For those competitors paddling through Mason’s Inlet at the North end of Wrightsville Beach as part of the Carolina Cup’s Graveyard course, here is aerial footage following recent dredging. During the race, the tide will be going from high tide to low tide, with currents moving out Mason’s Inlet. Depending on the direction of the race, determined on race morning and based on wind and conditions, racers will either be headed into current, or out with current. There isn’t much swell in the water, so there should be a visible and usable channel through the break. Footage by Aerial Images ILM.
Tips: If we are paddling out, stay in the channel and round the buoy on your right shoulder. You will be between the sand bars and breaking waves and more importantly, in the outgoing current. Throughout the inlet from the Intracoastal Waterway to the Atlantic, stay in the channel and fly out with the current. there is a small island. You will need to decide which side to go on. I’m not sure.
If we are paddling into Mason’s Inlet, round the buoy on your left shoulder and head into the inlet toward the Intracoastal Waterway. You will be paddling against the outgoing current, so using the waves to the left and right of the channel to surf in will save you a lot of time. If you aren’t comfortable with that, get ready. Once you are inside the inlet and have sand on both sides, consider hugging the shore, staying out of the middle and the current. You can find eddies and faster water.
Water temperatures as of 4/22 are 64.9 °F.
Footage provided by Aerial Images ILM.