Cold Stroke Classic Brings Standup Paddle Boarders to Wrightsville Beach in North Carolina
Wrightsville Beach, N.C.: Standup paddling (SUP) is an emerging global sport of Hawaiian heritage that is gaining in popularity across the U.S. mainland. With its mild climate and proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, Intracoastal Waterway, and inlets, Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina is an ideal SUP destination. In recent years local outfitters have begun offering lessons, equipment rentals, and organizing SUP contests such as Coastal Urge’s upcoming 3rd Annual Cold Stroke Classic to be held on Saturday, January 15 in Wrightsville Beach.
Last year more than 100 standup paddlers participated in the event and organizers are expecting a similar turnout this year. According to Coastal Urge co-founder Jeoffrey Nathan, this year’s event boasts a $2,500 dollar cash purse and $10,000 worth of prizes. With two divisions, paddlers can opt to do the 3.5-mile Recreational course or the 7-mile Elite course. Racers will have on-the-water assistance from the U.S. Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary, and SeaTow.
Many participants traveling from out of town will arrive on Friday evening to get a good night’s sleep prior to the race. Race participants and other interested paddlers can also register for a SUP Race Clinic with renowned professional standup paddler Dan Gavere. The clinic will take place Friday afternoon from 2:00 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. at the Blockade Runner Beach Resort (275 Waynick Blvd., Wrightsville Beach), the event’s host hotel.
On Saturday morning, race day excitement begins with a racer’s meeting at 10:00 a.m. at the Blockade Runner. The race begins at 11:00 a.m. in the Intracoastal Waterway directly across from the hotel. Other events taking place on Saturday include a Manufacturer’s Expo with demonstrations beginning at 11:30 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Then at 5:00 p.m., there will be live entertainment and a banquet prepared by the Blockade Runner’s executive chef Mark Lawson. The banquet is open to race participants and to others who would like to enjoy a delicious meal and learn about standup paddling. Special guest speaker and professional standup paddler Dan Gavere will share a SUP movie and answer questions on his multidiscipline SUP lifestyle. After Gavere’s presentation the awards ceremony will commence, concluding with an exciting outdoor closing ceremony featuring Kaliwali on Fire, local fire dancers with an authentic beat. Banquet reservations are strongly suggested: www.coastalurge.com/CSC/register.htm?ref=ebtn.
For registration, accommodation, banquet, clinic and race details, visit www.coldstrokeclassic.com. All proceeds from this event will benefit SUP Cleanup, a nonprofit organization whose mission is “to remove trash and debris that gets left behind or washed up on beaches. By uniting standup paddlers to ‘standup for a clean ocean,’ SUP Cleanup can make coastal environments healthier now and for future generations.” Several times each year, standup paddlers gather to clean up the barrier islands. To find out more about SUP Cleanup and events, visit www.supcleanup.com or http://sup.coastalurge.com or call 1-800-383-4443.
Hotels offering special rates for the Cold Stroke Classic are listed on the website www.coldstrokeclassic.com. For Wrightsville Beach accommodation and visitor information, visit the website www.visitwrightsville.com. For information on accommodations, attractions, shopping, dining, and events throughout Wilmington & North Carolina’s Cape Fear Coast (Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Wrightsville Beach) or for a free 2011 Official Visitors Guide, please visit www.gocapefearcoast.com, email email@example.com, or call 1-866-266-9690.