Miami Watermen Complete First-Ever Crossing of Gulf Stream on Stand-up Paddleboards

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Miami Watermen Complete First-Ever Crossing of Gulf Stream on Stand-up Paddleboards

Bimini-Miami Blue Water Challenge Raised Awareness for Surfrider’s Rise Above Plastics

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

MIAMI BEACH, FL -JUNE 15, 2012- A journey of 10,000 strokes starts and ends with just one. On June 9th, Miami residents, Bill Whiddon (58) and Thaddeus Foote (38) set off from the docks of the Big Game Club Resort & Marina, Bimini. 17 hours, 11 minutes and 43 seconds later they took their final stroke to the shore of Haulover Beach, Miami. In doing so, they became the first in history to cross the Gulf Steam on stand-up paddleboards.

During their 60-plus mile epic journey, the pair battled rainsqualls, searing summer heat and the natural northern drift of the Gulf Stream.

“It was paddle, hydrate, eat and paddle more,” said the 58-year-old Whiddon. “We did battle a 40 minute tough squall with the first hour of leaving the Bahamas and the seas went from flat to three-foot swells breaking into us.”

Their course was as tactical as it was long. To counteract the north pull of the Gulf Stream, Whiddon said he and Foote, 38, started a heading more southwest out of Bimini and then after ten hours turned the course more to a due westerly direction that increased speed and pushed to the north.

“We only had one fish encounter when we woke up a huge sun fish basking on the surface,” Whiddon recalled. “The fins on the fish were at least two feet long. We also had a school of dolphin swimming under our boards for a longtime, using the shade for some relief from the blistering sun.”

The cause behind the “Bimini to Miami Blue Water Challenge” is to raise awareness for Surfrider Foundation’s Rise Above Plastics campaign to reduce plastics in the ocean.

“This crossing was a great opportunity to highlight the impact that plastics are having on our world’s ocean and how our actions, as a society, can make such a big difference,” said Foote.

C4 Waterman, Inc. is an Oahu, Hawaii-based lifestyle and adventure sports equipment company. They are a brand focused on providing the highest quality hard goods and soft goods to water sports athletes and enthusiasts around the world. C4 was the first company with a focus on SUP and continues to lead the pack when it comes to industry recognition, authenticity, innovation and product design. Planning a unique SUP expedition? C4 is always seeking new adventures. Contact us at www.c4waterman.com.

Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our world’s oceans, waves and beaches. Local Miami Chapter www.surfridermiami.org efforts include lobbying for the enforcement of litter laws, beach dune restoration and K-8 environmental education.

Bimini Big Game Club
The historic Bimini Big Game Club, which reopened in the summer of 2010, is located on the main navigation channel in Bimini Bay. The resort currently features 51-rooms and a 75-slip marina capable of accommodating boats up to 145 feet in length. For more information, go to www.biggameclubbimini.com.

Contacts:

Chase Olivieri, C4 Waterman, 787-316-2289, www.c4waterman.com chase@c4waterman.com

Thaddeus Foote, 786-837-3988, thaddeusfoote@gmail.com
Martha Greenlee, 407-580-1830, www.surfridermiami.org, martha.greenlee@gmail.com

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1 Response to “Miami Watermen Complete First-Ever Crossing of Gulf Stream on Stand-up Paddleboards”


  1. R. Jamieson 1R. Jamieson

    Since we are talking here about “First Ever Crossing(s) of the Gulf Stream” (Bahamas to Florida route) on a fairly recent human powered concept (Stand-up Paddle Board), I felt compelled at this time to bring back to the stage two original athletes, old timers by all means, who were, in my judgment, the first ones to go across said turbulent body of water (in the Strait of Florida) more than thirty (30) years ago. Their names : Diana Nyad, an American swimmer, who swam through it in 1979, and Yvon Le Caer, an American cyclist, and ocean-cycling pioneer to many, who pedaled across in 1981 on AquaCycle, his self-built sleek watercraft.

    I don’t know much about Diana Nyad, but Wikipedia tells us that she departed Bimini Island on August 21, 1979, and landed at Juno Beach, Florida, 27 hours and 30 minutes later. As a matter of fact, she was still in the news last year with her repeated attempts to swim from Cuba to Florida at age 62.

    As to Yvon Le Caer whose biography and cycling performances on land and sea I know better, he took off from Cat Cay Island (located 8 miles South of Bimini Island) on July 8, 1981, at 11:45 pm and landed on Dania Beach, Florida, after only 10 hours & 50 minutes at sea. Later on, in September of 1985, Yvon pedaled AquaCycle across the Westernmost English Channel, from Cherbourg (France) to Poole (England), for a distance of 92 miles (148 km) in 16 hours & 42 minutes. His website http://yvonlecaer.com/ and his Facebook page entitled “Pedal Power across Florida Straits & English Channel” offer an impressive chronicle of his sea cycling exploits that earned him a Guinness World Record. Unfortunately, Yvon’s athletic career was cut short in 1986 by a hit-and-run driver while training on Key Biscayne, Florida.

    If my intention was primarily to pay tribute to these two super athletes who have left their marks, I also congratulate Bill Whiddon & Thaddeus Foote for their recent successful crossing on stand-up paddle boards.

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