The International Canoe Federation partners with the US Carolina Cup


2022 Carolina Cup graveyard and sprint champion April Zilg – Courtesy of Laura Glantz

2022 Carolina Cup Graveyard Race Champion Danny Ching – Courtesy of Laura Glantz

Carolina Cup Graveyard Race start line – Courtesy Peter Newman Aerial Images

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NORTH CAROLINA, USA, March 11, 2022 / — The International Canoe Federation (ICF) announced that it has partnered with the Carolina Cup USA as part of the ICF World Series. The Carolina Cup will also be an ICF ranking race for technical stand-up paddleboard and long-distance races in the open class.

“Since 2015, the Carolina Cup has been rightly considered one of the greatest stand-up paddleboarding events in the world,” said ICF SUP coordinator Hoichan Kwon. “The Carolina Cup will attract many of the best paddlers in the world, so we are thrilled to give these athletes the opportunity to book their tickets to our World Championships.

Under a memorandum of understanding, athletes participating in the Carolina Cup will have the chance to pre-qualify for the main draw at this year’s ICF World Championships in Gdynia, Poland, bypassing qualifying preliminaries before the event.

One of the largest and most important paddle sporting events in the world, the Carolina Cup returns to Wrightsville Beach, April 27-May 1, 2022. The Cup is a five-day festival of clinics, product presentations, demonstrations and competitions, including six nail-biting races featuring amateur and professional athletes in paddleboarding, kayaking, surfskiing and canoeing. Organized by the Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club, all activities take place at the Blockade Runner Beach Resort.

“We have an exciting event schedule for this season, and now the Carolina Cup is going to take it to another level,” Kwon said.

The Carolina Cup will kick off the 2022 ICF World Rankings Series. Athletes will then travel to Thun, Switzerland for the opening ICF World Cup, followed by Prague, Salzburg and Budapest.

“Teaming up with the ICF is a perfect fit,” said Carolina Cup Race Director Mark Schmidt. “With the International Canoe Federation’s long-established base in paddle sports, we look forward to being the first step in the ICF points series that qualifies for the ICF Championships.”

The Carolina Cup is the only North American location on the ICF SUP calendar.

The SUP World Cup scheduled for Moscow has been cancelled, according to the ICF.

2022 Carolina Cup Races:

The Graveyard Elite Race – A challenging 13.1 mile ocean and calm water race for elite and professional paddleboard riders. The Graveyard Race begins in the ocean waves, skirts Wrightsville Beach, crosses two creeks, and tests each athlete’s skill and fitness with every surf, ocean, flat water, wind, tide, and race condition from the day – including the best paddlers in the world.

The Graveyard Surfski, Outrigger, and Kayak Race – An elite 13.1-mile race on the Graveyard course, starting and ending on the healthy side and skirting Wrightsville Beach. Kayak; surfski (single and double), canoe (OC-1 and OC-2).

The Technical Sprint – A short dynamic course of fast SUP sprints, in and out of the surf with buoy turns testing participants’ skills and speed. Elimination and Repechage formats provide spectacular action for athletes and spectators while allowing the best to rise to the top.

The Money Island Open Race – A 10 kilometer race on inland waterways and islands with currents and winds, but no ocean swell. Designed to challenge intermediate to advanced paddleboarders on paddleboard (standup and recumbent), kayak, surfski and outrigger canoe (OC-1 and OC-2).

The Harbor Island Recreational Race – A 5 kilometer flat water race through the inland waterways for beginners to intermediates (standup and recumbent). There are currents and wind, boat traffic, no ocean swells and mostly no wake areas – a great opportunity to get on a board and enjoy the water.

The Kids Race – A fun event for kids ages 6-14, single and double loop races on the sound. Everyone is recognized!

Prior to the Carolina Cup, April 22-24, Wrightsville Beach will host the 2022 Carolina Pro-Am SUP Surfing, a three-day paddle surfing event attracting the world’s top professional and amateur paddleboard athletes to the sport.

The 2022 Carolina Cup is presented by Kona Brewing Company.

Information and registration for the Carolina Cup

Blockade Runner Accommodation

Media and Photo Archive


Mark Schmidt
Race Director
Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club
Phone. : 910-620-6914
E: [email protected]

Hoichan Kwon
International Canoe Federation
SUP Coordinator
[email protected]

Robert B Butler
Communications | Public relations

Permission granted for redistribution – photo credits required

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Robert B Butler
NC press release | Communications and public relations
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