Carolina Cup – Graveyard Race Male Champions:
2011 – Anthony Vela, Dana Point, CA
2012, 2013, 2014 – Danny Ching, Redondo Beach, CA
2015 – Travis Grant, Australia
2016, 2017 – Tituoan Puyo, New Caledonia
2018, 2019 – Michael Booth, Australia
2021 – Danny Ching, Redondo Beach, CA
WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NORTH CAROLINA, USA – Born into a family of water paddlers, Danny Ching learned the sport early and amassed an amazing series of triumphs over the years. Highlights include SUP World Champion, OC-1 World Champion, Dragon Boat World Champion, countless race titles, a tiptoe into Olympic kayaks, and yes, four victories in the grueling Carolina Cup Graveyard Race. At age “38 going on 39,” Ching confirmed he is going for number five.
“The Carolina Cup Graveyard Race is one of the toughest races in standup,” said Ching of Redondo Beach, California. “I’m pretty fired up this year and put the Graveyard as my number one race, pre-May.”
One of the world’s largest and most prominent paddle sporting events, the 11th Carolina Cup returns to Wrightsville Beach, April 27-May 1, 2022. The Cup is a five-day festival of clinics, product displays, demonstrations, and competition – including six rousing races featuring amateur and professional athletes using paddleboard, kayak, surfski, and outrigger canoe. Organized by the Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club, all activities are based at Blockade Runner Beach Resort.
The Carolina Cup sprint and distance SUP races will double as pre-qualifiers for the 2022 International Canoe Federation World Series.
In a recent interview, Danny Ching shared factors contributing to his career; the impact of COVID; a blow-by-blow description of the Carolina Cup course; “the exact part of the race every year” where the Carolina Cup “is decided;” key competitors he expects for the men’s title in 2022; whether or not he will compete on the APP World tour; the high cost of global competition for athletes; his thoughts about having an east and west coast location in North America each year on the World Tour; and, an update on Ching’s growing family, his business ventures, and what he thinks about Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.
2022 Carolina Cup Races:
The Graveyard Elite Race – A challenging 13.1-mile ocean and flatwater race for the elite and professional paddleboard racer. The Graveyard Race begins in the ocean surf, circumvents Wrightsville Beach, passes through two inlets, and tests the skills and fitness of each athlete with every surf, ocean, flatwater, wind, tide, and competitive condition of the day – including the best paddlers in the world.
The Graveyard Surfski, Outrigger, and Kayak Race – A 13.1-mile elite race on the Graveyard course, starting and finishing on the sound side and circumventing Wrightsville Beach. Kayak; surfski (single and double), outrigger canoe (OC-1 and OC-2).
The Technical Sprint – A dynamic short course of fast-paced SUP sprints, into and out of the surf with buoy turns testing the skills and speed of participants. Structured with elimination and repechage formats, sprints provide dramatic action for the athletes and spectators while allowing the best to rise to the top.
The Money Island Open Race – A 10-kilometer inland islands and waterway race with currents and winds, but no ocean swells. Designed to challenge the intermediate to advanced paddler on paddleboard (standup and prone), kayak, surfski, and outrigger canoe (OC-1 and OC-2).
The Harbor Island Recreational Race – A 5-kilometer flatwater race in the inland waterways for first-time to intermediate paddleboarders (standup and prone). There are currents and wind, some boat traffic, no ocean swells, and mostly no-wake zones. A great opportunity to get on a board and enjoy the water.
The Kids Race – A fun event for children 6 to 14, one and two-loop course races on the sound. Everyone is recognized!
“The Cup was canceled in spring of 2020 due to the pandemic but served as host of the APP’s sprint and distance world competition in November 2021,” said race director Mark Schmidt. “We’re excited to get the Carolina Cup back on our normal springtime schedule.” The 2022 Carolina Cup is presented by Kona Brewing Company.
The weekend prior to Carolina Cup, April 22-24, Wrightsville Beach will host the 2022 Carolina Pro-Am SUP Surf, a three-day paddleboard-surfing event drawing the world’s best professional and amateur athletes in the sport.
Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club
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