Wrightsville Beach NC . . . Elite standup paddlers will perform a Le Mans style beach start, brave the open Atlantic Ocean, battle through Masonboro Inlet straits, and navigate the channel currents behind Masonboro Island, before reaching the finish line for the North Carolina Surf to Sound Challenge, Saturday, November 19 (alternate weather date: November 20).
For the intermediate paddler, a flat water competition will embark from the sound side beach and traverse canals and deepwater channels for approximately four miles encircling Wrightsville's picturesque Harbor Island.
Both races promise to be great spectator events, surf and sound, and will launch from the Blockade Runner Beach Resort.
Wrightsville Beach Paddleboard Club organizers expect to attract paddlers throughout the Mid-Atlantic and beyond during this three-day weekend. Spokesman Haywood Newkirk said today: "We are really excited about being part of the season ending fall race here at Wrightsville Beach. Having the event at this location will allow us to have a more challenging ocean start for the Elite Race, while simultaneously holding an enjoyable flatwater race for the recreational paddlers that are so important for the growth of this sport."
William Pope, Director for the World Paddle Association said: "It has been amazing to watch how quickly the stand up paddleboard (SUP) sport has grown throughout the country, especially in the Wrightsville Beach area. Wrightsville offers so many different types of water and conditions it appeals to everyone. As the SUP community continues to grow around the world, Wrightsville Beach will be at the heart of that growth on the East Coast."
Registration is $60 and includes welcome reception, Friday, Nov. 18, race jersey, entry into one of two races (Elite or Intermediate) Saturday morning, Nov. 19, awards ceremony and celebration. Cash prizes will be paid to the first male and female to finish in the Surf to Sound Challenge. Prizes will be awarded in each class for both races.
Also featured on site, Saturday, 12noon to 6pm, is the Waterman's Expo. This water sport display is FREE and open to the public. The expo will showcase local retailers specializing in SUP, surf, kayaking, sailing and fishing merchandise, equipment and outer wear. Included will be demonstrations of advanced paddle techniques and fly casting.
Proceeds will benefit "For Masonboro" a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that supports the co-existence of wildlife habitat and human recreation through education efforts to preserve the pristine, eight mile, uninhabited barrier island located between Carolina Beach and Wrightsville Beach in Southeastern North Carolina.