Friday, January 17, 2014

6th Annual Cold Stroke Classic | January 18th, 2014

This Saturday's weather forecast is shaping up to be picture perfect for the 6th Annual Cold Stroke Classic-SUP Race! A clear, sunny weekend is on tap with mild temps predicted in the mid-40s to low 50s and light winds! Over 120 professional and recreational paddlers from across the country and around the globe are on the race roster. Several hundred spectators are also gearing up for this exciting event!

The festivities get underway on Friday, January 17th at 2 pm with a race and stroke clinic hosted by SUP professional Dan Gavere. The clinic will take place at the Blockade Runner Beach Resort. Topics for the clinic will include a discussion about what factors make the ideal race day, plus hands on instruction for the choke down stroke technique, the bow draw, and how to paddle in rough conditions. Friday's clinic will actually feature on-the-water training with a loop around the Harbor Island course, which is just under 3 miles in length. Cost for the clinic is $30.

The race day activities scheduled for Saturday, January 18th break down as follows:
For the Recreational Division, which covers the 3.5 mile course, the registration fee is $55 and the heats are:
  • Kids 14 & under division
  • 12'6" and under Women's
  • 12'6" and under Men's
  • 14' Men's
For the Elite Division, which follows a 7-mile course, the registration fee is $75 and the scheduled heats are:
  • 12'6" and under Men's
  • 12'6" and under Women's
  • 14' Men's
  • Men's unlimited
*Please note that the cash purse for the Elite Division will be $1,250.00 spread across the top finishers in each division.

See fees and register here.
*Paddlers registering on race day will pay an additional $15

SUP Courses
To see a course map, please use this link:

The course will circle Harbor Island via Banks Channel, Motts Channel, and the Intracoastal Waterway. All races begin and end at Blockade Runner Beach Resort, host of the Cold Stroke Classic. Did you know that the Blockade Runner is celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2014?!

All races will follow a Racer's Meeting at 9:30 am and are set to begin at 10 am. Spectators will have a number of excellent vantage points for viewing the race and are also encouraged to attend the ongoing exhibitors expo, which is free and open to the public.

The Awards Ceremony is scheduled immediately after the races at 12:45 pm at the Blockade Runner.

Local SUP enthusiasts are extremely pleased with the attention the Cold Stroke Classic has brought to the sport. The owner of the paddelboarding website,, John Beausang, recently reflected, "The Cold Stroke Classic launched the sport of SUP on the East Coast. It brought early pioneers and SUP ambassadors to Wrightsville Beach, including Chuck Patterson, Byron Kurt, Brandi Baksic and E.J. Johnson. It was the race that launched a hundred races."

The Cold Stroke Classic began under the leadership of Jeoffrey and Catherine Nathan, founders of Coastal Urge, a Carolina-based lifestyle outfitter. Coastal Urge also established, and continues to present, the annual Newport SUP Cup in Newport, Rhode Island..

The event also benefits SUP Cleanup, an organization dedicated to removing trash and debris from littered waterways and beaches throughout the United States.

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