World’s Best Coming for the
Wrightsville Beach to host the only Association of Paddlesurf Professionals event of the year
BY AMANDA LISK
WRIGHTSVILLE Beach and the sport of paddle
boarding take the world stage in November.
The Carolina Cup, celebrating its 10th year,
has been selected as the only stop of the
Association of Paddlesurf Professionals (APP)
2021 World Tour.
The Carolina Cup originally was scheduled to be the opening
event, but the rest of the tour is now canceled, and Wrightsville
Beach will be the one and only stop. The Carolina Cup is sched-uled
for Nov. 4-7 at the Blockade Runner Beach Resort.
Among the many athletes coming to town will be April Zilg, a
North Carolina native who is ranked second in the world. Zilg, who
learned how to paddle in the waters in and around Wrightsville
Beach, moved to California in 2017. She is returning for the
Carolina Cup’s infamous Graveyard race, a brutal 13.1-mile course.
“It’s an excellent test of a paddler’s all-around skills, and
mother nature doesn’t always play nice,” Zilg says. “Outside of
some of the dedicated surf-zone races, the Graveyard race is up
there for difficulty, especially if you end up battling a stiff tide.
It’s also a half-marathon distance, so the grind is real.”
The Carolina Cup was created by the Wrightsville Beach Paddle
Club in 2011. This year’s event will consist of seven races over four
days. The Graveyard is the most popular.
“It got the attention of elite athletes because of the challenge of
flat water, inlet and ocean paddling that provide all skills of terrain
for a proficient paddler. Wrightsville Beach has it all,” says Mark
Schmidt, Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club race director. “I love that
we have athletes from around the world come to race and, once
they come here, they really enjoy the area.”
Casper Steinfath of Denmark, the reigning world champion in
the men’s division, will also
be competing as will French
paddler, Arthur Arutkin, who
is ranked second in the world,
and seventh-ranked Titouan
Puyo of New Caledonia.
Nov. 4th- 7th
Competitors line up oceanside for the start of the Carolina Cup’s Graveyard race in 2019.
2021 WORLD TOUR