WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NORTH CAROLINA, USA – Australian SUP powerhouse Michael Booth, rated one of the top two paddlers in the world in both the Paddle League and APP rankings, returns to North Carolina April 24-28 to defend his Carolina Cup Championship.
“Winning the Carolina Cup was something I always wanted to do since I first picked up a SUP paddle,” said Booth. “The Carolina Cup to me is the most prestigious distance race in our sport. It’s 20-kilometers of varied conditions that test the best-of-the-best each and every year. It’s one event that everyone wants to have on their mantle.”
A first-time champion of the Carolina Cup and member of the Starboard Dream Team, Michael Booth logged an impressive SUP season in 2018, winning eleven of fifteen starts on his race calendar. In addition to the Carolina Cup victory, Booth won his third Australian Distance Race title, second Euro Tour Championship, and second World Title ISA distance race. Although sprinting is not his specialty, Booth focused on the APP Tour for the first time and achieved remarkable results, netting a season-end ranking of second-place worldwide.
The Carolina Cup is one of the world’s largest paddle festivals, featuring races, clinics, expos, and entertainment, with athletes attending from over 20 nations and virtually every state in the USA. Competitors include Olympians, world-record holders, champions, professionals, amateurs, and first-time paddlers. All races begin and end at Blockade Runner Beach Resort, the official resort of the Carolina Cup.
Limited enrollment clinics and workshops will be presented at the Carolina Cup by Michael Booth and other top paddle athletes. Subjects include ocean racing; beach starts and surf landings; instructor certification; the perfect race day; SUP paddling; outrigger canoe paddling; one-on-one sessions; paddle skills and techniques; the TRX training system; motivation to race; footwork; and, drills. In addition to Booth, instructors on the agenda are Dan Gavere of Oregon; Travis Grant from Australia; North Carolina’s April Zilg (now residing in California); Florida’s Seychelle; Candice Appleby of California; and Hood River’s Fiona Wylde.
Organized by the Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club and sanctioned by the World Paddle Association (WPA), the 9th annual Carolina Cup is the first SUP race of the 2019 Qualifier Series, a newly formed partnership by the WPA and Association of Paddle-surf Professionals (APP). Competitors in the Carolina Cup have the opportunity to earn points to qualify for the APP World Tour and World Championship.
Races on the 2019 schedule include:
- Graveyard Race; a grueling 13.2-mile ocean and flatwater race for the elite and professional paddleboard racers; SUP; Prone;
- Money Island Open Race; a 10-kilometer flatwater race designed for the intermediate to advanced paddler; SUP; Prone; Kayak; Surfski; OC;
- Harbor Island Recreational Race; a 5-kilometer flatwater race for first-time to intermediate paddleboarders; SUP; Prone;
- Graveyard Surfski and Outrigger Race; a 13.2-mile elite race starting and finishing on the sound side; Kayak; OC; Surfski;
- The Kids Race; for children 6 to 14.
The designated charity for the 2019 Carolina Cup is Nourish North Carolina, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to provide healthy food to hungry children, enabling them to succeed in the classroom and their communities.
Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club
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