Paddlers

Paddlers work together during the 120-mile leg.

The Wrightsville Beach Outrigger Canoe Club (WBOCC) is teaming up with the North Carolina Coastal Federation to paddle the entire coastline of North Carolina. The three-year We the Water initiative aims to advocate for clean water, empower local communities, bring awareness of contamination and protect water.

The first leg runs Sept. 14-17, where club members will paddle a six-person outrigger canoe 120-miles from Sunset Beach to Cedar Point. This journey will tell the story of the North Carolina coast, from threats and risks to solutions and triumphs, and how we can all make a difference in protecting and restoring the place we call home.

“Outrigger canoeing is a connection to the water like no other,” said North Carolina Coastal Federation Southeast Regional Office Manager and WBOCC board member Kerri Allen. “I cannot think of a better way to tell the story of our coast than from the bow of a canoe and how we can all make a difference in protecting and restoring the place we call home.”

The paddlers will be leaving Sunset Beach at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 14, from the Sunset Beach Town Park, members of the media are invited to attend the send-off event and all of the teams stops along their 120-mile route that will take place over the course of 4 days. A full schedule of stops and locations can be found here.

The paddlers will also be hosting an event at N.Sea Oyster Company in Surf City from 6-9 p..m. on Friday, Sept. 16. Tickets are available for the public to attend the Rave for the Waves event, all information on the fundraiser can be found online at https://www.nccoast.org/event/a-rave-for-the-waves/.

WBOCC practices year-round and competes in races all across the country. The group plans to complete its paddle up the North Carolina coast with additional legs in 2023 and 2024.

“Our club is honored to be a part of this initiative to protect the ocean that we love and enjoy regularly,” said Gina Martin, WBOCC President. From the perspective of an outrigger canoe, we look forward to raising awareness of what we as a collective community can do to ensure clean water for all.”

Volunteers, donations, and sponsorships are needed to support the We the Water initiative. Complete information can be found at www.nccoast.org/paddle. Sponsors of this endeavor include Ceviche’s, Slice of Life, Zulu Marine, Airlie Pointe Yacht Charters, N. Sea Oyster Co, The Athlete Agenda, Sea Green Natural Cleaning, Waterman’s Brewing and Shaka Taco.

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