This Wednesday August 13, 2014 Milwaukee resident, Jesse Hieb, will attempt to stand up paddleboard across Lake Michigan from Milwaukee, WI to Muskego MI. The route is roughly 80 miles. If he completes this it will be the first time an individual has done so. The approximate launch time is 5AM from Bradford Beach in Milwaukee, WI. The crew is aiming for a 33 hour crossing time however this is all determined by weather and paddler endurance. Jesse will aim to stay on the board at all times, including taking any cat naps and eating. Jesse stated “The hardest thing is finding a 48 hour time span where the weather will be safe enough for the support crew, and then maintaining hydration and nutrition to make sure that I can make it all the way across. 33 hours is a long time to be working out. Safety and nutrition will be our top priorities”
The paddler decided to take on this endurance challenge after returning from his first ultra-marathon in Thailand in February. “I love the feeling of pushing yourself to the limits, to the point where you know that you won’t be able to make it unless God steps in and takes over. This is without a doubt a God sized goal. Without His help I don’t stand a chance” Jesse said. “I have had a ton of really great sponsors that have helped me get to this point. John Udvare from www.boatshedlakemichigan.com was on board to help from the beginning. John loves adventure more than anyone so when I asked him for help he just hit the ground running. John secured a support boat and offered to captain the crew. Aqua bound paddling A WI based company also has been an awesome blessing. They loved the idea and supplied a SUP paddle that was going to be my best friend for the trip. Other sponsors that have made a huge impact include Big Head Brewing Company (Gas Sponsor), Attention Era Media (Film Crew), Alliance ENT & Hearing Center (Wilderness Medic and Health Physical Sponsor), Root Underground Outfitters (Apparel Sponsor), EOS (SUP Board Sponsor), Hamacher Resource Group (Emergency Beacon and Safety Equipment Sponsor), Valentine Coffee (Support crew and Launch day Sponsor), Cranky Al’s (Support Crew and Launch0 Day Sponsor), Great Lakes Marina in Muskegon, MI (Boat Slip Sponsor), and WhiteKnuckleTV which is where the film crew will be posting the final production.
Jesse has been a Milwaukee local since 2005 when he came here for college. “I fell in love with Milwaukee…So I never left!” After graduating from Wisconsin Lutheran College in 2008 he began his professional career as a Case Manager at Integrated Family Services. “It was while working with youth in the child welfare system that I began seeing some of those really sad things that our city has going on in it. One of those things was child sex trafficking. Milwaukee is one of the worst in the nation. So when this opportunity arose it made sense to raise awareness for a non-profit called Exploit No More. This organization is fairly new but started addressing the problem and I couldn’t be more excited about the things they are doing to help Milwaukee and the children affected by such a terrible act.”
As of Monday, August 11, 2014 the crew plans to launch off of Bradford Beach at approximately 5:00AM. Valentine Coffee is going to provide a nice hot brew and Cranky Al’s will provide donuts for anyone who is at the beach to send the crew off. GPS coordinates will be posted to social media sites so that anyone will be able to follow the paddling voyage on Twitter (@WhiteKnuckleTV) and on Facebook (SUPA-Lake Michigan).
“Thank you to everyone who has helped out with this, including all of my coworkers at ShoreTrips and REI, especially Kelly Fitzpatrick who, without her help, I never would have stuck with it and Dustin Rodamel who entertained this crazy idea and forced me to take the proper safety precautions. But most of all thankful to my God for giving me the opportunity to do something like this. Extra prayers are appreciate”, says Jesse.
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