Ericeira, Portugal, Wednesday 29th May 2019: Michael Booth and Sonni Honscheid successfully defend their Titles at the 2019 Carolina Cup on April 27th in Wrightsville Beach, NC, the opening stop of the APP's US Cup, powered by the WPA. As the opening leg of the APP Qualifier Series, the 9th annual Carolina Cup continues to be one of the marquee races in the world that showcases all levels of competitors, three races and Juniors races. This year's event was the first of six races of the WPA Qualifying Series sanctioned by the APP World Tour that gives valuable qualifying spots to the top 5 Men and 3 Women into the 2020 APP World Tour that crowns the official World Champions of the sport.
In the Men's, Michael Booth was closely pursued by the Hasulyo brothers, Bruno second and Daniel third, and established great strategy to stretch his winning margin to 2 minutes. There were several chase packs hoping to work their way up to the lead group, however it was too much, too late to catch the powerful Australian who is without doubt one of the most dominant distance racers in the sport (see London SUP Open 2019).
In the Women, Sonni Honscheid from Germany took the lead early in the 13.1 mile Graveyard race and never looked back to win by 5 minutes over second place and local paddler April Zilg. While the chase Women’s group of April Zilg (2nd), Jade Howson (3rd) and Fiona Wylde (4th) was working together most of the race, Honscheid seemed to have her own plan and just kept a steady pace and only increased her lead as the race went on through the inner coastal and back out in the ocean.
The Carolina Cup, like all WPA sanctioned races provide races for all abilities so everyone can compete and have a great experience, and the event once again celebrated athletes of all levels and ages, with 3 mile, 6.5m and of course the full length, gruelling 13.1 mile Graveyard course.
To watch a look back at this year's event, please CLICK HERE
A big congratulations to all involved and the APP is excited to build on its partnership with the WPA, to support and develop with key events such as the Carolina Cup for the future benefit of the sport.
For highlights, photos and much more, stay tuned for more at www.appworldtour.com and follow across social media @appworldtour
Salt Life, proud sponsor of the Columbus Cup welcomed the 2019 US Cup to its hometown, in Columbus, Georgia, for a completely unique event as stop #2 of the APP's Qualifying Series, powered by the WPA.
With a challenging 5 mile course that mixed flat water paddling with navigating tricky stretches of rapids, the attending athletes were forced to dig deep, and draw on their complete skillset to come out on top in this event.
As one of the most complete racers on the APP World Tour and multiple times World Champion, Connor Baxter from Maui cruised to victory in this Salt Life Columbus Cup, followed by fellow APP athlete, Mo Freitas from Oahu, definitely a testament to the surf skillset that helped athletes adapt to this kind of course.
Meanwhile in the women, the race seemed to be April Zilg's to lose, but an unfortunate fall on the rapid section that resulted in getting caught in a tricky eddy, allowed the Japanese phenom, Yuka Sato to slip by and take victory in a fiercely contested battle.
As one of the newer events on the US circuit, there is no doubt that the Salt Life Columbus Cup offers a very complete challenge and an entirely unique event experience, which, when combined with the unmatched Southern Hositality and surrounding festival makes for a great venue for year's to come. We look forward to heading back to Columbus in 2020 for next year's edition!
The Carolina ProAm, that took place last month in Wrightsville Beach, showcased world class talent in SUP Surfing. Mo Freitas, Collin McPhillips and Fisher Grant alongside of Izzi Gomez, April Zilg and Meg Wygal each unleashed progressive styles and talents to mark the kick-off of the SUP Surfing season and the APP's Qualifying Event for the Tour ahead.
Izzi Gomez demonstrated her signature style at the Carolina Pro Am winning her top honors and the acclaimed Haywood Newkirk, Sr. award for the Overall win.
Mo Freitas performed with his usual progressive style, edging out fiery Fisher Grant in the Final Round with a 360' off the lip that placed him firmly on top of the podium.
"The Carolina ProAm this past weekend was amazing," says Mo. "I've been coming to this event since 2015 and I always love coming back to it. The paddling community in Wrightsville is super strong due to its multiple waterways and the line up of fun sandbars facing the Atlantic. I always look forward to coming back as people here are passionate about the sport. You can feel that at this event. The surf event is always scheduled a week before the Carolina Cup so it's a no-brainer for me to come and do both. I'd suggest to everyone who is into the sport to make it to next year's Carolina ProAm!"
Stay tuned for more on the APP Qualifier Series for 2020 at appworldtour.com and @appworldtour, as the APP works to develop further foundations for the future of the sport at every level.
The ultimate downwind event has this year been shifted to June 9th, taking place on the now mythical downwind haven of Maui, Hawaii. After several years of challenging wind conditions due to the event's timing (traditionally held in the less consistent April time frame), the Olukai Ho'olaulea has been shifted to June 9th this year, as the epic Maliko Run will be open for all takers to step up and be counted for an incredible adventure on the beautiful island of Maui.
As stop #3 of the APP's US Cup, this year's event will provide valuable ranking points towards the US Championship Title. Here are the updated rankings after the first two stops of the APP US Cup powered by WPA:
For anyone who hasn't entered the Olukai Ho'olaulea yet, you can do so by CLICKING HERE