Oru Kayak Team Aborts Cuba to Key West Paddle


A journey often made by Cuban refugees seeking political asylum in the U.S., the 103-mile ocean passage is one of the most difficult 100-mile paddling passages in the world. Located just south of the infamous ship-sinking Bermuda Triangle, it’s infamous for its strong currents, sharks, unpredictable weather, and more.

According to a report on Gearjunkie.com, Oru director of marketing Andy Cochrane said that the morning of the attempt the four-man team participated in a Cuban press conference with a few TV stations and local publications, met the U.S.-Cuban ambassadors, and then paddled out of the harbor with a number of athletes from the Cuban national team.

By late afternoon two team members, worn down by skeg issues and unrelenting heat, pulled out. A few hours later Cochrane fell ill, likely a combination of sun, sea sickness, and possibly bad food.

“After puking the first thing I had eaten in hours, I decided to end my attempt,” he states. The final team member quit hours later due to sickness.

Cochrane writes, “Defeat is a tough pill to swallow. I haven’t felt this humbled in a long time. I’m in awe of those who have done this crossing before us. Yet, even with our failure to paddle the crossing unsupported, I realize the project will only be a failure if we choose to not learn something along the way.

“It will only be a failure we don’t share the message of friendship and love with the greater community here in the US. That’s what matters most right now,” Cochrane says.

Read full story here: Gearjunkie.com