Wilmington woman claims top spot at NC Surf to Sound Challenge

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Canadians Tommy Buday, Larry Cain, and Gab Beauchesne-Sevigny swept the men’s competition in both the North Carolina Surf to Sound Challenge and Blockade Runner Flatwater Championship in Wrightsville Beach.

April Zilg and Stephanie Shideler of the USA, and Tracey Finlay of Canada won the top three spots in the women’s division.

Surf to Sound Women's Champ April Zilg, Courtesy NC Press Release
Surf to Sound Women’s Champ April Zilg, Courtesy NC Press Release

“Saturday I was wearing my bikini and on Sunday I was wearing four layers,” said women’s champion April Zilg, of Wilmington. “What a difference a day made for race conditions.”

Saturday’s race featured temperatures in the low 80s, with low wind, lots of sunshine, and relatively flat surf. The only weather obstacle was morning fog with a minor race delay for burn-off.

Sunday ushered in a cloudy sky, temperatures in the 50s, morning winds at 15-20 miles per hour, choppy flatwater conditions and a wind-chill factor in the upper 40s.

“It was a blast racing here in North Carolina,” said men’s champion Tommy Buday. “We enjoy the diversity of the sport with the waves, the wind, and the rough conditions. I come from Montreal. We don’t have oceans, so to come here and participate in both ocean and flatwater racing is exciting.”
Buday, Cain, and Beauchesne-Sevigny are Olympic flatwater athletes. April Zilg is ranked 13th in women’s World Rankings by SupRacer.