HAVANA TIMES — A thirty-five year old US athlete has crossed the Florida Straits paddling on a surfboard from Havana, Cuba to Key West, Florida during 28 hours on Thursday and Friday, reports AFP.
Benjamin Schiller Friberg, also a jazz musician, said he was trying to promote better relations between Cuba and the USA, still locked in a Cold War that never seems to end.
Before departing from the Marina Hemingway on Thursday, Schiller said the trip “is to promote peace and love and friendship between the people of Cuba and the United States, as well as a healthy lifestyle.”
A member of Silvey’s support team told AFP that the initial hours of the 105 mile journey included some rough going with three foot waves but that it was calm seas on Friday morning.
In recent years several swimmers have tried to make the same crossing but have had to halt their efforts in mid sea due to jellyfish stings.
Leslie Kolovich, who blogs and podcasts about paddleboarding told AFP: “Ben’s accomplishment brings worldwide recognition to stand-up paddling as one of the most versatile water sports on the planet.”
“Endurance athletes are finding stand-up paddling to be a legitimate challenge to their abilities,” added Kolovich.
In another recent effort to promote improved relations between the US and Cuba, the 24th Pastors for Peace Friendshipment Caravan to Cuba collected needed donations across Canada and the United States and delivered them to the island in July.