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Old 04-09-2019, 04:46 PM
Ahoy Vay
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Location: Palm City, FL
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Originally Posted by eric.reedy View Post
We were there for the Crossing for a Cure event last year and it was a big deal. They depart on Friday night gathering everyone around midnight and departing when the teams are all assembled around 2AM. They have to leave at night to ensure that they can arrive in Lake Worth before it starts to get dark. They have multiple classes of crossing paddlers. Last year only maybe half a dozen where in the actual racing class groups - while the rest were "survival mode" groups just looking to make it across - not win the thing. They also have relay teams and other group type entries. This year they have expanded the allowed "vessels" types and prize categories to try to attract an even larger fund raising crowd. Last I had heard they had 160 entries and are shooting for 200 or more. Each group has a chase/support boat to go with their paddlers.

Some people start to arrive on Wednesday, but most arrive on Thursday. They base out of Bimini Sands and leave from their beach. It was funny to see them clearing customs because you could instantly spot the athletes. One boat had boards all racked up on the T-Top and then you see a bunch of guys and one really buff woman in perfect shape - she was the obvious one crossing. The athletes all have to do a lot to prepare as well and as a result don't get to do much partying. They all start to carb load Thursday night when they do the welcome party and then early to bed Friday to wake up and get started in the early AM hours of Saturday morning.

For the departure all the people and boards are outfitted with lights and cyalume sticks for visibility. They are all paddling in the dark for 4 - 5 hours guided by their chase boats in front of them. I have seen some photos from previous events and they can get into some pretty decent seas. It was funny because I spoke with one of the racing class guys in the event and he actually welcomed higher seas because he would use them to his advantage by riding the swells. Since they are going with the Gulf Stream they are getting pushed along north at 2-3K plus any wind (typically SE) pushing them along so they get a free ride of as much as 30 miles or more over the 12 +/- hours it takes to complete the crossing. That is also why they land way North around Lake Worth pier - landing much further south and they would have to paddle into the current.

They continue to solicit both participants, volunteers, and chase boats.
So, they leave in the dark so they donít arrive in the dark?