View Full Version : Cabrinha Bimini Crossing Press Release

12-06-2005, 07:12 PM

CONTACT: Adventure Sports, Inc. 305-591-3224

Team CABRINHA Sponsored by United Capital Markets Holdings and Reel Doc win first ever Florida to Bahamas kiteboarding race!

Despite a tricky start and kite tie up, Team Cabrinha riders, Kent Marinkovic and Mike Gebhardt pulled a horizon job on the competition using 2006 CABRINHA SWITCHBLADES!

Bahamas Crossing, Friday, December 2nd, 2005. In this first ever event, two Florida riders Kent Marinkovic and Mike Gebhardt ripped across the Gulf Stream in route to Bimini in just 3 hours and 28 minutes. At times, the duo hit speeds of 28 knots and for the most part averaged around 23 knots.

Powered by new 16 meter Cabrinha Switchblade kites, Kent and Mike lead from start to finish. The conditions at the start were very difficult with wind gusting side-offshore. Event organizer Neil Hutchinson of X-Rated Kite boarding had good confidence in both his weather forecasts and the ability of the riders and teams. At 9:00 A.M. the call for the start came. Rider’s boats were positioned just off the beach to guide their teams toward distant Bimini. Just after the horn, Marinkovic was first off the beach and headed off shore ahead of the pack. Both Gebhardt and Marinkovic opted to ride customized Cabrinha Autopilot 5’10’s for the start of the race. Kent made it offshore, but given that the race is a team event, Marinkovic was forced to wait for teammate Mike Gebhardt (In order to be considered a legal finish for a team the boat and both riders must cross the finish line in the Bahamas together.). Between the time Kent made it off shore and Gebi got it going, 5 other riders managed an official start. Upon seeing Gebi hit the water the Capitan and Crew of the yacht, REEL DOC fired up the Mann Diesels and powered on toward the waiting Marinkovic. Winds offshore quickly gusted up to 17+ knots, therefore requiring Gebi and Kent to switch to less powerful twin tip boards. After a quick change, the riders got into the zone and quickly sliced though the 5-7 foot waves.

At around 20 miles to go, the second place team KLEVIN CONSTRUCTION, riding SLINGSHOT kites was left out of sight. In order to avoid cramping, Kent radioed ahead to REEL DOC and asking them to drop a bottle of water… Near Catastrophe struck. Gebhardt rode directly into Marinkovic’s kite. Gebi’s kite positioned itself between the lines of Marinkovic’s kite and then lunged to the right causing both riders to be launched through the water before their kites crashed into the Gulf Stream waters. The support team about REEL DOC quickly started to ready 2 SWITCHBLADE 12 meter kites for the fallen riders. While Kent definitely gave Gebi a few choice words, both kept relatively calm. Gebi managed to unhook and quickly passed his bar through Kent’s lines, freeing Marinkovic’s kite. Upon the release, Kent launched quickly and hurried to the support boat to check on the progress of the crew. Unfortunately, launching a kite from a boat in rough, windy conditions is difficult at best. Gebi’s kite lines were twisted from his bar all the way to his kite, and nearly impossible to fix. Two kites could now be seen on the horizon, making tensions rise. As it turns out, pressure is what makes guys like 4 time Windsurfing Olympian (2 time medalist), Mike Gebhardt rise to the occasion. Mike kept his cool and was able to sort out the rats nest to relaunch the SWITCHBLADE again. The ordeal took about 20 minutes to sort out, but with in 30 minutes the team managed to put some good distance over second place once again.

In route to the finish line, Marikovic was adamant that the team come in far upwind of the finish line even though the distance would be longer. Marinkovic, a joint kite boarding World Record holder had a bad experience with his record setting ride from Key West to Cuba in 2001. “After over 8 hours of riding and a setting sun, we were forced to beat upwind for the last 7-8 miles. This was an experience that I didn’t want to go through again”. Within sight of land, Mike and Kent headed for the beach and the finish line. The two were first to finish and the first ever to make this epic journey on a kite.

At the finish both Mike and Kent were very happy with the result, but commented that with out the new kite technology from Cabrinha and the best crew in the field that the race could have been much closer. “I just want to thank everyone involved. Thank you to Mike for stepping in at the last moment (originally CABRINHA international rider Damien Leroy was slated to be Marinkovic’s partner, but an injury just days before the event left Marinkovic partner less), thanks to Captain Dave and First Mate Hunter for the excellent navigation and support, huge props to Garry Menk, Gary Eversole, and Tom Dunfey for being ready in the case of emergency, Dr. Paul Ruggiano for keeping our bodies tuned, and most importantly to Dr. Leonard Smith for his total commitment to our journey, and lastly a huge thanks to the ever generous John Devaney, UNITED CAPITAL MARKETS HOLDINGS, and REEL DOC, because with out you this win would not have been possible. Thanks Guys!”. - Marinkovic