The Carolina Cup is a stand up paddle race held annually at Wrightsville Beach, Wilmington, North Carolina. Since 2011 it has grown from a regional race into an international headliner, attracting dozens of the world’s fastest athletes as well as hundreds of recreational paddlers.
The 2017 Carolina Cup will be one of the biggest and best races on the calendar, but what makes this event so great is that it still maintains the community spirit that’s welcoming to paddlers of all abilities. The Carolina Cup is where the community comes together in a celebration of the grassroots nature of the sport.
And that’s why SUP Racer will be traveling across the globe to Wrightsville to help bring you the spirit, the excitement and the action of this great race as it happens. We’ll have interviews, pics, previews, predictions and full coverage on race day. So mark your calendar for April 22nd. In the meantime though, you can get the latest Carolina Cup news below…
Heads up: The Quiksilver Waterman Carolina Cup is set for the weekend of April 27, 2019, one week later than this year’s edition due to the Easter holidays.
Carolina race week – including the clincis, premieres and parties – will be from the 24th to the 28th of April with the main day of racing falling on Saturday the 27th.
Expect it to be one of the major stops on tour once again, so mark Wrightsville Beach in your calendars now.
What happened at the Carolina Cup? How does Fernando Stalla describe the current level of competition? And does Mo Freitas actually train? 🤔 All this and more on the latest ROGUE_RECAP
Synchronised paddling, anyone?
Carolina isn’t just about SUP: the outrigger canoes and surfskis took over on Sunday for another loop around the infamous Graveyard course.
Pictured above are Danny Ching, Ryland Hart, Georges Cronsteadt and Travis Grant in perfect formation. How good is that shot? You couldn’t set that up if you tried. → READ MORE
Full results from today’s epic Elite Graveyard Race here at the 2018 Quiksilver Waterman Carolina Cup in Wrightsville Beach.
An amazing day of racing with so many incredible stories. SUPConnect has a great recap of the day’s action, while we’ll be sharing our insights over the coming days. For now, here are the full results including the all-important points for The Paddle League World Rankings. → READ MORE
In brief: Sonni Hönscheid has shown she’ll be very hard to stop in the hunt for The Paddle League World Title this season, taking out today’s Quiksilver Waterman Carolina Cup and recording her second straight victory after a similarly-dominant display in Tahiti two weeks ago.
Despite going up against one of the strongest women’s fields ever assembled, Sonni was in a class of her own today. She reeled in the fast-starting Fiona Wylde after the first mile before breaking away 30 minutes later and paddling the final eight miles solo. The German powerhouse crossed the line three minutes clear of impressive runner-up Olivia Piana while Fiona was all smiles in third.
There were fantastic performances right throughout the field, with most competitors describing the conditions as “fun” despite the grueling nature of the ‘Graveyard’ course. Strong north-east winds whipped up solid downwind bumps for the final three miles, with hometown hero April Zilg looking strong in fourth place and fast-finishing Seychelle rounding out the elite top five.
More to come…
In brief: Michael Booth has survived a nail-biting finish to win the 2018 Quiksilver Waterman Carolina Cup, outlasting fast finishes from Travis Grant and Mo Freitas after two hours of epic racing around Wrightsville Beach this afternoon.
Boothy powered home in the final three miles – which turned into a full downwind leg this year – to claim “The biggest win of my career so far” and redeem himself for a poor performance here 12 months ago as well as a very frustrating runner-up finish in Tahiti two weeks ago.
The win sends Boothy to the top of The Paddle League World Rankings and cements him as one of the clear favourites for this year’s world title.
The front pack of 18 guys stuck together for the first 10 miles of the race, with the pace fairly calm and mellow in the flat water back straights, however the field scattered in the final open ocean leg. Only Travis and Mo along with Titouan Puyo could match Boothy’s pace, however despite throwing everything at the Aussie powerhouse in the final minute, Trav and Mo had to settle for second and third respectively just a few seconds behind the winner.
More to come…
We’re just 48 hours out from race day at the Quiksilver Waterman Carolina Cup here in the sleepy-hollow-turned-paddling-mecca that is Wrightsville Beach.
With its mix of elite superstars and everyday paddlers combined with a festival setup and early-season “reunion” atmosphere, Carolina is always a special stop on the circuit. This year, however, the cake’s got a nice little cherry on top in the form of The Paddle League World Tour, which aims to give the sport a solid foundation and help support/elevate these classic races such as Carolina–the events that act as true pillars of our sport.
→ READ MORE
As the countdown continues to this weekend’s big Quiksilver Waterman Carolina Cup, we just finished our “Fireside Chat” Facebook Live stream with the NSP/Surftech crew here in Wrightsville Beach.
Watch a full replay above to hear from two-time defending champ Titouan Puyo, Molokai hero Travis Grant, last week’s giant-killer Marcus Hansen and the legend Joe Bark, then tune in for the race day livestream from 10am Saturday.
The Road to Wrightsville is almost complete, with the 8th Annual Quiksilver Waterman Carolina Cup and second stop of The Paddle League World Tour just days away.
The paddleboarding world is currently making its annual pilgrimage to sleepy Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, and we’ll be there all week to take you behind the scenes.
So stay tuned for previews, insights and interviews from this festival of paddling, then sit back and watch the big dance LIVE on The Paddle League at 10am Saturday. Click through to find out when to tune in around the world… → READ MORE
In an surprise announcement that will probably come as no surprise to those who know her best, world number one Annabel Anderson has revealed she won’t be defending her Carolina Cup title this year, opening up the women’s field at one of the biggest races in the world as the New Zealander takes an indefinite hiatus to recover from injury and re-evaluate her priorities.
Following a career-best season in 2018, where she managed to break her own lofty records and finish the year with an astonishing 300+ points (a number I thought was virtually impossible to achieve when I created the world rankings system — the “Unicorn Club” we call it), Annabel spent the southern summer chasing her other passion: mountain bike racing.
Annabel doesn’t do anything by halves whether it’s on or off the water, so the fact she suffered a serious injury, while not great to hear, is no surprise to hear. The tenacious Kiwi had a heavy mtn bike crash a couple of months ago that she’s still recovering from, while the five-time Carolina Cup champion and reigning PPGs title holder has had many niggling injuries throughout her career that have started to catch up. → READ MORE
In brief: The Carolina Cup, one of the top-rated majors on the international circuit and a true pillar of our sport, has landed Quiksilver Waterman as title sponsor for the 2018 edition in what is a great sign not only for the event but our sport in general.
Beginning in 2011, Wrightsville Beach has grown in an absolute mecca for the paddling community. Hundreds of paddlers descend on Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina every April for the week-long festival, and it’s become a must-do event no matter whether you’re a title-contending superstar or a first time member of the racing fraternity. → READ MORE
After an exhaustive process of consultation with athletes, manufacturers, events and the media, Carolina Cup organisers have announced that women will compete on the same boards as men starting in 2018, switching from 12’6 to the increasingly-popular “anything up to 14 ft” board class for the iconic Elite Graveyard Race.
As announced today on Distressed Mullet (I encourage you to read the full article for more details), the change comes into effect starting at next year’s event on April 21st, and hopefully it’ll be the catalyst to end the board class debate that has distracted our sport for waaay too long. → READ MORE
Check out this aerial highlights reel from the massive showdown in Carolina last weekend, where Titouan Puyo and Annabel Anderson added another chapter to the history book of SUP after an epic battle with the world’s best.
Click through to watch… → READ MORE
Titouan Puyo and Annabel Anderson have defended their Carolina Cup titles after an extraordinary day of racing here in Wrightsville Beach, with Titou breaking away from an all-star field over the final mile to cement his reputation as one of the absolute finest paddlers on the planet, while Annabel won the duel with Fiona Wylde to claim her fifth-straight title and officially move up to ‘legend’ status.
In an extremely grueling race that had a bit of everything, Titou made the most of the difficult conditions by powering through the downwind section and helping control the pace in the brutal upwind legs, holding off the challenge from world number two Michael Booth, team mate Travis Grant, the Tahitian army and dozens more of the world’s best. → READ MORE