Women being ignored at the 2017 West Marine Carolina Cup

An open letter from Pam Boteler, President of 'WomenCAN International', to the organisers

Open letter by Pam Boteler, President of WomenCAN International, to the organisers of the ‘2017 West Marine Carolina Cup’. An annual surfski and sup race at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, USA.

Dear Carolina Cup
I’ve hesitated to write this, but, it needs to be written. This happens over and over again in many situations throughout sport (and society), but it really needs to be called out here.

Here [below] is a photo of your 2017 West Marine Carolina Cup Women’s Surfski Champion – Teneale Hatton. She also finished 7th overall in the surfski class. There were awards ceremonies and recognition for top 10 in the SUP category, including a lot of cash.

- Advertisement -

There were awards and photos for the men’s surfski podium winners.
All deserving.

But no recognition for the women’s surfski class.
No podium in front of peers so people could see what a world class female paddler/2012 Olympic kayaker looks like.
No mention on your Facebook page or website.

She was standing there – in the crowd – with all of the others, clapping and cheering.

She came all the way from New Zealand to do this race and conduct clinics.
She promoted your event.
Just like your women’s SUP winner Annabel Anderson.

You know women are just as deserving of recognition as the men, right?

You know you invited and charged exorbitant race fees for other paddle classes like surfskis and outrigger canoes, right?
(You know I paid $180 for my race fee 3 months ago. I was a long way behind Teneale in 2nd place in the surfski class, feeling a great sense of accomplishment at completing that course in tough conditions, but forget about me…).

You know we need more women in all paddle sports right?
You know we need more bad ass Olympic class world class women like Teneale helping out women like me and all levels right? #ifshecanseeitshecanbeit
In case you don’t know who you had at your event – here’s a great article about her:

This post is about Teneale – a woman who puts in just as much, if not more, training time and dedication to excellence as the male podium winners and the SUP winners. I was ecstatic to meet her and more ecstatic she gave me pointers and encouragement……

$180 for a race fee.
And no podium recognition and no recognition any where else.

It’s really a shame.
CORRECTION: It’s a disgrace.

This race was an awesome challenge personally. But, definitely not worth $180 registration fee. (tax on paddlers?)

And definitely not worth seeing world class women being outright ignored at such a high profile/big money event.

A mentor once told me:
“Women often fold very easily in these situations and get apologetic OR (worse yet) back off on claiming equality…Its much like fighting ‘bodyshaming’…We cannot become embarrassed about claiming full personhood…”.

I do hope you can make your 2018 event even better.

Pam Boteler

[President of WomenCAN International]

- Advertisement -