WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, N.C. – Canadian standup paddlers Tommy Buday and Jessica Rando extended their domination of paddleboard competition in North Carolina on Sunday, claiming elite victories in the male and female divisions of the 9-mile Blockade Runner Flatwater Championship. Yesterday, Buday and Rando scored titles in the grueling North Carolina Surf to Sound Championship.
Also repeating Saturday’s results, Larry Cain of Ontario, and April Zilg of Wilmington came in second, with a breathtaking photo finish between Rando and Zilg for the Elite Women’s Championship. Cain and Buday exchanged the lead multiple times, battling distance fatigue, an incoming tide, and heavy winds.
Cain, an Olympic Gold Medalist and inductee into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, is working with Canada’s high-performance paddle team leading up to the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
Weather remained a major fitness and strategic factor. Although skies were sunny, water temperatures were 68 degrees, air temperature in the 40s, with gusty and difficult to manage NW winds at 15-25 mph. Dr. Bob Arnot, a race participant and former NBC medical correspondent said, “Today’s conditions are excellent – excellent for New Englanders.”
“It’s great to see so many people from all over the country,” said John Beausang of Distressed Mullet. “We might as well have a sister city in Toronto, because we had 20 people come down here to race.” Weekend participants traveled from Canada, The Netherlands, and states from Illinois to Georgia.
The East Coast Paddle Surf Championship, delayed due to poor weather on Saturday, was cancelled today, “due to side offshore winds and an incoming tide,” said Jarrod Covington, contest organizer. “Surfing skills cannot be appreciated with today’s conditions.”
Blockade Runner Flatwater Championship Winners:
Top 5 Men Elite Division 14ft.
1. Tommy Buday, Ontario, Canada
2. Larry Cain, Ontario, Canada
3. Billy Miller, Manteo, NC
4. Mike Howes, Ontario, Canada
5. Andrew Skeoch, Ontario, Canada
Top 5 Women Elite Division 12ft.6
1. Jessica Rando, Ontario, Canada
2. April Zilg, Wilmington, NC
3. Karen Wilson, Wilmington, NC
4. Danielle Goldston, Charleston, SC
5. Miriam Sutton, Beaufort, NC
Top 5 Men’s Division 12ft.6in.
1. Jeremy Whitted, Charleston, SC
2. Justin Schaay, Charleston, SC
3. Andrew Kellar, Stratham, NH
4. Dylan Morley, N/A
5. Sean Stack, Arlington, VA
The Fourth Annual North Carolina Surf to Sound Challenge, a Series Event sanctioned by the World Paddle Association, is presented by Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club, organizers of the Carolina Cup.
Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club
Blockade Runner Beach Resort