Tennessee man to paddle from Cuba to Key West

He's attempting to cross the 90 mile channel on a standup paddle board

By Jennifer Moreno
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Ben Frigberb

KEY WEST, Fla. - A man from Chattanooga, Tennessee is expected to arrive in Key West Sunday after paddle boarding from Cuba.

Ben Frigberg is the creator of the Chattajack 31 Standup Paddleboard and Kayak Race.

This will be the first time anyone has attempted to cross the 90 mile channel on a standup paddle board.

 "There are so many things at play here. We could really experience a ‘calm before the storm,' or there could be a brutal headwind coming towards Cuba," said Frigberb. "I'll feel better when I'm there, standing, looking out at the water, ready to paddle."

The Chattanooga native is accompanied by a team that includes his boat captain, cook, navigator, medic and other additional helpers. It took the team two days to sail from Key West to Cuba to start the journey.

With almost 20 years of kayaking experience, Frigberg says it took a lot of mental preparation and cross training. His goal is to complete the challenge without taking any breaks.

 "I hope I can do it in less than 24 hours. I'm mentally preparing myself for 40 hours," he said.

During his trip, Friberg plans to eat solid foods like sandwiches, fruits and a lot of energy bars to sustain him.

"Once my stomach starts to tell me that it is getting fatigued, I will switch to endurance foods like blocks and gels," said Frigberg.

Frigberg says his teammates have been very supportive and out of this, he hopes to take with him this once in a life-time experience and the culture of Cuba.



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