WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH — The 2017 West Marine Carolina Cup Graveyard Race stand-up paddleboard (SUP) race kicked off this morning in front of a large crowd and rough seas. Despite the ocean conditions, racers braved the 13.2 mile race around Wrightsville Beach.
The “Graveyard Race” began Saturday morning at 9:45 a.m. in front of hundreds of people from all over the world who had gathered in front of the Blockade Runner Beach Resort to see the start of the event.
With winds gusting to 20 m.p.h. from the southwest, racers set off from the Blockade Runner at Wrightsville Beach.
Paddlers first headed downwind toward Figure Eight Island and through Mason Inlet. From there, it was a paddle back upwind down the backside of Harbor Island, and out to the open ocean via Masonboro Inlet, for a downwind final leg in front of Wrightsville Beach.
Top ranked Woman’s SUP athlete Annabel Anderson of New Zealand took home first place in the Women’s division, and Titouan Puyo of New Caledonia brought home first in the Men’s.
Now in it’s seventh year, the West Marine Carolina Cup is currently the largest stand-up paddleboard event in the world, and was recently added to the Pro SUP Tour according to the official website.
Drawing thousands of participants from all over the world, the event has grown to include multiple divisions including the 3.5 mile Harbor Island Recreational Race, the 6.5 mile Money Island Open, the 13.2 mile Graveyard Race, as well as a Juniors Division and outrigger canoe races.
For more information, and to view the full final results visit the West Marine Carolina Cup Facebook page