FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
A Date With the Strait
The Ultimate Contest Between Man and Sea
February 25, 2014 (Victoria, AUS) – Icy Antarctic swells, gusting winds, BIG fish (with sharp teeth) and shallow depths make the Bass Strait twice as rough as the English Channel. It’s been likened to the Bermuda Triangle where weather conditions change rapidly and boats disappear. The threat of sharks, strong winds and huge waves is not enough to deter two Australians and one American paddler from an ambitious attempt to become the first in the world to paddleboard across the Bass Strait.
A Date With the Strait is a roughly 150-180 mile (240-300km) paddle through the Bass Strait between Southern Australia and Tasmania. The Bass Strait, one of the most treacherous bodies of water in the world, with its exposure to the Southern Ocean and shallow depths routinely causes problems for sailors on even the largest vessels. Yet world champion paddleboarders Zeb Walsh (Victoria, AUS), Jack Bark (Palos Verdes, CA) and Brad Gaul (Sydney, AUS) began their journey to cross the Strait yesterday using only their hands and arms to power their 12ft Bark Commanders.
“This is our Everest,” explained Walsh. “No one’s ever done it before. I guess it’s almost like pioneering the adventure paddle… we’re the guinea pigs to see how hard it is and if it can be done.
In planning for their adventure, the three agreed the Surftech 12ft Bark Commander stock paddleboard would be the best board to take them across the Strait. In 2012 and 2013, Jack and Zeb paddled Commander prototypes to victory in the Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championships and Zeb won the 2013 32-mile Catalina Classic on the 12ft Bark Commander.
“The stock board is proven in all conditions,” explained Joe Bark, board designer and creator of the 12ft Commander. “The 12ft length gives it the ability to fit in all different types of bump and chop. The board’s stability and size let’s it work well in the flat water, as well as massive open ocean waves, such as in the Molokai race. Because it’s only 12ft, it takes less power to push compared to an unlimited, which will allow the boys to paddle it day after day with less fatigue than on an 18ft board.”
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For updates on this epic adventure, go to the A Date With The Strait Facebook page.
ABOUT A DATE WITH THE STRAIT
World Champion open water athletes Zeb Walsh, Jack Bark and Brad Gaul are making the journey from mainland Australia to the shore of Tasmania. Zeb, Jack and Brad have one thing in common. All three of these young men have been victorious in the biggest paddle board race in the world, the Molokai2Oahu in Hawaii. This makes them world champions.
Here they hope to create history by being the first people to cross this stretch of water via prone paddle board – from mainland Australia to Tasmania across the Bass Strait.
In 1989, Randy French, a leading surf and windsurf board shaper, founded Surftech to bring Tuflite, a dynamic, durable and lightweight board construction material, from the windsurf industry to surf. Today, in partnership with many of the world’s leading board designers, Surftech offers a wide variety of high performance surf and stand-up paddleboards to customers worldwide. surftech.com
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