On Saturday, December 16th 2017 history was made as Nick Ziegler, Rich Gardner and Damien LeRoy were the first to kiteboard through the Gulf Stream, crossing the Atlantic Ocean from Florida to Bimini, the Bahamas by hydrofoil on an international adventure and challenge never done before on a foil.
Conditions where questionable but the team was ready for action. A small cold front was passing through that day. The big question was when? Florida marine forecast showed winds of 10 to 15 knots and seas at 1-2 feet. At 12:24pm Nick hit the water with winds of 5mph and well let’s just say, keeping a kite in the sky was almost impossible. Nick, Rich & Damo all riding 15 meter Cabrinha Contra kites managed to get up on foil. Everyone questioned whether they would make it 1 mile, yet alone 63 miles to the Bahamas. During the 4 plus hour adventure fighting body cramps, marginal winds, tankers, seaweed lines, and the ultimate wonder of what was lurking below, the three adventurers hit landfall at 4:41pm at the beautiful beaches of Bimini Sands Resort. Exhausted and rewarded, 56-year-old Rich Gardner said, “I am getting to old for breaking Guinness records! I started cramping on the first dive of the kite!” The team crossed 63.4 miles from NE 16th Street at Pompano Beach, Florida and arrived at Bimini Sands Resort Marina, Bahamas in a total time of 4 hours and 17 minutes.