TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The 2022 Florida Skiff Challenge is underway. The nonprofit Captains for Clean Water hosts the annual event to raise awareness about the need to restore and protect Florida’s water resources.
The challenge involves circumnavigating the 1,300-mile Florida Peninsula in an 18-foot skiff with just 22 gallons of fuel onboard at any given time.
Six boat manufacturers, including Blacktip Boatworks from Pinellas County, are putting their skiffs to the test this year. Hell’s Bay, Sea Pro, Lake & Bay, Yellowfin and Key West are the other competitors.
The teams started at the Florida-Alabama line Thursday morning. With the exception of a few pre-planned pit stops for fuel, the challenge is non-stop until they reach the Georgia line.
While the winning team will have bragging rights, the idea of the challenge is for a good cause. Captains for Clean water wants to show how important clean water is for our ecosystems and raise money to protect the boating, fishing and outdoors lifestyle so we can continue to enjoy is for years to come.
The challenge is expected to wrap up Saturday but you can follow along with each team and track their boats live. Each skiff is equipped with two GPS trackers. The third ground crew meeting up with their team for fuel has a GPS tracker as well.
The weather this year is not picture perfect and will create its own challenges. Strong winds will keep seas quite large on Florida’s west coast. However, the offshore winds on Florida’s east coast will be a treat for their last leg keeping the coastline quite calm.
You can read more about the challenge and rules each team had to abide by on Captains for Clean Water’s website.