“An Essay on Bearing Defeat Without Losing the Passion” journals Anthony Vandenberg’s valiant attempt to complete the 2021 WaterTribe Everglades Challenge.
The veteran marathon windsurfer will have to wait for 2022 to try and finish the 300-nautical-mile sailing adventure along the Florida Gulf coastline.
The Everglades Challenge is an extreme adventure that dares participants to make it from Tampa Bay to Key Largo in eight days or less.
It is an unsupported adventure race, meaning that there are no safety boats or support crews from shore available to help participants. (WaterTribe, the organization that sponsors the event, does test registrants before allowing them to participate.)
The idea of the expedition race is to be self-sufficient, and it’s certainly not for the faint of heart. Conditions can be brutal, and less than half of the race participants typically finish.
SurferToday published an account of Vandenberg’s first 101 miles of adventures and misadventures, in his own words. Just reading about his perilous sailing passage — “I felt like the waves and gusts were treating me like a bowling pin” — is enough to make your own body ache!