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.