Money Island Course Description:
This course is entirely in the intracoastal waterways surrounding “Money Island (or Goat Island)” in Wrightsville Beach, NC. It does not have any open ocean sections. That said, there are tidal currents and areas are subject to wind and chop depending on the direction of the wind. This is a 6.5 mile course, but with the dead low tide and based your individual path, it could be slightly longer. This can look like a calm river or a blustery sea at times. It’s hard to tell. At any point, there is a way to get out of the water. There are water access points, marinas and docks in case of emergency. There will be safety boats along the course and plenty of people to help you find your way.
The times for this course vary greatly. It depends on your craft, experience and conditioning, weather and that day’s performance. Anyone who finishes this in under an hour is crushing it. On a SUP, that hour mark is really REALLY moving.
Because of the low tide at the start of the race, there will be exposed and barely submerged sand and oyster bars. Do not try to cut to extreme to the inside. Wear polarized glasses so you can see what you’re paddling over. If you hit something or are close, drop to a knee or your knees. There are really only 2 areas that are really a concern: The north side of Harbor Island, just after you pass under the bridge and turn left into Lee’s Cut and the South side of Money Island in Masonboro Inlet and across from the Coast Guard.
Best advice: Paddle the course before the race at low tide. It won’t give you the exact weather, but it’ll have the right depths and currents/tides. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS.
Blockade Runner Beach Resort, 275 Waynick Blvd, Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480
Saturday, April 27 Time and Events
8:45am-Money Island Racers Meeting Sound Side
9:10am-Money Island race start
Low tide: 08:57 AM [Read the post on this year’s tides]
Sunrise: 6:25 AM
Sunset: 7:53 PM
Estimated Water Temp: 60 degrees Fahrenheit
Estimated Air Temp and Wind: No way to tell until the day before, even that is subject to change from hour to hour.
Local Surf Reports CAMs: See the conditions, live
Surfchex: At Crystal Pier and the Oceanic Restaurant at the south end of Wrightsville Beach. This is the best quality and most consistent cam on WB.
WB Live Surf: This is our friend Tony’s site. They do an awesome job of posting surf reports every single day of the year at dawn, mid-morning, lunch and afternoon. Good quality CAM. Works with Surfchex.
- This is a water start and a beach finish after the Harbor Island Race
- Get to the event site WAY IN ADVANCE of the racers meeting and bring your board to the sound side of the Blockade Runner Beach Resort.
- Give Harbor Island People some room to get out there first.
- Have your PFD and leash with your board
- Put your name and phone number on your board and paddle, there are going to be many identical board types and models
- Turn in your chip at the end
- You can pull up for board drop off then park or park and walk or paddle there with your board.
- Get the parking app to pay for parking wherever you are on Wrightsville Beach. PayByPhone app: https://www.paybyphone.com/locations/wrightsville-beach
- Race course map: Racers will be sent either clockwise or counter-clockwise depending on the safest route based on race-day conditions. This is a water start and a beach finish on the sound side.
- The course is 6 to 6.5 miles long, depending on your line and the tide. A higher tide lets you take a shorter course. A lower tide makes for a longer course.
- There are 3 bridges, one of which is the drawbridge and is the place where you will most have to focus on boat traffic.
- There are oysters and sand bars that will be in play with the low-tide start. That said, the channel is always deepest.
- Do not touch the pilings as they are covered with barnacles and oysters and will ding your hands and boards/boats/canoes
- The race directors call the direction of the race based on the direction of the graveyard race on the morning of the race. No one knows until the morning of the race and speculation is fruitless. Be prepared to go in either direction
- Do not look at the weather report until Friday, it’s always changing
- The Tide will be dead low according to the charts, which means it will be coming in from Masonboro Inlet (the inlet to the south) as the tide comes in, and heading north on the ICWW.
- Yell when you get under the bridges because it echos
- When you come into the beach, take your leash off or you’ll trip and make someone’s highlight reel.
- If the course goes clockwise: stay on the far side, close to Money Island and out of the channel until you turn the first corner, then get to the channel, more toward the middle until you get to Palm Tree Island, which has a fake palm tree and parking meter on it. From there, stick next to the docks to your right. You’ll be going against the tide and current, so staying next to the docks will keep you in the eddys. Cross over where you are comfortable to the left side and finish at the Blockade Runner.
- If the course goes counter-clockwise: Stay in the middle until you pass Palm Tree Island, which has a fake palm tree and parking meter on it. From there, stick next to the docks to your left, then the shore on your left all the way toward Masonboro inlet until to get to Banks Channel. You’ll be going against the tide and current, so staying next to the docks will keep you in the eddys. Get in the middle for the last section in the channel and with the current when you make a left to the finish at the blockade runner.
- Seriously, DO NOT look at the weather report until Friday, it’s always changing
- The wind direction will make the race strategy more complicated, but do your best and wait until race morning and the racers meeting to make your decisions. Be prepared to go in either direction.
- Do not play chicken with boats. They do not shut down the waterways for the race and you do NOT have the right of way. Play chicken with the bulls and you’ll end up as a flat chicken.
- Wear sunscreen, but wash your hands before you touch your board or paddle
- Do not put sunscreen on your knees, because when you kneel on your board, your deck pad will get greasy
- No alcohol or dogs on the beach at any time
- Cross on the crosswalk for which they are legally obligated to stop for pedestrians, but often don’t. There will be police officers to enforce this.
- DO NOT GIVE LOCALS STINK EYE AS THEY DRIVE TO THEIR HOMES. We are inconveniencing them enough without random crossings and the “I own the road” attitude we’ve seen a few times in 8+ years.
- Do not park at the Blockade Runner unless you are staying at the Blockade Runner
- And finally, do not look at the weather report until Friday, it’s always changing.
Tide Flow for incoming Tide: