WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina native April Zilg is a top-two title contender in the women’s overall and sprint divisions on the Association of Paddlesurf Professionals World Tour. In a recent interview, Zilg confirmed she would compete in the upcoming Surf to Sound Challenge in Wrightsville Beach, Nov. 1-3.
“April Zilg is fast becoming one of the most dominant performers on the APP World Tour, after her distance and overall wins in New York, followed by an impressive performance in some of the most competitive sprint racing yet in Osaka,” reported APP News.
“For my first year on a professional circuit, and not having a lot of international racing experience, I feel great,” said Zilg. “I’m right where I’d like to be, having a blast, and learning a lot about being able to travel and race – travel is hard on the body. The only way to make this happen has been proper nutrition and consistency in training.”
Surf to Sound Challenge, sanctioned by the World Paddle Association, attracts amateurs and professionals from North America to a year-end series of races and clinics featuring paddleboard, outrigger canoe, kayak, and surf ski. All races begin and end on the ocean or sound at host hotel Blockade Runner Beach Resort.
“I will be on the starting line, but I’m unsure of which race I would like to enter in 2019,” said Zilg. “The SUP race is one of my favorites because you get to head out through the surf. But, Surf to Sound Challenge is including more outrigger canoe events, and they’ll have the 11-mile OC-1 race Saturday morning as well. I love paddling and racing my Puakea Designs Kahele and may jump at the opportunity to race that.”
April Zilg captured the last three consecutive titles in the elite 6.5-mile Surf to Sound Challenge. She also holds the most recent title in the 9-mile Blockade Runner Flatwater Championship.
Organized by the Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club, the 2019 Surf to Sound Challenge racing schedule includes:
- The Surf to Sound Challenge, a 6.5-mile course for elite paddleboard and prone competitors. The race begins through the ocean surf, onto the Atlantic Ocean, plying the rushing waters of Masonboro Inlet, into Banks Channel, and to the finish line on flatwater.
- The Froth, an 11-mile longboat endurance race for advanced athletes in ocean canoe, surf ski, and kayak. The course consists of Bank’s Channel, Masonboro Inlet (twice), the Atlantic Ocean, the Intracoastal Waterway, and Mott’s Channel.
- The Blockade Runner Flatwater Championship, a 9-mile endurance challenge for experienced paddlers, including standup paddleboard, prone, and a separate start-time for 6-man ocean canoe (male, female, and mixed team entries).
- The Harbor Island Outer Loop, a scenic 3.5-mile race circumnavigating the island and designed for beginner to intermediate standup paddleboard and prone athletes.
- The Kid’s Race, for paddleboarders 6 to 14, is on the soundside. All kids are winners in this fun event.
- The Corporate Challenge Relay, a relay sprint with six four-person teams using identical equipment in a standup paddleboard race from the soundside beach, around a buoy in the channel and back. The gear for this competition provided by the Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club (One Design boards by SIC, plus paddles, leashes, and flotation devices).
A portion of the proceeds from North Carolina Surf to Sound Challenge will go to The Plastic Ocean Project, with a mission to address the global plastic pollution problem and create a more sustainable future.
Upcoming in April 2020: The Carolina Cup, organized by the Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club, is a North America qualifier race for the APP World Tour. The APP World Tour is recognized and sanctioned by the IOC Federation for Surfing Sports and the International Surfing Association as the Official World Championship Tour for Standup Paddleboarding.
Schmidt, Race Director
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