Sharn Metz and Joe Curley set out today, Friday, – weather permitting – on their paddleboards, with the aim of circumnavigating Grand Cayman. The 70 mile journey will take two full days of paddling – with the start time planned for 3am.
The Stand Up for the Children Challenge will raise funds and awareness for Feed our Future Cayman, the nonprofit organisation that provides nutritious school lunches for children in need.
Organisers are planning a closing event at Surfside on Saturday, 3 August to welcome back the paddleboarders and give the public the chance to lend their support and donate to the campaign.
Metz came up with the idea of paddling around the island at the beginning of the year. Initially, it was simply a personal challenge that he wanted to undertake, and it was his wife who suggested he use it as an opportunity to raise funds for a good cause.
They knew they wanted to do something to benefit children and their research soon led them to Feed our Future.
Metz then convinced his friend Curley to join him on the challenge, and for the past few months, the two have been training hard, taking their boards out in the evenings and at weekends, and paddling for a good 15 miles.
The duo are aiming to get to Morritt’s Tortuga by sunset tonight, in order to rest up before completing the remainder of the journey on Saturday. Along the way, they will be supported by a boat sponsored by Pro Yacht, which will carry water, food and supplies for them. All being well, they will complete their circumnavigation of the island sometime on Saturday afternoon.
The start and finish point is Surfside on Seven Mile Beach.
How you can help
The paddleboarders are hoping to make it back to Surfside sometime between 3 and 7pm on Saturday.
A completion party is therefore planned for the afternoon, with a variety of specials and activities on offer, all of which will help to raise funds for Feed Our Future.
It’s a great chance to welcome the two paddleboarders back and congratulate them on their achievement.
By simply showing up and having some fun, you’ll not only be showing your support for Metz and Curley, but you’ll be helping to raise much needed funds for Feed our Future as well:
Cayman Stand Up Paddle Company will be offering mini lessons for a small donation to Feed our Future Cayman.
Cayman Physio will also be providing mini massages for a small donation to Feed our Future Cayman.
Surfside will have a Caribbean barbecue, with all proceeds being donated to Feed our Future Cayman.
Music at Surfside will be supplied by DJs Jeffrey James, Marcelle and Alexi, all of whom are donating their time for free.
Cayman Distributors will be providing drink specials, including a Veuve Cliquot branded bar with specials on bubbly – by the glass or bottle – and on Miller 64 – by the bottle or bucket.
The festivities are likely to continue until well after dark, so show up anytime and support a good cause.
Curley came to Cayman five years ago from Canada to work as an electrician with Mega Systems.
He’s always been an extreme athlete, competing in long distance races, be it running, cycling or swimming. He began paddleboarding in January of this year, but with his propensity for taking sports to extremes, it is no surprise that within a few months, he had agreed to join Metz in a round-the-island paddle.
The wind is sure to be the biggest challenge on the journey, he said, but the weather forecast so far is good.
Curley estimates that the pair will be paddling for around 12 hours each day to complete the circumnavigation.
Originally from South Africa, Metz has been living in the Cayman Islands for four and a half years.
A dentist by profession, he is a water sports aficionado, practising all manner of activities that involve being on or in the water.
He only began paddleboarding in May last year. He originally took up the sport because, as a keen fly fisher, he was hoping that on a paddleboard, he would be able to access some more remote areas.
Once he got into the sport however, and started to undertake long distance paddles, and paddleboard surfing, the fishing was forgotten.
Metz has been training for this round the island paddle since February, regularly completing 15-mile paddles.
The paddleboarders are hoping to make it back to Surfside sometime between 3pm and 7pm on Saturday.
A completion party is planned for the afternoon, with a variety of specials and activities on offer, all of which will help to raise funds for Feed Our Future.