UPDATE: Last weekend’s competition is over and it turns out Carolina Cup 2018 was a dream. Skies were blue, the conditions were great and despite not making it all the way to the #1 spot, the NSP team and their NSP Sonics managed to snatch half of the top 6 spots.

Anyone following the live feed on The Paddle League must have experienced the excruciating finish sprint (and a crotch shot that seemed to last forever). In the end, Boothy redeemed himself after Tahiti and got 1st place, with our own Travis coming in few seconds later.

Final Results – Elite Men (13 miles / 21km)

1st: Michael Booth (2:03:14) Australia
2nd: Travis Grant (2:03:21) Australia
3rd: Mo Freitas (2:03:27) Hawaii
4th: Titouan Puyo (2:03:43) France
5th: Georges Cronsteadt (2:03:49) Tahiti
6th: Marcus Hansen (2:04:51) New Zealand
7th: Lincoln Dews (2:05:02) Australia
8th: Niuhiti Buillard (2:05:25) Tahiti
9th: Bruno Hasulyo (2:05:30) Hungary
10th: Danny Ching (2:05:35) USA

Women Elite (13 miles / 21km)

1st: Sonni Hönscheid (2:20:35) Germany
2nd: Olivia Piana (2:23:38) France
3rd: Fiona Wylde (2:25:19) USA
4th: April Zilg (2:28:26) USA
5th: Seychelle (2:29:22) USA
6th: Candice Appleby (2:30:39) USA
7th: Terrene Black (2:30:40) Australia
8th: Shae Foudy (2:31:32) USA
9th: Yuka Sato (2:34:34) Japan
10th: Laura Quetglas (2:37:19) Spain

HARBOR ISLAND MEN (3 mile open race)

1st: David Young
2nd: Jeff Berry
3rd: Dylan Henry
4th: Campbell Carter
5th: Mitch Cherry

HARBOR ISLAND WOMEN (3 mile open race)

1st: Tabitha Price
2nd: Samantha Stewart
3rd: Elle Newkirk
4th: Stella Gan
5th: Erin Fitzpatrick

MONEY ISLAND MEN (6 mile open race)

1st: Jeremy Whitted
2nd: David Slemp
3rd: Justin Schaay
4th: Steve Phillips
5th: Mike Taber

MONEY ISLAND WOMEN (6 mile open race)

1st: Heilani Cronsteadt
2nd: Kim Hillhouse
3rd: J Deriggi
4th: Meg Bosi
5th: Lindsay Cook

All pictures by Georgia Schofield, Quicksilver, The Paddle League

Last week’s blog: Arguably the biggest SUP event in the world right now, the Carolina Cup is about to kick off in two days. Traditionally held at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, the event has been around since 2011. What makes the Carolina Cup so great is the community spirit of the event, where total beginners are just as welcome as seasoned pros.

Having grown from a local race into the international headliner that it is today, some of the fastest athletes will attend to compete, along with hundreds of weekend warriors. Over a thousand paddlers are expected to compete at the different races on offer.

Two-time Graveyard Winner Titou - Pic credit: Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club/Glantz Photography

Demo days – Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Traditionally we will see several athletes host clinics on technique, training and product and this year will not be different. In fact, our very own Travis Grant will demo the NSP Sonic, the NSP Puma and the NSP Ninja. Make sure you’re there to experience the differences between these models for yourself and find the one that suits your style and conditions best:

NSP’s top racers will compete at The Graveyard Elite Race, and we are keeping our fingers crossed for an NSP-only podium with Travis Grant, Titouan Puyo and Marcus Hansen sharing 1st, 2nd and 3rd position. It would certainly give NSP a head start for the rest of the racing season. That’s not too much to ask, right?

The Graveyard kicks off with a massive beach start- and finish. This is a 12.6-13.2-mile ocean and flatwater race, starting on the ocean side of the Blockade Runner Beach Resort, out through the surf, downwind to the inlet, into the inland waterways and ICWW around Wrightsville Beach.Map credit: Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club

The Graveyard 13.2 Mile Elite Race

Saturday, April 21
Racers Meeting: 9:45AM
Race begins: 10:00AM

The Elite race is the first race of 2018 on the WPA World SUP Tour, and the second race of the season on the Paddle League World Tour.

Keep in mind that there are two inlets; one of which will require racers to surf waves in through the inlet. There will be some boat traffic, and strong ocean swells. The ocean section of the race will be the downwind section, if the weather cooperates. The race officials will change the direction of the race to optimize the conditions for a fast, fun, challenging race. The mileage depends on the line an athlete takes. This course is for elite paddlers with the skill and fitness to complete an endurance challenge. Depending on your board and experience, it will take between 2 and 3.5 hours to complete the course.

This is going to be a great opportunity to push your limits and measure yourself against some of the best paddlers in the world. Note that you must finish the half-way mark within two hours and there is a five-hour limit for the elite race as well.

The different divisions

Juniors 17 and under, Men and Women, Over 50 Men and Women, Over 60 Men and Women.

Note, athletes in the Men and Women division can only compete on 14’ and under, while the other divisions can use Unlimited SUP, stock, 14 and unlimited traditional paddleboard.

Other races

For athletes wanting to compete in a different race, the Carolina Cup also offers the races below:

The Money Island Open, a 6.5-mile flatwater race for the intermediate to advanced paddler
The Harbor Island Recreational, a 3.5-mile flatwater race for first-time to intermediate paddlers
The popular Kids Race for children 7 to 14

People wanting to try themselves at a different sport can join the Longboat Graveyard, a 13.2-mile race exclusively for Elite OC-1, OC-2, Surfski and Double-Ski.