very difficult course. You go out through the surf, you encounter ocean, inlets, flat water, current, wind, chop, the waterway, boat traffic, and you finish in the surf. Everything you can imagine.”
 
Reigning three-time male champion Danny Ching of California, a multiple Battle of the Paddle winner and world champion OC1 paddler, will defend his title. “In the past three years no one has really come close to touching him,” says Beausang. “This year, I think there are going to be a few people to come out of the woodwork to really give him a challenge.”
 
Ching’s challengers will include Australians Travis Grant, Jamie Mitchell, Kelly Margetts, and Lincoln Dews, Mexico’s Fernando Stalla, Hawaii’s Connor Baxter, Florida’s Slater Trout, and other world-ranked champions. 
 
On the women’s side of the Graveyard, the top ranked paddler in the world, Annabel Anderson of New Zealand, will return to defend her two consecutive titles. “The top 5 is going to be very interesting,” says Beausang. “There are a lot of entrants from the Olympic canoe paddler world. Canadian paddlers are making some really good inroads. They’re fast and really know how to move a boat.”
 
The Money Island 6.5-mile Open Race, designed for intermediate to advanced paddlers, is on the sound side in the inland waterways around Wrightsville Beach, Harbor Island, Masonboro Island, and the spoil islands.
 
“The Money Island Race is difficult to read,” according to Beausang. “We never really know. Last year we had a Canadian Olympic Triathlete, a cast member from Vampire Diaries, and an NFL player. It varies from celebrities to top-level athletes that maybe aren’t ready for ocean conditions [the Graveyard].”
 
The Harbor Island Recreational Race is a 3.5-mile flatwater adventure for beginner to intermediate SUP enthusiasts. On Sunday, April 26, the Kids Race is open to girls and boys ages 7 to 14.  
 
Clinics include WPA certification, beginner to advanced SUP techniques, yoga teacher training, and more, all taught by leading experts.
 
The outdoor expo is “probably the largest on the East Coast,” says Beausang. “Every leading manufacturer, including title sponsor SUP ATX, will be here with boards, accessories, gear, and clothing.”
 
“You don’t have to race to come down,” says Beausang. “It’s such a great spectator sport. Even the pros, these top athletes in the world, are very approachable and nice.”
 
A portion of proceeds will benefit The Ocean of Hope, paddlers and ocean enthusiasts dedicated to raising awareness and funds for the Sarcoma Alliance to help those fighting cancer.
 
The Carolina Cup is sanctioned by the World Paddle Association.
 
 
 
Contact:
 
John Beausang
Co-Race Director
The Carolina Cup
910-616-9675
john@distressedmullet.com
 
Robert B Butler | North Carolina Press Release
 
Permission granted for publishing and redistribution – in part or whole. Photo credits required.
 
The Carolina Cup, Wrightsville Beach, NC, Graveyard Elite Winners, Annabel Anderson and Danny Ching
The Carolina Cup, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, photo courtesy of Chris McQuiston
The Carolina Cup, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, photo courtesy of Chris McQuiston
The Carolina Cup, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, photo courtesy of Chris McQuiston
The Carolina Cup, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, photo courtesy of Chris McQuiston
The Carolina Cup, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, photo courtesy of Chris McQuiston
The Carolina Cup, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, photo courtesy of Chris McQuiston
The Carolina Cup, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, photo courtesy of Chris McQuiston
The Carolina Cup, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, photo courtesy of Chris McQuiston
The Carolina Cup, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, photo courtesy of Chris McQuiston
The Carolina Cup, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, photo courtesy of Chris McQuiston
The Carolina Cup, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, photo courtesy of Chris McQuiston
The Carolina Cup, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, photo courtesy of Chris McQuiston
The Carolina Cup, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, photo courtesy of Chris McQuiston
The Carolina Cup, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, photo courtesy of Chris McQuiston
The Carolina Cup, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, photo courtesy of Chris McQuiston
The Carolina Cup, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, photo courtesy of Chris McQuiston
Aerial view, Wrightsville Beach, NC, Lemonstripe and NCPressRelease.com
Home of The Carolina Cup, Blockade Runner Beach Resort, Wrightsville Beach
Aerial photography Lemonstripe, Blockade Runner Beach Resort, NCPressRelease.com
Money Island Race Start, Carolina Cup, Wrightsville Beach, NC
Stand up paddleboard Expo and Demo at Blockade Runner Beach Resort, Wrightsville Beach, NC
The Carolina Cup Kids Race, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina
Two-Time World Champion Danny Ching, on his way to the Carolina Cup, photo by Riviera Paddles
Still on the way... Danny Ching, photo by Riviera Paddles
World Champion, Danny Ching, California, courtesy Chris McQuiston
Candice Appleby, California, courtesy Quickblade Paddles
European Champion, Eric Terrien, France, courtesy Ben Thouard BIC SPORTS
Carolina Cup Champion, Anthony Vela, California, courtesy Quickblade Paddles
Olympic Gold Medalist, NC Surf to Sound Champion, Larry Cain, Canada, courtesy Josh McClure
Ten-time Molokai World Champion, Jamie Mitchell, Australia, courtesy Quickblade Paddles
Olympic Gold Medalist, NC Surf to Sound Champion, Larry Cain, Canada, courtesy Quickblade Paddles
US Olympic Team Member, Sprint Canoe, Jim Terrell, California, Quickblade Paddles
World Champion, Candice Appleby, California, courtesy William Pope
US Olympic Team Member, Sprint Canoe, Jim Terrell, California, Quickblade Paddles
European Champion, Eric Terrien, France, courtesy Ben Thouard BIC SPORTS
US Olympic Team Member, Sprint Canoe, Jim Terrell, California, Quickblade Paddles
Carolina Cup Champion, Anthony Vela, California, courtesy William Pope
World Champion Danny Ching, photo courtesy Chris McQuiston
Not the Carolina Cup, but a photo of SOUND flatwater SUP at Wrightsville Beach
Photography by Joshua McClure
Jarrod Covington, Winner of Wrightsville Beach Biathlon, to compete in Carolina Cup, photo courtesy Emmy Errante / Lumina News
The Alderman Family, Johns Island, SC
Dylan and Jack Alderman, racing in the 2013 Carolina Cup (Harbor Island Outer Loop and Sea Turtle Race
Dylan and Jack Alderman, a few years ago
The Alderman Family, Don, Jack, Jenny and Dylan. All will participate in the 2013 Carolina Cup.
Wrightsville Beach Flyover, showing the wide variety of surf to sound SUP conditions
Courtesy Lemonstrip, Blockade Runner Beach Resort, NCPressRelease.com
2012 Carolina Cup Video, courtesy Greg Ford, Ford Design
2011 NC Surf to Sound Challenge Video, courtesy Blockade Runner Beach Resort
2013 NC Surf to Sound Challenge scheduled for November 22, 23, 24
Looking back... 2014
 
2014 International SUP Race Season Kicks Off 
The 4th Annual Carolina Cup Paddleboard Race Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina
 
Outside Magazine names the Carolina Cup as one of two must-attend stand up paddle board races in 2014. Dave Kalama to address participants in pre-race keynote address.
The Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club is preparing to welcome over 700 Stand Up Paddlers from around the world for the 4th Annual Carolina Cup at the Blockade Runner Beach Resort April 23-27, 2014. As the first large international paddle race after the winter hiatus, the Carolina Cup offers a chance for professional and amateur paddlers to test their skills and abilities against their peers, setting the scene for the upcoming race season.
Outside Magazine named The Carolina Cup one of the two must-attend stand up paddle board races in 2014 as part of their 2014 race guide in the March issue. This year, legendary Stand Up Paddle Surfer Dave Kalama will address all registrants at a pre-race dinner Friday night.
2013 Elite race winners Annabel Anderson and Danny Ching will be back to defend their titles in the showcase 12.5 mile Graveyard race, during which paddlers circumnavigate the island of Wrightsville Beach. The Graveyard race has been described as “The most technically challenging race in the world,” requiring racers to complete a beach start through the surf, paddle in and out of inlets, maintain speed during flatwater, and surf in to the finish line. “I’ve paddled the Molokai channel five times and I’ve never been in as much pain as I was after this race,” said 2013’s second place finisher Jenny Kalmbach. “The most versatile paddler will win the Elite Race,” says Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club Board Member John Beausang. “This race requires skill in every discipline of stand up paddle boarding: ability to read water, paddle in the open ocean, surf a race board, and achieve speed during flatwater portions.”
Paddlers of all experience levels on a variety of watercraft (there are classes for outrigger canoes, ocean kayaks, surfskis, and traditional prone paddleboards in addition to stand up paddle boards) will find something to do at the Carolina Cup. There are four races: The 12.5 mile Graveyard (Elite) race, The 6 mile Money Island (Open) race, the 3.5 mile Harbor Island (rec) race, and the Kids’ race on Sunday. Racers can also register for small-group clinics with some of the world’s most renowned paddle athletes, including Olympic medalists and world champions.
2014 Carolina Cup Clinics
-Danny Ching: Advanced stroke development and analysis 
-Dan Gavere: Beginner clinic 
-Jenny Kalmbach: Women’s race clinic 
-Jamie Mitchell: Prone paddling 
-Lazy Dog Paddle Yoga: Teacher Training 
-PaddleBody Institute 
-Bailey Rosen: SUP kids clinic: racers 14 and under 
-Jimmy Terrell with Jamie Mitchell or Larry Cain: Advanced paddling techniques
 
Every year the Carolina Cup has a charity component. In 2014, The Carolina Cup will be donating a portion of the race proceeds to The Ocean of Hope (O2H), which raises money for the Sarcoma Alliance. This organization assists patients diagnosed with sarcoma cancers with the end goal of earlier detection and treatment. Many patients diagnosed with sarcoma cancers are children and adolescents. Earlier treatment reduces risk of amputation and premature death.
Throughout the weekend, registrants and the general public can demo boards and paddles and browse the Expo at the Blockade Runner Beach Resort. “The entire weekend is a big family reunion—reconnecting with friends made during last year’s race season and planning where to meet up again in 2014,” says Beausang. “We work hard to put southern hospitality into this paddle race, making it a fun event where regular paddlers can rub elbows with the pros, and everyone can enjoy a relaxed atmosphere.”
 
Registration is now open for the 2014 Carolina Cup. Visit the website to learn more and register.
 
Sponsorship opportunities and Expo Demo spots are available. Contact Mark Schmidt at mark(at)wrightsvillebeachpaddleclub(dot)com for more information.
 
The Carolina Cup is a WPA (World Paddle Association) sanctioned event.
About the Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club
 
The Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club, LLC was set up by a small group of paddlers who wanted to foster the local, regional and national community of stand up paddlers. The idea was to take the events out of the hands of individual surf shops and brands in order open the door to all surf/sup shops and brands and encourage a spirit of camaraderie throughout the paddle community.
 
Board Members: 
Mark Schmidt: Owner, Schmidt Custom Builders. Mark is a surfer and paddler, husband and father who lives and works in Wilmington, NC.
Brad Howard: Owner of Howard Building Supply in Wilmington, NC. Lifelong surfer, stand up paddler and most likely to blow something up.
James Bain: Owner of Epic Food Company, Fast, Fresh Food in Wilmington, NC. If you don’t like James’ cooking, you need to see a doctor. James’ 3 boys are the next generation of SUPremacy.
John Beausang: Owner/Janitor of Distressed Mullet, an online resource for Standup Paddling in the United States and beyond. john(at)distressedmullet(dot)com. John’s a surfer, freelance writer, husband and father.
Contact:
 
Mark Schmidt 
Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club 
910-620-1835
 
John Beausang
Distressed Mullet
Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club
www.John@distressedmullet.com
 
Whitney Spratt
Blockade Runner Beach Resort
www.whitney.spratt@blockade-runner.com
910-256-2251
 
Looking back... 2013
 
World’s best to compete for Carolina Cup in fast growing watersport
 
Wrightsville Beach, NC - The biggest names in stand up paddleboarding (SUP) are traveling from around the world to compete for the Carolina Cup in Wrightsville Beach, April 25-28, (2013) at Blockade Runner Beach Resort.
 
Two-time Men's World Champion Danny Ching from California, European Champion Eric Terrien from France, two-time Women's World Champion Candice Appleby from California, Gold Medal Olympian Larry Cain from Canada, and ten-time Molokai World Champion Jamie Mitchell from Australia are on the roster.
 
"One family participating in the Carolina Cup this year has both Mom and Dad in the Elite Graveyard race (13 miles), one child in the Harbor Island race (3.5 miles) and their other child in the Sea Turtle race. They should get a special family award." From John Beausang, Co-Chair of the Carolina Cup and Owner of DistressedMullet.com.
 
The Carolina Cup is presented by Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club.
Surf to Sound Racing at Wrightsville Beach
For complete information on The Carolina Cup visit:
Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club
Accommodations:
Robert B Butler | www.NCPressRelease.com