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.