Australian Travis Grant won the elite, 13.2 mile (21.2 km) “Graveyard” race at the 2015 Carolina Cup after battling last year’s champion Danny Ching and Connor Baxter for much of the race. On the women’s side, New Zealander Annabel Anderson’s dominance was once again on display as she powered her way to a decisive victory. Anderson has now scored a Trifecta having won the last three Carolina Cup events. While this was Grant’s first Carolina Cup victory, he can coincidentally already lay claim to owning a Trifecta, albeit in the form of the winning paddle he helped design with Jim Terrell of Quickblade Paddles. The most exciting finish of the race, however, went to SIC Maui athlete Georges Cronsteadt as he hunkered down and powered his way through the pack to claim third place on the podium.

The Graveyard is known for presenting athletes with an array of conditions from open ocean bumps and downwind conditions to flat water paddling along the 13.2 mile course. A true test of one’s endurance, the course generally takes athletes anywhere between 2 – 3.5 hours to complete. The wind picked up just before start time today to deliver a thrilling downwind leg at the start of the race. Conditions reportedly softened toward the latter stages of the contest as the wind began to taper, leaving the leaders to continue their charge towards the finish.

Men’s and Women’s Top Three

  1. Travis Grant (NSP/Quickblade Paddles)
  2. Danny Ching (404/Hippo Stick)
  3. Georges Cronsteadt (SIC Maui/Quickblade Paddles)
  1. Annabel Anderson (Lahui Kai/Puakea Designs)
  2. Sonni Hönscheid (SIC Maui)
  3. Lina Augaitis (SIC Maui/Werner)

Complete race results are available via the race management system Paddle Guru.