Local paddleboarders among top finishers in Carolina Cup races

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Annabel Anderson of New Zealand captured her fourth consecutive victory in the women’s division of the Carolina Cup elite Graveyard Race around Wrightsville Beach on Saturday.

In an incredible achievement, Anderson bested her nearest competitor Candice Appleby of California by over five minutes on the grueling 13.5-mile ocean and flat water standup paddleboard course.

Annabel Anderson, left, and Titouan Puyo took home the Carolina Cup Championship on Saturday. Photo courtesy- Robert Baggett.
Annabel Anderson, left, and Titouan Puyo took home the Carolina Cup Championship on Saturday. Photo courtesy- Robert Baggett.

On the men’s side, Frenchman Titouan Puyo picked up his first Carolina Cup championship, upsetting an impressive field of the world’s best competitors, including last year’s champion Travis Grant.

“We’ve seen that coming for a couple of years, he has such amazing talent, he just pulled it together today,” said Chris Parker, SUP expert and race analyst with SUPRacer. “For anybody to paddle away from Connor Baxter, Danny Ching, and Travis Grant at the end of a race is unheard of. That was a huge result for him.”

Chris Curry of Wrightsville Beach and 15-year old Maddie Miller of Jupiter, Florida took the top spots in the Money Island 7-mile flat water competition. Justin Markel of Havre de Grace, Maryland, and Karen Kennedy of Miami, Florida championed the Harbor Island 3.5-mile race.

The 6th annual West Marine Carolina Cup, based at host hotel Blockade Runner Beach Resort in Wrightsville Beach, was the first major stop on the 2016 world SUP race circuit. The Cup is organized by the Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club and sanctioned by the World Paddle Association.

“We definitely had the fastest conditions and the highest level of competition,” said John Beausang, Carolina Cup co-founder and owner of SUP’s Mullet Magazine. “It was extraordinary. We had far more competitors in the Graveyard race this year. This is the best Carolina Cup.”

Chris Curry, left, of Wrightsville Beach and Maddie Miller were both champions in the 7-mile flatwater competition. Photo courtesy- Sara Butler.
Chris Curry, left, of Wrightsville Beach and Maddie Miller were both champions in the 7-mile flatwater competition. Photo courtesy- Sara Butler.

Top-line race results:

Graveyard Race 13.5-mile

Men (14′)

  1. Titouan Puyo, New Caledonia, France
  2. Travis Grant, Australia
  3. Danny Ching, California
  4. Trevor Tunnington, New Zealand
  5. Kelly Margetts, Australia

Women (12’6)

  1. Annabel Anderson, New Zealand
  2. Candice Appleby, California, USA
  3. Sonni Honscheid, Germany
  4. Fiona Wylde, Oregon, USA
  5. Terrene Black, Australia

OC-1 Division

  1. Barry Blackburn, Wilmington, NC, USA
  2. Erik Bigsby, Wilmington, NC, USA
  3. David Rush, Wake Forest, NC, USA

OC-2 Division

  1. Anna Blackburn, Wilmington, NC, USA
  2. Steve Lewis, Wilmington, NC, USA
  3. Tyler Hustrulid, Wilmington, NC, USA

Prone 12’6 Division

  1. Jack Bark, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, USA
  2. Hunter Pflueger, Honolulu, HI, USA
  3. Kurt Lager, Honolulu, HI, USA

Prone 14′ Division

  1. Bobby Frey, Selbyville, DE, USA
  2. Rob Kavcic, Mississauga, ON, Canada
  3. Dave Stringer, Agoura Hills, CA, USA

Prone Unlimited Division

  1. Roch Frey, Encinitas, CA, USA
  2. Brian Pasternak, Ocean City, NJ, USA
  3. Robert Parucha, El Segundo, CA, USA

Money Island 7-mile Race

Male (14′)

  1. Chris Curry, Wrightsville Beach, NC, USA
  2. Kevin Rhodes, Wilmington, NC, USA
  3. Michael Fithian, Rumson, NJ, USA
  4. John O’Hara, Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA, USA
  5. E.J. Johnson, San Diego, CA, USA

Female (12’6)

  1. Maddie Miller, Jupiter, FL, USA
  2. Lauren Dorsey, Miramar Beach, FL, USA
  3. Dawn Ehman, Ocean City, MD, USA
  4. Julieta Gismondi, Yonkers, NY, USA
  5. Kimberly James, Wilmington, NC, USA

Male (12’6)

  1. Kevin Haigis, Annapolis, MD, USA
  2. Jason Phipps, Riva, MD, USA
  3. Harris Davis, Fair Haven, NJ, USA
  4. Scott Jorss, Washington, DC, USA
  5. Matthew Mahoney (N/A)

Prone Division (ALL)

  1. Aimee Spector, Redondo Beach, CA, USA
  2. Chris Cannavaro, Summerville, SC, USA
  3. Kristen Smith, Wilmington, NC, USA

Harbor Island 3.5-mile Race

Male (12’6)

  1. Justin Markel, Havre de Grace, MD, USA
  2. Dana Hogan, Charleston, SC, USA
  3. Len Fiume, New Bern, NC, USA
  4. Trevor McKenna, Elmhurst, IL, USA
  5. Bryan Wisdom (N/A)

Female (12’6)

  1. Karen Kennedy, Miami, FL, USA
  2. Jeanna Bunting, Wilmington, NC, USA
  3. Ashley Chrisman, St. Louis, MO, USA
  4. Saylor Emmart, Wilmington, NC, USA
  5. Seanna Robinson, Toronto, ON, Canada