Chica Libre crossing from Cuba to Key West
Photo Credit: Island Time Photography
On June 26, 2018, Victoria Burgess will attempt to make history on a paddleboard.
Bones Outfitters is proud to support Victoria Burgess by keeping her cool and protected with their 55+ UV gear while she sets out on her monumental journey to become the first woman to cross the Florida Straits via SUP (Standup Paddle Board). Burgess will begin her lengthy trip in Cuba and paddle her way 100-120 miles to the Southernmost Point in Key West, Florida.
She will battle the blazing sun, relentless waves, ever changing weather and anything else that mother nature decides to throw at her, but Burgess is unwavering in her pursuit for adventure and to help raise awareness and advocate for women’s athletics and empowerment. The crossing is referred to as “Chica Libre Crossing”, meaning “free girl” in Spanish.
“I love to push myself and to take on new adventures, so I wanted a name that would represent the strength we all have to 'set ourselves free' of anything that is holding us back and to instead go out there and chase our dreams," says Burgess. "It won't be easy, but hopefully with a lot of persistence, plenty of patience and mother nature on my side I will accomplish my goal in a world record time.”
When asked about her youth and upbringing into sports and athletics Burgess said:
“Growing up I was always involved in sports... but mostly land sports. Softball was my main sport, however I was involved in pretty much everything from softball to soccer to basketball, volleyball, water polo, heck I even did karate and color guard. I didn’t get into surfing until I was about 19 and really didn’t start developing into a surfer until further down the line. The last 5-6 years is when my surfing got better, and also what led me to SUP. I started SUPing in Sept 2013 when I stood on a “race board” for the first time and only a few weeks later I entered my first 3 mile race, which I ended up winning. That is when I got hooked! As an adult it’s always difficult to find sports to be active and competitive in, but SUP helps me be active and competitive all in one. SUP also has an amazing community and provides such a great overall body workout.”
Victoria is an active woman and an inspiration to many.
What is the reason for your trip?
“Being an ocean athlete, I fell in love with ocean SUP (rather than flat water). I love downwind paddling and of course surfing, so I started to head more into the area of ocean type of races and adventures. I have completed several crossings in Hawaii from one island to another and really enjoy all the uncertainties of what is thrown at you while out there paddling in open water. As I reach my mid 30's I have done a lot of thinking and really want to use this time to push myself, physically and mentally as much as possible. So, as I was making my goal list, I thought about my home waters in Florida (rather than Hawaii), and decided I wanted to find something local, which is what led me to this channel crossing. I named this trip "chica libre sup crossing', which means 'free girl' in Spanish. The reason behind the name is that I want this paddle to signify that you can do whatever it is that you put your mind to so long as you 'free' yourself of whatever might be holding you back. There are a lot of things that would make this trip seem impossible for someone like me to do… For one, I work full time. Second, I have been studying for several degree’s in school and also I have had a LOT of obstacles this year that have made this journey even more difficult, however I have continued on with the theory... “free your mind and focus”. I want to use my experience to inspire others to do the same thing and push themselves to the max”
Competing in numerous distance races including the world-famous Molokai to Oahu race as well as Maui to Molokai, where she took home a third-place finish in the 14-foot stock division. After years of surfing and SUP in Hawaii's waters, she developed a love for navigational open ocean events and is a force to be reckoned with.
Keep an eye out or Victoria and lets all root her on during this monumental journey!
Bones Outfitters is outfitting Victoria “Chica Libre” Burgess with all 55+ UV Performance Apparel on her trip and will be donating a portion of the proceeds from the NEW “Chica Libre edition” men’s and women’s shirts to help support Burgess and her camera and safety crew along their journey from Cuba to Key West.
A landing party will take place at the southernmost point in Key West, so come out and support Victoria while she sets a new world record and proves to everyone around the world that anything is possible if you put your mind to it and don’t give up.
Follow: @AquaholicV & @BonesOutfitters to stay informed on the Chica Libre Crossing.For more information on Victoria Burgess, or the Chica Libre Crossing please visit: www.VictoriaBurgess.com, or for more information on UV protective apparel from Bones Outfitters, visit us at: www.BonesOutfitters.com