Travis Grant and Shae Foudy Win, Connor Baxter Takes 5th in Carolina Cup SUP Races
Coming off a winter of hard training and racing in an OC-1 canoe, Travis Grant felt strong going into the East Coast’s premier SUP event, the Carolina Cup. And when the 13.2-mile Elite Graveyard Race ended, his confidence proved well founded, as he was the first man onto the beach ahead of a world-class field.
Travis finished 55 seconds in front of the man who has owned the Carolina Cup the past few years and won three titles, Danny Ching. If the 404 rider had won, he would’ve vaulted to the top of the SUP Racer world rankings, but all that power stroking in his OC-1 gave Travis a little extra when the race reached its frantic conclusion.
“I love it when it gets rough and bumpy so the conditions were perfect for me,” Travis said. “It was the biggest start line in the history of the Carolina Cup. All the guys performed really well but I just had a little extra at the end.”
Coming into the festivities at Wrightsville Beach, the man atop the rankings was a familiar face to any SUP fan, 20-year-old Connor Baxter. The Maui long distance specialist has won three of the last four Maui2Oahu world titles, with Travis claiming the other. After an off season spent honing his surfing skills and claiming third place in the grueling Waterman Series multi-discipline event in New Zealand, Connor was raring to go coming into Carolina. He came in just a few seconds behind Danny, Georges Cronsteadt and Titouan Puyo, to take a well-deserved fifth place.
The women’s 13.2 mile race was also hotly contested, with the top 20 finishers separated by less than 20 minutes. There were some familiar names atop the leaderboard at the end of the half marathon paddle, with Annabel Anderson, Sonni Honscheid going 1-2 and UB Super ambassador Lina Augaitis closing quickly to finish third. 16-year-old phenom Shae Foudy, a product of The Paddle Academy in Dana Point, California, came in just a few minutes behind in 11th place overall, and was the winner of the under 17 age division.
With thousands of new groms getting into SUP each year, events like the Carolina Cup are adding more and more youth categories, and the standard in each is rising rapidly. Another athlete from The Paddle Academy, Stephen Baker, took 4th in the Money Island Race in a tough under-17 field. Stephen can draw confidence from his impressive showing, particularly as at 13 he was one of the youngest paddlers in his division. Other teens from The Paddle Academy who had a big weekend include Lexi Alston, who finished first in the six-mile Money Island girls’ contest and Daniel Russell, who was the highest place 18-year-old in the Graveyard Race.
From this latest crop of SUP super-groms, to rising stars like Lina and Shae, to world champions like Travis and Connor, everyone is looking for an edge when it comes to performance and recovery. That’s why all of them drink UB Super as a vital part of their training and race day routines. Only UB Super provides superfoods, fulvic minerals, organic vitamins, prebiotics and probiotics and 15 grams of complete vegan or grass fed whey protein in a convenient shake to support the demands of top-level competition. As Shae and Lina continue tearing up the women’s circuit, The Paddle Academy phenoms go back to training in Dana Point and Travis and Connor take on the OluKai Ho’olaule’a race this weekend in Maui and then fly out for the Euro Tour, they’ll keep coming back to UB Super for on-the- go whole food nourishment.
“Our athletes work as hard in training as adults do, plus they’re still growing and many are commuting more than 45 minutes each way to practice after school,” said Jamie Donnelley, co-founder of The Paddle Academy. “They need extra vitamins and minerals to recover, and UB Super has become their healthy version of fast food. We can tell a big difference on the water between the kids who use it and those who don’t. The coaching staff lives on UB Super too, because our lives never stop and we need something quick that provides complete nutrition.