The 6th Annual Cold Stroke Classic Returns to N.C.

Photo: Coastal Urge
Photo: Coastal Urge

The Cold Stroke Classic Returns to N.C.

Wrightsville Beach will host one of the East Coast’s longest-running standup paddleboard races on Friday and Saturday, January 17-18, 2014. The 6th Annual Cold Stroke Classic features the coldest race conditions of the year in coastal North Carolina.

Over 120 professional and recreational paddlers from across the US, and countries as far away as Portugal, will take to the Carolina waters for the annual race.

The Cold Stroke Classic launched the sport of SUP on the East Coast,” says John Beausang, editor and owner of, a leading online paddleboard resource. “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.”

Photo: Coastal Urge
Photo: Coastal Urge

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 Classic features a 7-mile elite competition, a 3.5-mile recreational race, and a 14-and-under kids’ division. A cash purse will be awarded in the elite division, and over $5,000 in prizes will be awarded in the recreational division.

 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. Blockade Runner is celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2014.

Race weekend launches Friday, January 17 with world-renowned SUP professional Dan Gavere’s race and stroke clinic. Gavere will focus on what makes the perfect race day, including a seminar on the choke down stroke technique, the bow draw, and paddling in rough conditions. The clinic features on-the-water training with one complete loop of the Harbor Island course.

Photo: Coastal Urge
Photo: Coastal Urge

The U.S. Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary, and SeaTow will provide on-water assistance for the Wrightsville races. USCG approved PFD’s and board leashes are required.

The 6th Annual Cold Stroke Classic benefits SUP Cleanup, an organization dedicated to removing trash and debris from littered waterways and beaches throughout the United States.

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