Canadians to Defend Titles at Surf to Sound Challenge
Jessica Rando and Larry Cain of Canada return to North Carolina October 31 through November 2 to defend their Women’s and Men’s Elite division titles in the Surf to Sound Challenge. Rando and Cain are world-class competitors in a variety of paddle sports, including SUP.
Jessica Rando, born in the greater Toronto area and raised on the shores of Lake Ontario, adopted an outdoor enthusiast lifestyle with encouragement from her parents and sister. In high school, she launched a 10-year career highlighted by national and international gold medals in sprint canoe, and three world championships in dragon boat.
After retiring from sprint canoe, 31-year-old Jessica Rando is now a major player in SUP racing. In 2014, Rando won first-place elite female in Pickering’s Canada Cup SUP Race, Ottawa’s Ultimate SUP Challenge, Toronto’s Icebreaker, and all races she entered on the Ontario SUP Series circuit.
“What I love most about SUP is that where there is water, you can paddle. Whitewater, surf, open-ocean, flatwater--all can be tackled on a standup paddleboard,” said Rando in a recent interview with NC Press Release. North Carolina’s Surf to Sound Challenge, “offers a bit of an extension on summer and the race season… it keeps my race skills fresh. I also love the variety of conditions that the course offers,” Rando added.
Larry Cain, also a Torontonian, participated in three Summer Olympics, winning gold and silver medals in the sprint canoe competition. An inductee into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, he is working with Canada’s high-performance paddle team leading up to the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
Winner of Canada’s SUP Cup in 2014, Cain has captured the men’s elite division championship in North Carolina’s Surf to Sound Challenge for the past three years.
This year’s three-day family weekend starts on Halloween, offering SUP clinics by Rando and Cain, a beginner course for standup paddle surfers, storytelling and s’mores for kids, as well as SUP races for every skill level on four unique race courses for a total of 20 miles, covering open ocean and inland waterways that circumvent the beach strand and picturesque marsh islands.
Now in its fourth year, the 2014 North Carolina Surf to Sound Challenge christens its new 9-mile, advanced, long distance course, called the Blockade Runner Flatwater Championship, in honor of the host hotel. Sandwiched between beaches on the Atlantic Ocean and Banks Channel, Blockade Runner Beach Resort is headquarters for four major East Coast SUP events each year, culminating with November’s Surf to Sound Challenge.
Downtime during the weekend features the east coast premiere of filmmaker Brent Deal’s H2MexicO, named 2014 Movie of the Year by SUP mag at the 2014 SUP Awards presented by Tommy Bahama. Check out race details and the schedule of events below.
2014 Surf to Sound Race Details
Surf to Sound Challenge
Advanced | 6.5 miles
Advanced paddlers will perform a surf start, brave the open Atlantic Ocean, and battle through Masonboro Inlet straits before navigating the channel currents behind Masonboro Island, then finishing the race sound side on Wrightsville Beach.
Harbor Island Outer Loop
Intermediate | 4 miles
This scenic and exciting flatwater race will circumnavigate Harbor Island, taking in Mott’s Channel, the Intracoastal Waterway, Lee’s Cut and finally, Banks Channel to the finish line. (*Direction dependent on weather)
Blockade Runner Flatwater Championship
Advanced | 9 miles
A flatwater race to challenge the endurance of paddlers who have been training all summer. Paddlers will experience inlet currents, the Intracoastal Waterway, and the scenic Harbor Island loop.
Schedule of Events
Friday, October 31
8:30 am – 5:00 pm: Fitness OnBoard Certification
9:00 am – 4:00 pm: Advanced Paddle Technique Clinic with Larry Cain
10:30 am – 12:00 pm: Breaking Down the Race Course with Jessica Rando
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm: Beginner SUP Surf
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm: Breaking Down the Race Course with Jessica Rando
4:00 pm – 8:00 pm: Check in and packet pickup (Late registration. No race day registrations.)
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm: Family trick or treat and face painting
Costume contest: Best adult and best child awarded prizes from Coastal Urge
7:15 pm: Storytelling and s’mores for kids
Saturday, November 1
Costume contest for all participants! Prizes from Coastal Urge
7:00 am – 7:45 am: Late check-in
7:00 am: Pre-race yoga with Wilmington Yoga Center
8:00 am: Race meeting Harbor Island (Sound side beach)
8:30 am: Race start Harbor Island
8:45 am: Race meeting Surf to Sound (Ocean side beach)
9:15 am: Race start Surf to Sound
11:00 am – 12:30 pm: Day of registration for Surf Contest
11:30 am – 5 pm: Board and equipment demos (Sound side and Ocean side)
11:30 pm: Kid’s Race (Sound side)
12:00 pm: Lunch (Sound Side) Beer from Sierra Nevada
1:00 pm: Preliminary heats in Surf Contest
5:30 pm: Dinner opens: Pig Pickin’ and barbecue ($15 tickets available onsite)
6:00 pm: Awards
7:30 pm (or immediately after awards): H2mexicO Movie premier
Sunday, November 2
7:00 am – 8:00 am: Late check-in for Blockade Runner race
8:30 am – 5:00 pm: Fitness Onboard Certification Day 2
8:15 am: Blockade Runner Race Meeting
8:45 am: Blockade Runner Race Start
**Awards for Blockade Runner after race
11:00 am – 3:00 pm: Special Lunch for purchase onsite ($13 Sandwich, chips, pickle, drink)
11:30 am: Surf Contest heats start
**Surf Awards after surf contest