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 2015 Carolina Cup looks set to be one of the biggest and best races on the calendar, however it's still managed to maintain the community spirit and welcomes all paddlers of all abilities. That's what makes the Carolina Cup such a great event; it's where the community comes together in a celebration of the grassroots nature of the sport.

And that's why will be traveling across the globe to Wilmington, 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 25. In the meantime though, you can get the latest Carolina Cup news below…

Mid-Year World Rankings: Travis Grant Is Number One (And There’s A Flaw In The System)

ISA Worlds
And just like that, it’s August. This year has flown by. Seems like only yesterday we were getting excited about the first major race of the year, the Carolina Cup. That was four months ago.

We’re now halfway through the international stand up paddling “season,” which loosely runs from April to October (with a couple of outposts in December). Carolina, OluKai, the Worlds, the Euro Tour, Payette and Molokai have already been run and won, while we’ve still got the Gorge Paddle Challenge, Pacific Paddle Games and a few World Series races to look forward to.

So because we’re halfway through the year, I thought it’d be a good time to analyse the best paddlers of 2015 so far.   → READ MORE

Add This To Your Calendar Right Now: Carolina Cup Announces Dates For 2016

Carolina Cup stand up paddle race 2015Whip out your calendar and pencil tattoo in these dates right now: The 2016 Carolina Cup is happening from April 19-24.

Race day will be Saturday April 23rd, however the Carolina “festival” will run from Tuesday to Sunday, with clinics, demos, movie premieres and all the other associated festivities making for six straight days of paddling goodness.   → READ MORE

WATCH: Lahui Kai’s Carolina Cup Highlights Reel

Carolina Cup SUP Race videoCheck out this great Carolina Cup clip from the Lahui Kai Paddleboards team, including some awesome aerial footage of the mass start.

There’s also a cool little behind the scenes look at the team photoshoot, plus some insights from head honcho of design Brian Szymanski.    → READ MORE

WATCH: Rogue’s Awesome Edit From The Carolina Cup

Carolina Cup Stand Up Paddleboard race video 2015Check out this awesome little highlights reel from the Carolina Cup. Courtesy of the Rogue SUP crew, this clip does a great job of capturing the intensity of the infamous Graveyard Race.

Very sharp edit. That slow-mo sequence at 0:20 looks like a bunch of ancient warriors about to charge into battle…   → READ MORE

SUP Racer World Rankings: Post-Carolina Analysis

Stand Up Paddle World Rankings 1
As expected, the SUP Racer World Rankings saw a lot of movement after the epic Carolina Cup on Saturday. Part race, part reunion, part festival of stand up paddling, the Carolina Cup has become one of the most significant and important events in our sport. It’s also one of the biggest gatherings of elite talent in the world.

Click through to see how it impacted the current World Rankings…   → READ MORE

Carolina Cup: Travis Grant, Annabel Anderson Win In Style As The SUP World Celebrates The First Major Race Of The Season

2015 Carolina Cup SUP results
Done. What an epic race that was. Congratulations to Travis Grant and Annabel Anderson – 2015 Carolina Cup CHAMPIONS. Massive effort from Danny Ching and Sonni Honscheid to claim the runner-up positions, and really any paddler in the Top 10/Top 20 deserves a medal. That was hectic out there.

Click through for full results and a full replay of the live webcast…   → READ MORE

Who’s Coming To The Carolina Cup? Short Answer: Everyone…

Carolina Cup Paddleboard RaceIn a clear sign of just how significant the Carolina Cup has become, we’ve confirmed that 17 of the world’s Top 20 guys and 7 of the Top 10 women are heading to the first major race of the season.

The 2015 Carolina Cup, set for Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina on April 25th, will play host to an elite lineup of talent never before seen outside the BOP, further cementing Carolina as the place to be.   → READ MORE

The “Countdown To Carolina” Begins Now: 100 Days ‘Til The First Major Race Of The Season

Carolina Cup Stand Up Paddling RaceTime to start training: The 2015 Carolina Cup is just 100 days away.

As the first major SUP race of the season, the Carolina Cup is shaping up to be a true classic this year. With a unique mix of top-level stars, weekend warriors and first timers, the sleepy, seaside hamlet of Wrightsville Beach will be transformed into a SUP mecca in the last week of April.   → READ MORE

The Majors: The World’s Five Biggest SUP Races (Plus: Predicting The Top 25 “Most Significant” Races Of 2015)

Major Stand Up Paddle Races
I asked the question last week: “What do we call the biggest races in stand up paddling?” The Majors? The Grand Slams? The Classics?

In a sport as fragmented and disorganised as SUP racing, I think it would be great to recognise and celebrate the big, standalone events that support and develop both the community and industry. To help promote them with a collective theme that highlights their significant contribution to the sport.

I say we call them the Majors, and these are the races that I think qualify. The five biggest races in the world this year are…   → READ MORE

Who’s Coming To Carolina? (And How Good’s Your Eyesight..?)

Carolina Cup high resSo for the past week I’ve been tossing up which events should be listed as the most significant races of 2015. The “Majors” if you will.

But while I continue to twist my mind around trying to produce something close to a definitive list, I already know one race that’ll definitely be on there: The Carolina Cup.   → READ MORE

The Top 14 Most Competitive Races Of 2014

Battle of the Paddle Salt Creek
There were a lot of SUP races this year. We had over 400 listings on the Rogue Race Calendar. We sent 137 race results to the Results by Riviera archive. You couldn’t go a week without your Facebook feed being flooded with photos of SUP races here, there and everywhere.

Some of those races were fun, local events. Some were grand, international spectacles. Most fell somewhere in between. And that’s just fine. Most races don’t need to be grand to be successful, they just need to be well organised, encourage a few extra people to give the sport a try and offer everyone a fun day on the water.

But some races push the boundaries a little more than the average. Some races attract, either through deliberate marketing or incidental brilliance, a disproportionately large amount of attention and elite talent. Quite simply: Some races are a lot more competitive than others. Click through to see the full list and read my overly-thorough analysis…   → READ MORE

WATCH: Awesome Edit From 2014 Carolina Cup

Carolina Cup paddleboard race videoCheck out this great highlights reel from the 2014 Carolina Cup, featuring plenty of action, plenty of artistic angles and a few entertaining words from the paddlers themselves.

This is another classy edit from Fin Film Company’s Chris Aguilar (who’s released a LOT of cool videos over the years) on behalf of the Surftech/Bark crew.

I know we’re not even halfway through 2014, but I believe the Carolina Cup will go down as one of the races of the year, probably right behind the Battle in terms of exposure, hype, prestige and the level of competition on show. Do your best to get out to Wrightsville Beach in 2015…   → READ MORE

Dave Kalama Speaks: Some Inspiring Words From The Carolina Cup

dave kalama motivational speechOne of the highlights of this year’s Carolina Cup was hearing Dave Kalama speak on the eve of the race. The big guy shared a story from his 2009 Molokai campaign, which didn’t end the way he wanted it but still taught him a very good lesson about quitting (or in Dave’s words “Being a whiny little bitch”).

It’s a little longer than the usual SUP edit, but definitely worth paying attention til the end. Watch above and enjoy. And remember: No matter how many excuses you can come up with, you don’t get in that boat…   → READ MORE

WATCH: A Very Slick Carolina Cup Highlights Reel

Video Carolina Cup stand up paddle raceCheck out this darn fine highlights reel from the Carolina Cup. It’s got a bit of everything in there, from the rec race to the elite race to everything else that made this such a great event.

Love the finish line sequences.

Click through to watch and enjoy…   → READ MORE

87 Awesome Photos From The Carolina Cup

Carolina Cup photos
The Carolina Cup is done and dusted for another year, so now it’s time to look back and reflect on what really was an amazing week.

There were a lot of great paddlers and a lot of great action at this year’s event. Here’s a collection of the very best…   → READ MORE

Carolina Cup: Danny Ching, Annabel Anderson Stand Victorious After 13 Miles Of Pain (UPDATED RESULTS)

Carolina Cup Graveyard Elite Race
Woah… What a race. That was 13 miles of pain. I’m hurting.

Congrats to Danny Ching for muscling his way through this one and to Annabel Anderson for coming out on top despite a huge push from Jenny and Lina. Danny has now won this event three years in a row while Annabel has gone back to back in her first two attempts.

Click through for full results from all the races.   → READ MORE

Connor’s Carolina Cup Preview

Carolina CupWith less than 24 hours til one of the biggest races of the year, we asked Connor Baxter for his thoughts on the race…

“Yeah stoked to be here, it’s going to be a really challenging race, totally different to what I’m used to so it’ll be a good test. I’ve been doing the shorter 12’6 races lately, but this is 13 miles on a 14 footer so a whole different ball game for me. I usually try to do only two races over 10 miles each year – and those are downwinders in Hawaii… It’s also really different coming off races in Brazil and Abu Dhabi, especially Abu Dhabi where it was crazy hot – 105 degres (40 C) in the dry desert heat. So now coming to North Carolina where it’s a bit cooler is actually a nice change.

The Carolina Cup looks like it’ll be a really challenging course. This is my first year but everyone’s saying it’s a total mission out there. Definitely one of the toughest races on the calendar. Comparing this to other events on the level of difficulty, this would be near the top closer to Molokai territory than your average race. It’s got all kinds of conditions – flat, ocean, maybe downwind and a few parts where there are waves. So it’s gonna make for super interesting racing and strategy…”   → READ MORE

Carolina Cup Fantasy SUP: Who’s Going To Win? Previews And Predictions (Plus Your Chance To Win)

Carolina Cup Fantasy SUP
We’re less than 48 hours away from one of the stand up paddling events of the year: The Carolina Cup at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina is happening this Saturday and looks set to be one of the single biggest races of 2014.

I don’t wanna get ahead of myself and hype things up unnecessarily, but, just quietly, the 2014 Carolina Cup is gonna be MASSIVE. In terms of both size and the level of competition, this race is going to be huge. The online rego cut off at midnight last night with 499 people already signed on. Organisers are expecting another 100 in-person regos tomorrow, meaning we could see over 600 paddlers line up on Saturday across the 3.5 mile rec race, the 6.5 mile open race and the big one: The 13 mile Elite Graveyard Race.

But who’s gonna win? Let’s have some fun and make a few bold predictions…   → READ MORE

What Do The Carolina Cup And Coachella Have In Common?

Carolina Cup Stand Up Paddle race scheduleOne thing that’s become very clear since I arrived in Wrightsville Beach a couple days ago: There is an insane amount of organisation going into this event.

The Carolina Cup is not a race, it’s not even an event: It’s a five-day stand up paddling festival.

Seriously, check out the Carolina Cup event flyer – it looks less like a SUP race and more like a Coachella festival guide.

Demos, expos, movie nights, clinics (oh there’s clinics…), autograph signings, SUP yoga sessions, pre-parties, after-parties, night paddles, live music… There might even be time for a couple of actual races in there.   → READ MORE