View Full Version : FLORIDA TO BAHAMAS KITEBOARDING RACE - What it's about!

05-22-2005, 09:21 PM
November 28th to Dec 12th


Hutchinson Enterprises and X-ratedkiteboarding is proud to present the first ever long distance kiteboarding race, from the US to the Bahamas. This is the first of its kind, setting it apart from the usual repetitive format of freestyle jumps and tricks. There will be a maximum of 50 athletes permitted to enter the event all of which will be starting together and racing to Bimini in the Bahamas. This format will make for very unique and exciting footage for magazines, video and television while making history in the worlds fastest growing sport. Dozens of kiteboarders racing forward as athletes surf into another country, through the Bermuda Triangle and across the blue waters of one of the largest currents in the world. This is sure to set the event apart from other more routine water sports events.

The distance between Ft. Lauderdale Inlet and the island of Bimini’s inlet is 49 nautical miles. This distance is approximately half the distance of the world distance record set in 2001 from Florida to Cuba.


There will be three possible starting locations ranging from Boca Raton to Miami. The event start location will be selected to allow kiteboarders to travel on a broad reach heading, cross downwind. The final start location will be decided the day before the event and will be communicated to all athletes, sponsors and media via e-mail and telephone.

The race will be run on the first day of conducive wind to complete the crossing. There will be a completion celebration on the island of Bimini followed by a closing and awards ceremony upon our return to the US.


1. Two riders per team - Must have medical insurance. Riders can ride whatever kite/board brand they choose and do not have to necessarily ride for the same company. Each team can be male, female or both.

2. One rescue boat per team – Each boat must be open ocean capable and be able to handle rough conditions with wave heights potentially in the order of +/- 15 feet. Must have onboard a vhf radio, eperb, fist aid kits etc. Spare fuel for the boat to cover an extra minimum of 50 miles. Lights, Sea anchors and various other safety devices.

3. All boats must be properly registered, insured and meet all coast guard regulations.

4. All riders and boats will start at the same time from the designated starting area, and the finishing point will be at the same place (Bimini inlet) for all teams.

5. The team will not be registered as finished until all three parties reach the finishing point.

6. No rider can use their boat for a resting place at anytime without being disqualified.

7. Boats can supply their team with fluids and food at any time.

8.Teams can change equipment during the race with the help of their own boats.

9. All team members must be within visible distance of one another.

10. The team boat should stay within 500 ft. or less of both team riders.

If you and a partner are interested in entering this competition please contact me directly with a resume of your history of kiteboarding including your level of riding, contest results, kiteboarding accomplishments, age, location, access to a chase boat, sponsors and all contact information. There are limited spaces available and riders will be awarded places within the event on a persons riding level firstly and secondly on a “first come, first served basis.” Also, the more info you can supply about you and yourself and your team the better, as I will be writing periodic press releases and am at present looking for additional sponsors. The greater the sponsorship the greater the $ prizes!

All registered competitors will be added to the e-mail list and will be personally informed of all updates of the event and during the dates outlined above for a full daily weather report and possible departure dates and location.

We are also actively searching for additional sponsors. If you have any contacts within or out of the industry that might be able to help this event please let us know.

This event will be featured by national and international magazines, production videos, local television and newspaper articles. We are presently approaching television companies to possibly produce a documentary of the event. We are also in the process of contacting the Bahamas Board 0f Tourism for sponsorship offering them footage to be displayed round the world.

For more information on this event and regarding sponsorship please go to www.xratedkiteboarding.com or contact Neil Hutchinson at:


05-23-2005, 07:23 PM
This just in from another forum, skypilot.com


On 2005-05-23 17:55, skypilot wrote:
Hey Rick,

I think I might come down for that! Are there opportunities to ride on safety boats so I can take photos and record the race for the Skypilot crew?

Let me know - p.s the harness arrived - thanks!


Hello Dan,

It is still early. It sort of went from concept to incipient plan in the last two weeks or so as Neil is healing from his leg injury. I imagine there will be quite a few boats, one for each team and then one for sponsors and interested parties. Still spaces may be limited and putting something like this on is going to cost some money. It should be well worth it.

Here's an idea, Neil tells me that Toby of kiteforum is thinking over putting together a kiteforum team, some guys on the central east coast of the USA are doing the same, etc. Why not put together at Skypilot, NW USA/SW Canadian team? I am thinking about putting together an FKA team just to be able to go and perhaps cross by kite.

I suggested this over five years ago when they thought the idea was nuts. Things have changed and it should be interesting!

This is an unique opportunity for participants and sponsors alike. I have been crossing the Straits to the Bahamas for a long time since highschool. It has always been something to look forward to. The seas may cook off this time with the seasonal winds blowing into the Florida Current, better to be on a board! It should be memorable.

05-24-2005, 07:51 AM

A look across the Straits.

06-07-2005, 10:19 AM
I would love to do this but I am not that experienced yet...

FYI Gulfstream flows north at about 2-3kts. There fore, Miami would be the best takeoff spot :D

06-07-2005, 12:20 PM
I would love to do this but I am not that experienced yet...

FYI Gulfstream flows north at about 2-3kts. There fore, Miami would be the best takeoff spot :D

I mentioned that to Neil, some guys are going to have to do the course plotting allowing for the set of the current and leeway with a Northeast wind to select the launching point.

Let's say the crossing takes 4 hours, that will result in about 12 nm of drift north. Neil is planning on something close to a beam reach, which for wind out of the NE or say 45 degrees True, will mean a course of about 225 degrees. That is a bit too far south and I suspect will make the crossing quite a bit longer than 4 hours. So, they'll have to ride closer hauled than that with a NE wind.

Christoph Ribot miamikiteboarding.com did an unusual crossing of his own via catamaran documented at:


He also navigated one of the boats during the Key West to Cuba world record kiteboarding crossing. I wonder what Christophe would advise?

06-07-2005, 05:53 PM
sounds like a great race. I might have to bring the boat up from Key West and follow along. I would think any rider that is accepted into the race is probably good enough to keep upwind and going in the right direction so they aren't swept out into the open atlantic by the gulfstream though right? 40 or 50 miles to Bimini isn't too bad of a hike if the wind is fairly decent, but then again, if you are in the gulfstream, you should probably be worried, because you have missed the Bahamas by hundreds of miles :wink: lol but good news is if you head west you may end up in hatteras :lol: (gulfstream starts near NC, florida current is between florida and the bahamas). Good thing my girlfriend is not racing. She'd end up in New Jersey! :wink:

PS: keep in touch closer to the race. might have extra room on the boat if anybody wants to watch the race

08-09-2005, 04:59 PM
Folks are doing distance runs. There were two recently over in Europe of 107 miles in fairly adverse conditions crossing from England to Holland:

Today, august 8 2005, 2 Dutch kiteboarders have attempted to cross the Englisch channel by kite. Stef de Jong and Gerhard van Geest started of at Lowestoft, England at about 10 am (Dutch time) for the 107 miles trip to Zandvoort, Holland.
Half way, Gerhard had problems with his gear and unfortunately the sea was too rough to give him a new kite,so he had to give up.
Stef continued on his own and at 6 pm he finally stepped ashore at Zandvoort.

This is a new world record for long distance kiting. Bad luck for Gerhard, but:
Congratulations Stef!

There will be more info on Stef's website soon I think: www.kitesite.nl (Dutch)

from: http://www.kiteforum.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=2318761


154 km in Holland, more at:


I understand there is to be an attempted crossing from Cornwall to Ireland soon as well.

Whip out that distance gear and get practicing.

11-13-2005, 02:35 PM
Here is an update from Neil on the race:

Just an update on the Bahamas Kite Race, if you have not seen or heard about it yet check out www.bahamacrossing.com. The event is on we have numerous teams singed up from all over the US and the world.
It will be taking place anytime between the 28th of November and the 12th of December.
There will be an opening party at the Treasure Trove bar on Ft. Lauderdale beach on the night of the 28th starting at 7pm and will be showing Kiteboarding movies, including uncut and unseen footage from this years Red Bull, King Of The Air competition in Maui.
Everyone is invited to come and join us in Bimini for the arrival party and awards ceromoney of the race, followed by a couple of days of fun riding in the Bahamas.
As there is not a set departure date for the event, if you would like to join us and be kept informed of the exact day of us leaving Florida please e-mail me directly at nhukusa@aol.com and I will put you on the e-mail list, you will be given a five day warning of a possible start date, then a three day warning and finally a 24hr notice that it will be definitely going ahead on that date.
You can fly to Bimini, Bahamas on Chalk's Airlines from either Ft. Lauderdale or Miami on a seaplane for approximatly $250 but pack light as the planes are small. We will be staying on North Bimini at the Complete Angler Hotel, Bimini Blue Water and the Sea Crest Hotel.
Hope you can make this historic event. If you have any questions or want to get on the e-mail list just either shoot me an e-mail or call me at 954-647-7228. Cheers Neil

11-14-2005, 04:01 PM
I did a five mile down winder the other day through some gnarley water with a friend of mine who said he would be dumb enough to do that race.
after the down winder we both looked at eachother and said F@cK that.
we road from green cay off from rose island (just a bit away from paradise island) to the for shore on Nassau fort montague.
there are tones of little cays and stuff in that area and when the tide is going in or out there is some nastey little waves short chop.
anyway I recon that is a good place to train for the race.
anyways good luck to you crazy bastards who have enterd the race.
may your ACL's live long.

11-14-2005, 08:08 PM
THE FLORIDA TO BAHAMAS KITEBOARD RACE (http://www.bahamacrossing.com/)
(click to go to the website)

Neil Hutchinson of XRATED KITEBOARDING (http://xratedkiteboarding.com/) and Key West to Cuba Crossing fame has worked hard to bring a unique kiteboarding event to the world. It is the first ever kiteboarding race from Florida to the Bahamas across the Straits of Florida.

Neil near the finish.

From the USA across the fast running Florida Current into a different country and outstanding place to ride and hang out, The Biminis.
CLICK FOR FULL SIZED IMAGE (http://www.fksa.org/gallery/view_photo.php?full=1&set_albumName=album145&id=N_Bimimi_Wreck_VR_1_s)

It's all about riding.

For flying over or back, Neil has gotten in touch with Chalks Airlines (http://www.flychalks.com/), fly the legend!


Neil has lined up some accomodations in Alicetown on North Bimini including:

The Complete Angler Bar and Hotel (Hemingway would have really fit in here)

The Complete Angler bar is a classic with great drinks, conch fritters and island music at night.

The Bluewater Resort and Marina sandwiched between Kings and Queens Highway in Alicetown.

The Seacrest Resort and Marina


Get in touch with Neil for contact info at the hotels at <Nhukusa@aol.com> or 954-647-7228.

The launch area in Florida is still under consideration along with predicted wind conditions at the time of the Crossing and could range from

Ft. Lauderdale ...
Photo from kitesurfusa.com

to Miami ...

a wild and memorable ride across the Straits of Florida is anticipated ending on North Bimini Beach below Kings Highway

The Beach at the far side of the Crossing.
CLICK FOR FULL SIZED IMAGE (http://www.fksa.org/gallery/view_photo.php?full=1&set_albumName=album145&id=WJ_VR_18_s)

The Northshore (of Bimini).

Once you're on Bimini, go nuts or just hang out. It's good for that and a great deal more.

CLICK FOR FULL SIZED IMAGE (http://www.fksa.org/gallery/view_photo.php?full=1&set_albumName=album145&id=Bimini_Customs_House_VR_1_s_001)


You could stroll uh swim down the roads of Atlantis. (they look like innundated natural beach rock formations to me but shhhh don't let on! more here (http://www.csicop.org/si/2004-01/geologists-adventures.html)).

The water is often very clear.

The Sapona ferrocement wreck aka former Prohibition speakeasy/casino aka WWII strafing/bombing target is always worth a visit.

You could pickup a big billfish, torment the hell out of it and smoke it or something. Say hi to Ernest.


For lots more information be sure to checkout the event website here (http://www.bahamacrossing.com/index.htm)

Hope to see you there, it should be quite a ride!

11-16-2005, 02:00 PM
Are there riders planning on competiting that are still looking for partners or support boats? Please PM ricki or email <flkitesurfer@hotmail.com>

11-25-2005, 09:54 PM
It might be interesting to read over what the guys experienced on the crossing from Key West to Cuba several years ago. There may be a number of parallels to the current crossing. More at:

11-25-2005, 10:16 PM
This was printed in the Miami Herald today::

"Posted on Fri, Nov. 25, 2005

Kiteboard race set for takeoff


A 50-mile kiteboarding race to Bimini in the Bahamas -- a first of its kind of competition, according to organizers -- will cross the Gulf Stream from the East Coast of Florida beginning in Fort Lauderdale on Tuesday.

Kiteboarding, the newest thrill in extreme sports, began more than six years ago.

A twist on windsurfing or wakeboarding, kiteboarders ride atop what is similar to a surfboard and are powered by the wind using a kite, some as big as 25-square meters.

Kiteboarders regularly reach speeds of 40 mph or more and can perform leaps of more than 30 feet.

Both Rebel Billionaire Sir Richard Branson and former presidential candidate John Kerry got hooked on kiteboarding last year, and the sport has grown by leaps and bounds in popularity since.

Now, another extreme Brit, Guinness world-record holder Neil Hutchinson, has helped to create the race across the Gulf Stream from Florida to the Bahamas.

Hutchinson, 35, earned a earned the record for the longest distance traveled on a kiteboard, crossing 97 miles from Key West to Varadero, Cuba.

Now Hutchison has organized the race to Bimini, which will cross the Gulf Stream from the East Coast of Florida through the Bermuda Triangle, where ocean swells can reach upward of 14 feet. The race is expected to take between four and six hours.

''It's like the Cannonball Run for kiteboarders; racers have to be ready for anything,'' Hutchinson said.

Competitors are required to form a team consisting of two kiteboarders, a boat and captain. More than 30 kiters are registered.

With 30 kiters from around the globe already registered, teams will compete to be the first in recorded history to cross the Gulf Stream on a kiteboard. The race scheduled for Nov. 29 through Dec. 12. Plans are to depart 9 a.m. Tuesday from Fort Lauderdale, weather permitting.

Hutchinson will help host a kickoff party on Monday at the Treasure Trove in Fort Lauderdale for teams, sponsors and fans.

Once the teams land in Bimini, there will be two days of racing events, including a an awards ceremony.

Call 954-647-7228. Visit www.bahamacrossing.com "

from: http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/sports/13252999.htm

11-26-2005, 10:01 PM
An update:

"Hi all,
Hope everyone had a great thanksgiving, I know I did, ate and drank way to much!
Just got the latest weather in. There is a cold front heading south through FL next week, it's not super strong but some forecasters are saying NNE at 14 for Thursday which would be great for the crossing. Others are saying it might not be that strong.
Right now I would say its not a high alert but Weds/Thurs could possibly be a go. Will keep on checking but it would be nice if it was forecasted a little stronger.
Will send another mail in the am. Cheers Neil"

04-16-2008, 08:37 PM
This isn't about another race to Bimini, yet! I wanted to bring this back up to the top for the lucky guys going on the Bimini Aviation Kite Invasion. Even if there isn't much wind, there is a ton of fun stuff to do there as you can see in the images above.