2015 was another exciting year for the WPA’s Salt Life Cup. Salt Life Apparel, in association with the World Paddle Association, announced the formation of the Salt Life Cup beginning in 2014. The Salt Life Cup is a season-long accumulation of points earned at all WPA National races beginning with the Carolina Cup WPA National race on April 26 and culminating at the WPA Championships. The top Men’s (SUP 14’) and Women’s (SUP 12’6) points leaders received bonus money and were crowned Salt Life Cup National race Champions. The 2015 season consisted of some amazing racing, with fantastic venues highlighting SUP racing on the east and west coasts and internationally. The finale, worth double points, was the WPA Championships at the Battle of the Bay in San Francisco.
In the men’s division Ryan Helm was leading the points for the year after solid performances at The Endless SUP Race and the Santa Monica Pier Festival. Not far behind were Kieran Grant and Mo Frietas. Kieran’s major points were from a win in Key West and then the Endless SUP Race and the Coconut Cup where he took a back seat to Ryan Helm and Mo Frietas respectively. Mo Frietas had the fewest races under his belt, but with two first place finishes, he carried enough points to make the WPA Championships at Battle of the Bay a lucrative stop. After an outstanding performance at the Pacific Paddle Games, Mo showed up on fire and took the lead in both the Distance and Technical courses securing his lead and the Salt Life bonus money over a hopeful Martin Letourneur. The top three still walked away with winnings from the Battle of the Bay. Mo’s total was $8000 after the Salt Life Bonus.
For the women, Annabel Anderson led the women’s by almost 2000 points after winning 4 large races: The Carolina Cup, Santa Monica Pier Festival, Endless SUP, and the Colombia River Gorge. The east coast women were leading a hard charge of their own with North Carolina’s April Zilg barely edging out Florida’s Kimberly Barnes in the overall points to round out 2nd and 3rd. April’s major points were derived from wins at Key West and the Soundsurfer Challenge, with additional points coming from a second place to Annabel in the Endless SUP Race. Kim Barnes won the warm and sunny Coconut Cup, but took a second in Key West behind April. Not to be discounted were Shae Foudy, Candice Appleby, and Lexi Alston rounding out the top 6 places for points, and a lot closer than the men’s rankings, making the Championship with double points anyone’s game. At the Battle of the Bay, the racers with the highest accumulation of points were April and Lexi. If Lexi took the win, she had a shot at the Salt Life Cup, but only if April finished worse than 6th. Bailey Rosen ended up taking the win in both Distance and Technical (and $3000), with April and Lexi in second and third taking home $2000 and $1000 respectively. This left April Zilg as the reigning Salt Life Cup women’s champ and a bonus $3000, for a total take home of $5000 for the weekend (and season) of racing.
Chase Kosterlitz Mo Frietas
April Zilg April Zilg