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World Record Breaking Event 
Brian Theiss: 

27, Boca Raton, Ocean lifeguard. (pronounced Tice), Originally from New Jersey and lifeguards there every Summer. Best lifeguard competitor from N.J. He's one of those rare guys that doesn't need to train much and still wins competitions. 2nd in the USLA Lifeguard Competition, won the Ultra Iron man as the most well-rounded lifeguard in Florida.

Photo: Wade beating Brian in Race 
31, Pompano Beach, FL, Lieutenant Lifeguard Ocean Rescue, Best rough-water paddler, 6th place International competition in Hawaii, 3rd place at the 2001 lifeguard nationals (the highest place for an East-coaster).. Sings and plays guitar rock band called the Rezentments. Works as a Lieutenant for Pompano Beach Ocean rescue 13 years. He has been surfing for twenty years and been paddling for about ten.  He considers himself an average athlete compared to the elites' in the world but he always been an above average paddler.  Wade typically finishes top five at US Nationals in the paddle sprint with a couple of fourths, and even a third place finish.  He was invited to Hawaii to represent Team Florida in the "Hawaiian Ocean Challenge" and scored sixth place in that Rabbit Island Paddle, blowing away the pack of competitors in the starting leg.

"I like a challenge, he says. " My whole life seems like an ongoing journey of accomplishments (and non-accomplishments).  If you see something to attain, you must keep a clear vision of it.  I know sometimes that it is easy to become distracted from things you want to accomplish in life. If the reward of accomplishing the challenge is remembered the goal will never be forgotten.  A quote that I read in Surfer Magazine talking about dropping in read the following;   "A commitment is not only a decision made, but it is a line that is crossed".  I feel the "Gulfstream Challenge" Paddle event has that commitment. 

I think one of the things that motivates me to paddle is to connect with a non-attainable goal; To Beat Mother Nature.  However she will always win. If your on it you can experience and connect with her and cover the distance from Cuba to Key West, its only 112 miles, that's obtainable.  Our team is really fired up about the challenge.  We have been communicating on how the transitions will occur, speeds and the whole picture. It's like a big mountain climb, it takes timing and teamwork and lots of planning and preparation.  It a very difficult task but one that can be captured. None of the members of the South Florida Male Paddle Team has ever done this size event. Through dedication and hard work we will persevere.  

One lifetime goal is to travel the world and experience its riches.  Sometimes you need to get creative to accomplish this task.  So the Gulfstream Challenge was the answer to that.  The US embargo and current position on Cuba raises a slight concern during our trip- but that's what makes the whole thing so interesting. Our efforts may help to improve the relationship between the two countries- paddlers to the rescue! 
  When we get into Cuba I really would like to experience the local music.  Music is therapeutic.   It offers an outlet for people to release their emotions.  I think I will also appreciate nonprofit motivated music. In other  words in the US everyone is trying to make a buck from music, Corporations to the starving musicians in the street.  In Cuba the motives are from more of a cultural and historic experience, and I want to see and hear it for myself.   

I try not to think too much about the breaking a world record. The satisfaction of seeing the shores of Key West and still having both my arms attached will be good enough for me. I am so motivated by the though of doing this trip and making this paddle.
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Wade Rickerson, to add text.
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Victor Fox

27, Hollywood Fl., Ocean Lifeguard, wins or places in almost every event at lifeguard nationals. Works out 3-5 hours a day, 5-6 days a week. Represented the US in international Competition- paddling, surf-skiing, swimming, running. He is one of only 4 lifeguards in U.S. history to win back-to-back Iron man events at the same USLA Lifeguard Nationals, overall high-point award 2001 USLA Lifeguard Nationals. 
 27, Hollywood, Fl., Ocean Lifeguard, outdoorsman-waterman, avid free-diving spear fishing, diving 60' plus, hunter and fisherman, excellent paddler. Life guarded the East Coast and Australia, the wild man of the group that will do almost anything for a laugh.

"OTHER HOBBIES": swimming, running, paddling, archery, baking, eating, crosswords and word jumbles. Originally from North Brunswick NJ. Started guarding for Long Beach Township Beach Patrol. Worked in Australia as a lifeguard for a season where all I did was paddle and spearfish. Since then my love for the water has taken me to Fiji, Tahiti, New Zealand, and back To Australia.

"ON PADDLING": no trophies, no flowers, no flashbulbs, and no lines. Only way I can describe it is desire! I'm into paddling and love challenges. I do a lot of the USLA lifeguard sprint tournaments. Conquering a huge expanse of ocean with just a plank and your bare hands is something worth going for. It's kind of like in Forest Gump, when he starts running, first across the county, then the state, then the country. People kept asking him why he's doing it; his reply was, "I just feel like running." 

"PADDLING EVENT PREP": Friday starts work out. 6:00 AM 5K swim, 7:30 weights, 45 minute run at lunch, sprint paddle after work. . Saturday-7AM distance paddle, 45 minute run at lunch. Sunday- 8;00 AM paddle, swim, run for one hour straight, 45 minute run at lunch, possible distance paddle after work. Monday-6:00 AM 5K swim, 7:30 weights, lunch 45 minute run, paddle sprints after work. Tuesday-7:00 AM distance paddle, run, swim, and paddle at lunch. Wednesday-6:00AM 5K swim , 7:30 weights and maybe a 30 minute run at lunch. Sprint paddle after work. Thursday-DAY OFF! 

"CONCERNS": Balance! Not my balance on the board, but the balance in my life. Besides all this training for paddle events I work some of my days off at other city beaches. I have a wife and little Chris who I wish I could spend more time with. I also just started an EMT course. I deviate from schedule as little as possible working a 50-60 hour week.

SPECIAL THANKS -so many people: .Jim McCrady, Mom, Dad and Greg my little bro who spotted me cash for my board, then #1 bro, G-Man, Todd RApp, and every Australian that helped my paddling, most of all my wife Heather. She is the greatest for putting up with all my bullshit, taking it with a smile, and making me breakfast in the morning. She's the real champion behind me.

Copyright 2003 GULF STREAM CHALLENGE. All Rights Reserved. 

Joe D'Agostino, 
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