WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (April 15, 2017) – The 2017 Hobie and Salt Life SUP Surf Pro-Am kicked off a week of intense and friendly SUP competition in North Carolina with choice waves and excellent weather. Hobie rider Martin Letourneur of Saint-Malo, France captured the overall performance trophy, the Haywood Newkirk, Sr. All Waterman Award.
Letourneur scored big in back-to-back qualifying heats and the finals competition. He found the Wrightsville surf to his liking. “I am very at home in these conditions,” Letourneur said. “My home surf spot is always windy with small waves, so these conditions would actually be a very good day for us.”
Letourneur finished second to Hawaii’s Mo Freitas in the Men’s Professional Division. Only four-tenths of a point separated the top four finishers. Letourneur also scored a third-place finish in the Open SUP division. His career includes top-ten finishes in the Battle of the Paddle and Pacific Paddle Games, and runner-up in the French Championships in 2016.
In the Women’s Professional Division, 15-year-old Hobie rider Lexi Alston of California was the runner-up to winner Izzi Gomez. Fellow Hobie team rider April Zilg, a Wrightsville native, finished third.
Hobie rider Colin McPhillips of California doubled up, winning both the Longboard Open SUP and Glider SUP divisions. McPhillips is a three-time longboard World Champion. Teammate Bullet Obra of Hawaii was third in the Glider Open. In the Men’s Amateur 50+, Hobie riders Heywood Newkirk and Byron Kurt went one-two.
The Wrightsville Beach SUP Surf Pro-Am leads into the 7th Annual West Marine Carolina Cup, to be contested April 18-23, culminating with the Elite Graveyard distance SUP race. Hobie team riders Zilg, Alston, Obra and Letourneur figure to be in the mix for top finishes.