WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, North Carolina - South End Surf Shop proudly announces the Salt Life Carolina Pro-Am to be held on April 20-21, 2019 at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. The fifth annual SUP Surf event brings together the top amateurs and the world’s best sup surfers to North Carolina. This contest will serve as an APP World Tour Qualifying event promoted by the World Paddle Association (WPA).
The Salt Life Carolina Pro-Am is a two-day Stand Up Paddle (SUP) Surf event, drawing the world's best professional and amateur paddle surfers and offers a $15,000 prize purse. In addition, the pro division competitors will earn qualifier series points toward the APP World Tour ranking, providing a unique and open access point to the Tour for the following season.
Photos: Laura Glantz
Tristan Boxford, CEO of the APP World Tour says, “We are extremely excited to be involved with the Carolina Pro-Am and what it represents for the Stand Up Paddle Community as a whole. The introduction of this great event as an official qualifier stop for the APP World Tour in 2020 paves the way for the development of a legitimate qualifier series for SUP surfing, that will emulate what has been put in motion by the APP and WPA for Racing in 2019.”
The Carolina Pro-Am was brought to life in 2014 by local businessmen and avid surfers Haywood Newkirk and Jason Colclough with a vision of bringing the best SUP surfers from around the world to come and take in the North Carolina surf and legendary local hospitality. The event also presents the Haywood Newkirk Sr. Award which is awarded to the competitor with the best combined results in both Pro Open and Pro Longboard divisions. Past recipients include Jarrod Covington (2014 – North Carolina), Kieran Grant (2015 – Florida), Bullet Obra (2016 - Hawaii) and Martin Letourneur (2017 – France).
Mo Freitas. | Photo: Laura Glantz
"We are really excited about the 2019 Carolina Pro Am. The event has been so successful in past years, but having this contest be a part of the APP Tour brings it to an entirely new level”, states Haywood Newkirk, CPA founder. Newkirk continues, “Having the support of the APP, WPA and Salt Life is quite an endorsement as well. I can't wait for the world to come to our home breaks here at Wrightsville Beach."
Since 2014, the Carolina Pro-Am has attracted some of world’s top competitors including Colin McPhillips (3-time World Longboard Champion), Caio Vaz (2016 APP World Champion), Izzy Gomez (2-time APP World Champion), Emmy Merrill (2-time ISA World Champion), Mo Freitas and Giorgio Gomez.
Brother-sister duo: Georgio and Izzi Gomez. | Photos: Laura Glantz
Most importantly, the Carolina Pro-Am supports the amateur divisions in order to help the sport grow and to keep the competitors coming back to Wrightsville Beach. The support of the local community has allowed the Carolina Pro-Am to become one of the top SUP surfing contests in the country. With the additional support and recognition provided by the APP and the WPA, the Carolina Pro Am is poised to become one of Paddle Boarding’s premier events.
“The Carolina Pro-Am contest has always been a fun and competitive event with great hospitality from the locals in Wrightsville Beach”, states Byron Kurt, President of the WPA. Kurt continues, “The level of SUP Surfing has always been very good and now with the event being an APP World Tour qualifying event, you will see a much more competitive field in all divisions.”
Haywood Newkirk. | Photo: Laura Glantz
The Carolina Pro-Am will be covered by local and international media from APP, WPA, TotalSup, Standup Journal, Supconnect and to be highlighted on CBS Sports Network during APP World Tour event telecasts. For more information and sponsor opportunities, go to worldpaddleassociation.com and appworldtour.com. Register on paddleguru.com.
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