Locals nominated for SUP awards


One of the top standup paddleboarding websites has included two local athletes as nominees for paddleboarder of the year. But to win the award, they will need as many online votes from the local community as possible.

The SUPConnect website nominated April Zilg, of Cedar Creek, in the Woman of the Year 2015 category while Anna Blackburn, 15, of Wilmington, was nominated in the Grom of the Year 2015 category.

Zilg and Blackburn were the only North Carolinians nominated by the site, which Zilg said reflects the excellent SUP conditions that the Wrightsville Beach area provides.

April Zilg and Anna Blackburn

April Zilg and Anna Blackburn after a race.

“Wrightsville Beach is definitely a hub for standup paddleboard activity on the entire East coast of the United States,” Zilg said. “Wrightsville Beach is the perfect place to standup paddle. We have loops of any length, you can take a short paddle, you can do three, six, 12 miles, and never see the same spot twice. You can do wicked open-ocean down winders or you can go inland on a really rough day and enjoy some of the rivers and tiny lakes and tidal creeks. Lots of protected water and lots of exposed water. You can make paddleboarding as relaxing or as extreme as you want to, all right here in Wrightsville Beach and Wilmington.”

The nominations were made by the site’s editors, Zilg said, who make their selections based on their commitment to the SUP community. Blackburn is one of the up-and-coming paddleboards across the nation, she said, and her nomination reflects the dedication the young athlete has given to the sport.

Zilg’s next race will be this weekend at the Ocean City (Md.) SUP Cup, she said.

Both categories are open for public voting through July 31.

Vote for April here:


Vote for Anna here: http://supconnect.com/awards/grom-of-the-year-2015


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