April 27, 2015

Carolina Cup 2015

April 25th, 2015
Wrightsville Beach, NC
In it’s fifth year the Carolina Cup attracted around 950 people racing, taking clinics, and spectating. The race is one of the largest in the world and the second stop on the World Paddle Association’s National Series accumulating points for the Salt Life Cup.
The weather was ever changing leading up to the event. When the morning of the event arrived, the call was made to run the course north, surfing in through Mason’s inlet. The course would then traverse the intracoastal waterway, Lee’s Cut, Bank’s Channel, and finally Masonboro Inlet before finishing on the beach side of the Blockade Runner Beach Resort, the host hotel. The ocean leg presented paddlers with a fun downwind section, while the back side of the Wrightsville Beach challenged paddlers with tides and wind.
Australian Travis Grant captured the men’s stand up paddleboard championship in the 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.
This race owes its popularity, in part, to the level of competition. Paddlers from 20 nations and 40 states arrived to compete in one of the three races offered. The most competitive field was in the Elite “Graveyard” race, while the 6 mile “Money Island” was no cake walk either. Paddlers new to racing flocked enmasse to the 3 mile “Harbor Island” race.
“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 Ten Elite 13.2-mile Graveyard Race Winners
1 Travis Grant
2 Danny Ching
3 Georges Cronsteadt
4 Titouan Puyo
5 Connor Baxter
6 Jake Jensen
7 Bicho Jimenez
8 Michael Booth
9 Niuhiti Buillard
10 Eric Terrien
1 Annabel Anderson
2 Sonni Honscheid
3 Lina Augaitis
4 Terrene Black
5 Angela Jackson
6 Fiona Wylde
7 Rachel Bruntsch
8 April Zilg
9 Kelsa Gabehart
10 Shannon Bell