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World Record Breaking Event 
lEight U.S. Paddleboarders Attempt to Set 112 mile World Record 
from Cuba to Florida
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. Two U.S. Teams, a four-women team and a four-man team, will
attempt to set two long distance paddleboarding records by crossing the treacherous 
shark invested 112-mile ocean route from Havana, Cuba to Key West, Florida, July 12-13th. 

The expedition, "HAVANA TO KEY WEST-GULFSTREAM CHALLENGE" in its 2nd year and is planned
as an annual event. In addition to the paddleboard record attempt, this event encourages 
goodwill and promotes unity and interaction between the US and Cuba through ocean sports. 

Event director, TV documentary filmmaker and avid water-sports athlete Paul Prewitt explains 
"This annual event allows American athletes a chance to test their abilities, fortitude, bravery 
and endurance by paddling with their hands 
across the Gulf Stream. The expedition also 
showcases the camaraderie between the 
Cuban and American people who participate 
in water-sports as well as the positive cultural 
exchanges taking place between the U.S. and 
Cuba. He adds, "The challenge of four women 
crossing this dangerous and difficult body of 
water is a testament to the spirit and heart 
of women today." 

Three of this years four-woman team attempted
 the 112 mile crossing last July 2002 but were 
forced to abandon their attempt at 3 AM during
severe lightning storms, high winds and turbulent
 seas. They were approximately 50 miles from 

The women have regrouped and recommitted to
attempting the race again this year with two new 
members, including an alternate. The 2003 team 
includes: Michelle Davidson, 33,of Ocean Grove 
New Jersey; Kelly Jo Helt, 27, of Ft. Lauderdale,
 Fl.; Tracie Moll, 39, of Ft. Lauderdale FL.; and 
Christine McGrady, 30, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 
and April Noon, 24, Deerfield Bch,Florida. 
lFor this team of accomplished female athletes, the paddleboard event means more than just
a world record attempt. They are also determined to bring awareness to women's abilities 
to accomplish whatever it is they dream. The training, discipline and commitment exemplified 
by this women's team is a perfect metaphor for showing women's achievements on all levels.
Their hard work and determination to complete this race displays what is often needed to 
overcome the many hardships and obstacles that women face in everyday life as well.

The women's team members have diverse athletic and professional backgrounds, 
accomplishments include a former National Champion Lifeguard-International IronWoman
and Marathon swimmer (Davidson), World champion of Basic Life Support - International 
Medical Services Championships (McCrady) and U.S. swimming 50 meter freestyle record 
holder (Moll). In spite of their natural athletic abilities, the women have trained extensively 
for this event and say they have dedicated themselves to completing the trip. Two of the
women are High School teachers (Davidson, Helt), one is a professional firefighter (McCrady) 
and the others are ocean lifeguards and swim coaches. 
 "For months, we paddled three days a week at 6:30 a.m.," Helt said. "Every morning we 
 got to see the sun rise over the ocean. I  never once regretted having to wake up 
 early for the view and morning workout."
The men's team is equally strong and diverse. The 2003 team members include 
Brian Theiss, 27, Boca Raton, Wade Rickerson, 31, Pompano Beach, Fl., Victor Fox, 27,
Hollywood Fl., Joe D'Agostino, 27, Hollywood, Florida. 

Only two all-male teams have previously completed the trip. In 2000, a four-man team
 completed a 105-mile journey in 19:19 hours. In 2001, a four-man team completed the 
112-mile journey from Havana to Key West in 20:02 hours. 

The teams will rely on a full moon, stars, compass, and a satellite positioning system
 (GPS) for navigation. They will be accompanied by chase boats and support crew on 
a 86' yacht, "Princess Sterling", owned by sponsor and water-sports enthusiast, 
Ron Rice, president of Hawaiian Tropic, and a 40 foot scuba dive vessel from Ft. Lauderdale
sponsored by nightclub and restaurant Bikini Bobs. 

The conditions will not be favorable. The teams will have to paddle against prevailing East 
trade winds and across two branches or "rivers" of the Gulf Stream. They will then have
to fight strong currents and tides as they approach the Florida Keys. 

Expected weather conditions include extreme heat, thunderstorms, and possibly hurricanes. 
They will also be crossing areas that are shark-infested. Their journey begins at the Hemingway
 Marina, 12 miles west of Havana and ends at the scheduled touch point in Key West at 
Fort Zachary Taylor. When the journey is complete, they will take a celebratory paddle past
 Mallory Square and into Historic Harbor. 

The journey will be photographed and filmed by independent producer Paul Prewitt, a 
veteran cameraman who specializes in water sports. Prewitt is producing a television 
documentary on the trip shooting with two camera crews in HDTV. Prewitt adds, "Both 
vessels are outfitted with satellite phones so we can send reports and Press Releases 
to radio and TV stations and news organizations." 

The sport of paddleboarding was first developed in the 1920's. Pioneering surfers Tom 
Blake and Duke Kuhanomoku popularized the boards in the Hawaiian Islands with the 
American Red Cross as lifesaving devices. Some claim the Paddleboard is the precursor to
 the modern surfboard.

The sport of paddleboarding involves a sleek, fiberglass board, which is a cross between
 a surfboard and a kayak. Paddlers lie prone, or in a position up on their knees and use
 only hands and arms as propulsion devices.

Sponsors:  Hawaiian Tropic                  On-line Satellite Communications          Bikini Bobs
               Daytona Beach, FL                satellite-phones.org                        Ft. Lauderdale
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