Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Woman Plans to Paddleboard from Cuba to Key West!

Tomorrow, June 15, 2011, Cynthia Aguilar will attempt to be the first solo person to paddleboard non-stop from Cuba to Key West.

If successful, the 130-mile route will be the world record for the longest distance ever travelled by paddleboard by a single person.  In 2003, a four-woman team known as The Millennium Woman Paddleboard Team successfully paddled from Cuba to Key West, in a combined 25.75 hours.  In 2000, an all-male team led by Michael O'Shaughnessy crossed 105 miles in 19 hours, 19 minutes - the current fastest time.

Aguilar is a South Beach lifeguard and endurance athlete who attempted to paddle from Cuba last year, but ocean currents and winds had blown her too far off course.

She expects this year's attempt to take 36 hours of continuous paddling.

Aguilar already has international paddling experience - having paddled from Bimini (Bahamas) to Dania Beach (Florida) - a 58 mile paddle.

Key West wishes Cynthia the very best of  luck, calm seas, and a following wind.

Meanwhile, another incredible athlete, Diana Nyad, will soon attempt to swim from Cuba to Key West, and is currently "waiting for an exact date."

Other Noteworthy Crossings of the Straits of Florida
Over the years, there have been quite a few different crossings - mostly for fun, but some born of desperation.  Here they are, with pictures from the actual events:

September 10, 1978 - Sonny McCoy - a former Key West Mayor, famously water skied to Cuba in 3.5 hours.

January 1984 - Arnaud de Rosnay, a wealthy French adventurer,  rides a windsurfer from Key West to Cuba in 7 hours.

September 10, 1997 - 34-year old Sean McCoy, son of the water skiing Sonny McCoy, para-sailed from Key West, Florida to Cuba in 6 hours and 55 minutes.

June 2, 2000, Abad Rosa rode a waverunner from Key West to Cuba and back!, covering 109 miles each way, taking 5.5 hours to get to Cuba and 4.5 hours to return to Key West.

July 16, 2003 - 1951 Chevy Pickup built with ingenuity and desperation crosses the Straits of Florida and is interdicted by the US Coast Guard.

February, 2004 - 1959 Buick constructed by the same group that made the 1951 Chevy boat/truck, crosses the Straits in a vessel that still worked as a car.  With wheels still attached, they planned, once they reached land, to remove the boat parts and drive to their relatives homes in South Florida.

June 8, 2005 - 1949 Mercury station wagon carrying 13 passengers is stopped just short of Key West by the US Coast Guard.
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