Larry Cain, Olympic gold medalist, three-time NC Surf to Sound elite division Champion
WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC – Nationally and internationally ranked standup paddlers share the water with amateurs and families traveling to Wrightsville Beach – the tiny town ranked among the top surf destinations in the country by National Geographic – for the North Carolina Surf to Sound Challenge, Oct. 31 through Nov. 2.
Showcasing the town’s unique barrier island geography, the 2014 North Carolina Surf to Sound Challenge entices watermen, waterwomen, and waterchildren to register for elite, intermediate, and novice divisions to test skill levels on one or more of four courses, a total of 20 miles of open-ocean and inland waters circumnavigating the beach strand and picturesque marsh islands.
The three-day weekend kicks off on Halloween, presenting an afternoon of hands-on clinics, designed to improve basic, intermediate, and advanced SUP skills. Storytelling and s’mores highlight the agenda for younger athletes Halloween eve.
Braving seasonal winds, inlet chop and, occasionally, uninvited elements before crossing the finish line, elite contenders stroke through the surf zone, rounding an ocean buoy in the toughest leg of the 6.5-mile signature race that maps ocean, inlet, and flatwater distances, says returning champion and Olympic gold medalist Larry Cain, the three-time men’s 14-foot elite division winner.
Canadian Jessica Rando, Women’s elite Champion, will defend her title and lead one of several pre-race clinics. Rando specializes in a variety of paddle sports, winning world championship titles in dragon boat competition and gold medals nationally and internationally in sprint canoe.
The intermediate, 4-mile Harbor Island Outer Loop race glides around Wrightsville’s calm inland waters: Banks Channel, Motts Channel, the Intracoastal Waterway and Lees Cut. A kids’ race begins and ends on Blockade Runner’s sound-side beach.
Now in its fourth year, the 2014 North Carolina Surf to Sound Challenge christens its new 9-mile, advanced, long-distance course, called the Blockade Runner Flatwater Championship, in honor of the host hotel. Sandwiched between beaches on the Atlantic Ocean and Banks Channel, Blockade Runner Beach Resort is headquarters for four major East Coast SUP events each year, culminating with November’s Surf to Sound Challenge.
Downtime during the weekend features the east coast premiere of filmmaker Brent Deal’s H2MexicO, named 2014 Movie of the Year by SUP The Mag.
North Carolina Surf to Sound Challenge is presented by Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club, organizers of the Carolina Cup.
Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club
Blockade Runner Beach Resort
Robert B Butler | PR