World’s Largest Paddle Festival Attracts Global Sponsor

The Quiksilver Waterman Carolina Cup, Wrightsville Beach, NC – Aerial Images ILM

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NORTH CAROLINA, USA – The Carolina Cup, the world’s largest festival combining paddle races, clinics, product displays, and entertainment has attracted the support of Quiksilver Waterman as title sponsor.


“We are honored to have them on board and this is a great match,” said Mark Schmidt, Race Director. “The Carolina Cup is a preeminent international paddle race festival, and Quiksilver is a global provider of exceptional products to the paddle and watersports community.”


The 8th annual Quiksilver Waterman Carolina Cup will draw thousands of spectators and more than 1,000 event participants. Races, clinics, expos, entertainment, and festivities will be in Wrightsville Beach, April 18-22, 2018. All races will begin and end at Blockade Runner Beach Resort, official resort of the Carolina Cup.


“We are stoked to be a part of this great event,” said Pat Fraley, Division Manager of Quiksilver Waterman. “This year we’re launching our new line of performance apparel and technical paddle gear designed to be worn in and around the water. Supporting the Carolina Cup is a great way to showcase these new products over five days of fun and epic paddling competition.”


Annabel Anderson of New Zealand, the fastest and top-ranked woman in the world, captured the past five Carolina Cup titles in the elite women’s division. Titouan Puyo of New Caledonia, France, ranked second in the world in the men’s division, is on a two-year winning streak in the Graveyard Race elite championship.


Returning races on the 2018 schedule include:


•The Graveyard, a grueling 13.2-mile ocean and flatwater race for the elite and professional paddleboard racers; 

•The Money Island Open, a 6.5-mile flatwater race designed for the intermediate to advanced paddler; 

•The Harbor Island Recreational, a 3.5-mile flatwater race for first-time to intermediate paddleboarders;

•The popular Kids Race for children 7 to 14. 


New to the race schedule in 2018:


•The Longboat Graveyard, a 13.2-mile race exclusively for Elite OC-1, OC-2, Surfski and Double-Ski. 


Annabel Anderson, Five-Time Graveyard Race Champion

“As Quiksilver approaches our 50th anniversary in 2019, we’re celebrating generations of people, products, and experiences that contributed to what boardriding is today and what it will become tomorrow,” said Jake Martin, Director of Marketing. “We are celebrating years of adventure, discovery, and pushing the boundaries. The heritage of paddle sports and Quiksilver Waterman are important chapters in boardriding history, a heritage exemplified by the Carolina Cup.”


Organized by the Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club, affiliated with the newly formed Paddle League, and sanctioned by the World Paddle Association (WPA), the Cup will attract paddlers from over 20 countries and virtually every state in the nation. Competitors include Olympians, world-record holders, champions, professionals, amateurs, and first-time paddlers. The Carolina Cup is the first race of 2018 on the WPA World SUP Tour, and the second race of the season on the Paddle League World Tour.


According to Fraley, the Quiksilver Waterman Collection is inspired by the ocean and cultivated from the company’s deep boardriding roots. The Collection is a premium line of sportswear and performance apparel for men seeking quality clothing with a classic, outdoor aesthetic. Roxy, a member of the Quiksilver family, is the women’s surf, snowboard, fitness and lifestyle brand.

A strong advocate for clean water and a healthy coast, North Carolina Coastal Federation is the designated charity for the Carolina Cup.

Private equity firm Monomoy Capital Partners acquired West Marine, the previous title sponsor for the Carolina Cup.


Race information and registration




Media archive and photos



Mark Schmidt
Race Director
Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club
P: 910-620-1835


Pat Fraley
Division Manager
Quiksilver Waterman Collection
P: 714-889-4214