World Champions Headed to Wrightsville Beach for SUP Surf PRO AM Stand Up Paddle Surf Contest Scheduled for April 18 at Crystal Pier Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, April 14, 2015–Hit the beach—Wrightsville Beach—to watch some of the top SUP surfers in the world compete in the Wrightsville Beach SUP Surf Pro Am presented by Hobie Stand Up Paddleboards and Salt Life.
The main competition is planned for Saturday, April 18 with a SUP Surf clinic by 3 time world longboard champion and Hobie SUP team rider Colin McPhillips on Sunday, April 19. This contest, with divisions for men and women, amateur and professional surfers will be held at the Oceanic Pier at the south end of Wrightsville Beach. Medley Capital has come on board as the gold sponsor guaranteeing the $6,000 prize purse for which surfers will compete.
The lineup on Saturday will include Izzi Gomez, 14 of Jupiter, Florida and team rider for Starboard International. She’s the reigning Standup World Tour Women’s Champion, shredding right past competitors twice her age. She started catching baby waves when she was just four years old, so even though she can’t drive yet she has a decade of experience.
Kieran and Fisher Grant, brothers, are two young phenoms from the East Coast, traveling up from Florida to take a crack at the $6,000 purse. They are also Florida natives, starting on traditional surfboards before making their way to SUP. Kieran participated in the Standup World Tour in 2014 and was the top ranked East Coast surfer at the Sunset Beach Pro last year.
These are just a few of the big names spectators will see on the beach Saturday.
Carolina Surfers Vie for New Award
In addition to competing in the regular pro division, North Carolina and South Carolina locals will also be vying for the coveted Carolina BAMF Award (take your guesses at the acronym), open to Carolinian locals (SC, NC) entering the pro division against the world’s best surfers. The winner of this award gets their entry fee back, in effect getting to surf against the pros for free to see how they stack up.
Learn to SUP Surf
Paddlers who have been SUP surfing without any formal instruction will get the chance to improve their skills during the Sunday SUP Surf clinic with 3x World Longboard Champion and Hobie team rider Colin McPhillips. This is a three hour beginner-intermediate SUP Surf Clinic focused on nose-riding, turning, cross-stepping, and paddle use skills. Participants should have some experience in the surf, including paddling out, keeping control of their board, and catching waves. The session is LIMITED TO 10 PARTICIPANTS and will cost $150.
Contest Divisions & Prizes
There are divisions for every SUP surfer, including a longboard-style division to showcase traditional longboard-style surfing on a stand up paddleboard.
Professional (Pro) Divisions. Open Age Group.
(This is the division with Cash Prizes.)
Men’s (ages 15-49)
Men’s over 50
Women’s (ages 15-49)
Women’s over 50
Amateur (Am) Divisions.
Groms (boys 14 and under)
Grom-ettes (girls 14 and under)
*Groms and grom-ettes surf for free
SUP Longboard Style Men’s**
SUP Longboard Style Women’s**
** The ” SUP Longboard Style” division is for boards 9 feet and over. This division will be judged on style, including trim and nose riding. If there are fewer than 8 entries in either of the “SUP Longboard Style” men’s and women’s categories, the field will be combined for a mixed gender “SUP Longboard Style” division.
The prize schedule for the contest is set up to award equal payouts to the Men’s and Women’s divisions ($3,000 for each division). For details www.wbsupsurfproam.com.
In addition to the prizes as scheduled, The Newkirk Waterman Award in honor of Haywood Newkirk, Sr. is given each year to the participant that has the highest combined finish in the Pro and Longboard Divisions of the Wrightsville Beach Pro-Am. The payout for the award is $500 and male and female participants are both eligible. Professional Longboarder and Carolina Beach Native, Tony Sylvagni won the inaugural Newkirk Waterman Award in 2014.
Although there are five miles of uninterrupted beach breaks in Wrightsville Beach, the site of the Wrightsville Beach SUP Surf PRO AM is historically one of the most frequented due to consistent surf. The setup of the surf contest site at the Oceanic pier, combined with the layout of outdoor seating at the Oceanic restaurant provides a stadium-like atmosphere for attendees to grab brunch, lunch, or a beverage while watching the contest unfold below. Paid public parking is available near the contest venue.
Proceeds to Benefit the Wrightsville Beach Museum
The Wrightsville Beach SUP Surf PRO AM kicks off the 2015 Waterman’s Ocean Festival organized by the Wrightsville Beach Museum, located in the historic Myers Cottage on Harbor Island. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Museum, which preserves and interprets the history of the island of Wrightsville Beach, including the long tradition of surfing along the beach strand.
Learn more and register at www.wbsupsurfproam.com.