Like the English Channel, the 111-mile stretch of ocean between Florida and Cuba has drawn many water-based athletes. In 2013, Chattanooga musician and funeral director Ben Friberg set a world record as the first stand-up paddleboarder to successfully traverse the channel, which he did in 28 hours and 10 minutes. The year before, he set a 24-hour endurance record by paddleboarding 238 miles on the Yukon River. In 2015, he and fellow paddleboarder Kim Sutton traveled to Papua New Guinea, where native tribespeople have long paddled standing up in dugout canoes. The pair traveled more than 200 miles on the Sepik River with a contingent of five local guides.

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Doug Woodward

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Sasha DiGiulian