West Marine Carolina Cup to Feature SUP Pros, Paddler’s Lounge at 6th Annual Paddling Event

Top pros will be at West Marine tent on site at world’s largest paddle event

Watsonville, CA, April 4, 2016 –The 6th Annual West Marine Carolina Cup, home to the world’s largest gathering of stand-up paddleboard (SUP) racers, will take place April 19-24 in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. The event is considered the official kick-off to the 2016 SUP race season and attracts thousands of paddlers who compete in a variety of races and events designed to test and engage all paddling skill levels.

The prestige of the West Marine Carolina Cup is driven in part from the challenge of its infamous “Graveyard” course. Considered one of the toughest 13 miles of water in paddling, the Graveyard attracts the world’s most elite paddlers who battle it out on both SUPs and prone paddleboards in the hopes of winning the cup title.

Last year’s event was the biggest on record, and this year already is shaping up to be even bigger — with paddlers coming from as far away as Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, California and Europe. It’s not all about the pros, however; the event has races for kids, novice paddlers and those aspiring to be pros.

With ocean-side and intercostal venues anchored by an interactive expo and demo area, the West Marine Carolina Cup offers something for everyone.

“It’s an honor and a thrill for West Marine to be the title sponsor for such an amazing event and support paddling and all those paddlers who are participating,” says Laura Barry, West Marine Senior Marketing Manager. “Our mission as a company is to help people get on the water and facilitate amazing moments, and the West Marine Carolina Cup gives us a chance to connect with thousands of participants to do just that, regardless of age or experience level.”

As part of the event, West Marine will host a paddler’s lounge at the expo site, where paddlers and spectators can gather and relax, and meet the world’s elite paddlers. Athletes confirmed to attend the 2016 West Marine Carolina Cup include last year’s race champion and current Molokai2Oahu World Champion, Travis Grant; 2015 French Champion and the #5-ranked paddler in the world, Titouan Puyo; and reigning Molokai2Ohau world record holder for prone paddleboarding Jack Bark.

The unique race format, interactive expo, clinics and onsite demos, combined with massive support from the community of North Carolina’s Wrightsville Beach, has helped propel international recognition of the event and elevate its status among the world’s best paddlers.

“Surfstow is super excited to partner with West Marine as one of the vendor sponsors for this year’s West Marine Carolina Cup,” echoes Chris DeRecat, Surfstow President. “We’re looking forward to participating in the week’s festivities and interfacing with all levels of paddlers. West Marine’s title sponsorship demonstrates its commitment to the burgeoning sport of SUP, a fun activity that the whole family can enjoy."

For more information or to register for the West Marine Carolina Cup, visit the West Marine Carolina Cup website, or find great information about all the latest SUP’s by visiting www.westmarine.com/stand-up-paddleboards.

About West Marine
Each person has a unique connection to the water. At West Marine (westmarine.com,NASDAQ: WMAR), our knowledge, enthusiasm and products prepare waterlife adventurers tofoster that connection and explore their passions. With more than 260 stores located in 38states and Puerto Rico and an eCommerce website reaching domestic, international andprofessional customers, West Marine is recognized as a leading Waterlife Outfitter for cruisers,sailors, anglers and paddlesports enthusiasts. Since first opening our doors in 1968, WestMarine associates continue to share the same love for the water as our customers and providehelpful advice on the gear and gadgets they need to be safe and have fun.

Media Contact

Margo Donohue | press@westmarine.com | 917.679.6945