Carolina Cup 2018

The Carolina Cup kicks off racing season and draws people in for many reasons.  There’s fierce competition for professional paddlers and those looking for a real accomplishment with the 13 mile Graveyard course.  Those interested in a less brutal, yet challenging experience, have the 10k Money Island course.  And new paddlers or those wanting a shorter version may participate in the 5k Harbor Island course. 

Regardless of race choice, the paddling scenery is beautiful in the quaint ocean town of Wrightsville Beach.  Sailboats dot the cottage-bordered river, and white sand beaches line the coast with wispy grassy dunes.  You may even score some legitimate Atlantic surf.  Delicious restaurants are abundant and live music performed in entertaining bars lend to excellent nightlife. 

The overall popularity of this event brings a variety of ages, experiences levels, paddle craft, and spectators…really igniting the excitement of paddle racing and the rest of the season to come.  It’s especially motivating to have so many pros around to observe, spend time kicking back with, or learning from in the many available clinics.  I’ve competed in stand up for the past 8 years. And though I haven’t raced in a while, the feelings are quick to flood back and remind me why I’m still here: The biggest SUP race on the east coast unites me with friends from around the world with a common love... and that is real, palpable connection... something we could always use more of in this world.

- Jessica Cichra, Team Surftech, Wave of Wellness