Paddleboarders Cross Atlantic and raise more than $630,000 for cystic fibrosis.
Accompanied by 50 boats and cheered on by even more well-wishers, 150 stand-up paddleboarders (including a wakeboarder) set out on a long-distance endurance challenge paddle event from Bimini, Bahamas to Florida. The was the charity’s fifth crossing and biggest ever as participants stepped onto the ocean aboard stand-up paddleboards (SUP).
Group teams and single paddleboarders traveled to Bimini where they spent a couple of days exploring and participating in beach cleanups, water quality workshops, and other environmental and charitable activities.
The paddlers then left Bimini at midnight and traveled to Lake Worth Beach, Florida (about 80 miles). Depending on each person’s agility level, and water and weather conditions, the event can take between 13 and 18 hours.
This year’s event included Scott Johnson, the first-ever CF warrior and double-lung transplant paddler. Casey Keirnan of Palm Beach Gardens was declared the overall champion.
The 2021 Crossing for Cystic Fibrosis took place on Sunday, June 27. More than $630,000 was raised for Piper’s Angels, a nonprofit designed to raise money and awareness for this lung disease. The namesake is Piper Suit, a 13-year-old who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at age four.
A chronic disease, CF affects the lungs and digestive system of about 70,000 people worldwide. It can also affect the pancreas. There are nearly 30,000 people in the U.S. with CF. Saltwater can sometimes act as a natural healing method, giving some relief to CF patients, which was likely an inspiration point for this type of event.
The Piper’s Angels Foundation was created to support and improve the lives of CF families in the community while raising awareness through education, activities, financial support, and funding. They partner with other organizations to provide additional support, financial assistance, and coastal and waterways cleanups as well as offer ocean-based activities for people with CF.
Organization founder, and Piper’s dad, Travis Suit told WPTV, "I realized the only way to makes sense of all this was to see it as a gift. I was going to have to work really hard to do that because that was going to have to be what got us through.”
Paddle teams and event sponsors included 4Ocean, Celsius Energy Drink, Yacht Sales International, Dune Jewelry, Margaritaville, Blueline Surf, and Paddle Co., Garmin, the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, and many more.
Plans will soon be underway for the 2022 event. If you’re interested in signing up, stay tuned to CrossingForCysticFibrosis.com for event details. Visit the Crossing for Cystic Fibrosis Instagram page for photos of the event and to donate to Piper’s Angels.
Have you ever participated in a long-distance endurance challenge? Any plans to join the 2022 Crossing for Cystic Fibrosis event? Let us know in the comments.