Official Press Release from Neil Hutchinson.
“International Kiteboarders race over fifty miles from Florida to Bimini for the desire to make history.
Recently, America has been introduced to the newest thrill in extreme sports, kiteboarding as it’s called began over six years ago but its popularity has reached an all-time high in 2005 and shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. An intense twist on windsurfing or wakeboarding; kiteboarders ride atop what is similar to a surfboard or wakeboard and are powered by the wind using a kite. These kites, some as big as 25 square meters in size, create immense power. Kiteboarders regularly obtain speeds of forty mph or more and perform crowd-awing leaps of over thirty feet.
America watched the Rebel Billionaire, Sir Richard Branson and presidential candidate Senator John Kerry get hooked on kiteboarding last year and the sport has grown by leaps and bounds in popularity. Now, another extreme Brit, Guinness World Record holder Neil Hutchinson is pushing the sport to an entirely new level, a race across the Gulf Stream from Florida to the Bahamas.
Hutchinson, 35, earned a distinct place in the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest distance ever traveled on a kiteboard, crossing ninety-seven miles from Key West, FL to Varadero, Cuba. Now this avid kiteboarder stands at the helm of a fifty mile race to Bimini; an event first in its kind in competition kiteboarding.
The race will cross the Gulf Stream from the East Coast of Florida to Bimini passing through the Bermuda Triangle on a Northerly wind. The wind direction could cause ocean swells to reach upwards of fourteen feet and allow for a very challenging race. The race will take approximately four to six hours. “It’s like the Cannonball Run for Kiteboarders, racers have to be ready for anything”, says event organizer Neil Hutchinson.
Competitors are required to form a team consisting of two kiteboarders, a boat and captain. The team’s support vessel controls navigational devices and serves as the ultimate safety and support system for the riders. Boats may supply their riders with spare kites, kiteboards, food and water, but may not provide transportation or rest stops without disqualification. With thirty kiters from around the globe already registered to participate, teams will compete to be the first ever to cross the Gulf Stream on a kiteboard. The race will take place between November 29th and December 12th.Current plans are to depart from Fort Lauderdale, weather permitting, at 9 a.m. on the day of the race. Neil Hutchinson and X-Rated kiteboarding will host a “kick-off” party on Monday, November 28th 2005 at the Treasure Trove in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Teams’ riders, the crews, sponsors and fans will be there to kick off this historic event and get in the spirit of this amazing event.
Once the teams land in Bimini, there will be two days of race related events including a landing ceremony complete with awards, two days of free-ride time where the best of the best will take advantage of the crystal blue, warm waters of the Bahamas to kite from dawn till dusk and exclusive press time with hours of photo and video opportunities.”