RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA, USA – Annabel Anderson of New Zealand, the fastest and world's top-ranked standup paddleboard woman each year since 2012, will take a break in early 2018 for surgery to address a "long-term and horrifically painful ailment" and to fully recover from a serious concussion sustained earlier in the year. Anderson disclosed her plans during an interview with North Carolina Press Release to discuss her remarkable 2017 season and the upcoming Carolina Cup (April 18-22), the first race on the World SUP Tour.

Undoubtedly one of the greatest athletes of all time in the sport, Anderson won two gold medals in the recent ISA World Standup Paddleboard Championships; is the reigning World SUP Tour Salt Life Champion; Champion of the Pacific Paddle Games; five-time consecutive champion of The Carolina Cup; and ranked overall number-one in the world, the only female to achieve this recognition.

At the top of her game, Annabel Anderson is 85 points ahead of the nearest competitor in the 2017 year-end rankings, amassing over 300 points for the season. Chris Parker of SUPRacer.com, the keeper of the world-rankings, calls Anderson "a work-horse … a tenacious competitor … a battler at heart … winning again, again, and again." Wrapping a recent article about the top women in the sport, Parker said, "Annabel has pretty much sealed her status as the greatest of all time."

In the interview, Annabel Anderson talks about her plans, the Carolina Cup, The Graveyard Race, how she maintained her dominance in the sport, the state-of-the-sport, 14-ft. boards for women, equality in the sport, Heavy Water, a glimpse into New Zealand, and more.

Click here to read Annabel Anderson’s interview.

About the Carolina Cup:

The 8th annual Quiksilver Waterman Carolina Cup will draw thousands of spectators and more than 1,000 event participants. Races, clinics, expos, entertainment, and festivities will be in Wrightsville Beach, April 18-22, 2018. All races will begin and end at Blockade Runner Beach Resort, the official resort of the Carolina Cup.

Returning races on the 2018 schedule include:

The Graveyard, a grueling 13.2-mile ocean and flatwater race for the elite and professional paddleboard racers;
The Money Island Open, a 6.5-mile flatwater race designed for the intermediate to advanced paddler;
The Harbor Island Recreational, a 3.5-mile flatwater race for first-time to intermediate paddleboarders;
The popular Kids Race for children 7 to 14.

New to the race schedule in 2018:

The Longboat Graveyard, a 13.2-mile race exclusively for Elite OC-1, OC-2, Surfski and Double-Ski.

The Carolina Cup is organized by the Wrightsville Beach Paddle Club, affiliated with the newly formed Paddle League, and sanctioned by the World Paddle Association (WPA), the Cup will attract paddlers from over 20 countries and virtually every state in the nation. Competitors include Olympians, world-record holders, champions, professionals, amateurs, and first-time paddlers. The Carolina Cup is the first race of 2018 on the WPA World SUP Tour, and the second race of the season on the Paddle League World Tour.

Race information and registration.