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Nick Buis & Mike Anderson: 2 of the wild and crazy guys on the Bermuda Challenge

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Old 09-22-2011, 06:15 PM
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Default Nick Buis & Mike Anderson: 2 of the wild and crazy guys on the Bermuda Challenge

The Bermuda Challenge. Just add it to the list of wild adventures for Nick Buis and my husband, Mike Anderson. Anyone that knows these two guys, knows that they are hard-core, non-stop, adrenaline junkies ! Here’s just a few of my fond and growing memories:

These are the guys that barefoot ski (a very difficult stunt), by jumping out of the ski boat (no sissy kneeboard or boom start for them), on the coldest day of the winter, in the middle of the night, in a lake with alligators, with a generator in the ski boat to provide lighting and of course the required jamming tunes !

These are the guys that take off from our house in northeast St. Pete, on a pair of Kawasaki 1100 ZXI’s, at 10:00pm, with glow sticks strapped to their life vests (they’re always thinking about safety), heading to Nick & Priscilla’s house in Madeira Beach. All went well until one ran aground and the other one grazed him. No big deal, no harm done, just some minor scratches to the fiberglass. Nick ended up with both cell phones, then they got separated. Nick ended up at the Pinellas Point boat ramp and swears he saw a sea monster ! Mike made it further to the Tierre Verde bridge.

These are the guys that took 2 boats from Madeira Beach to Key West by water for the Offshore Races a few years ago. Nick and Mike were the primary crew of the Pro Marine Super Cat Team and were needed in Key West for race week. All went well until a drive broke. They towed the broken boat with the running boat, through 5’ to 6’ waves and at 65 mph. Still no problem, until the boat ran out of fuel. A rescue effort brought them in to Key West although there was some mention of Cuba or the Tortugas. This adventure ended especially well as Todd Werner’s Pro Marine won the Super Cat World Championship.

These are the dare devil guys that flew a Wego Kite Tube. If you’ve never heard of a Wego Kite Tube, look it up ! They’ve been banned because of numerous injuries and deaths. They had a blast until it reared it’s evil head and violently slammed them into the water. A broken leg (Nick) and broken ribs (Mike) put an end to this thrill ride.

These are the guys, plus Statement 37’ Center Console owner Chris Fertig, with the spirit of adventure and the kahoonies to run the Bermuda Challenge (a race against the 9 year old unchallenged record from NY to Bermuda of 22 hours, 23 minutes). Although I don’t personally know Chris, Nick ultimately had the faith to entrust his life, and that of his wingman Mike, to Chris and that speaks volumes. With perfect weather and equipment conditions, a non-stop 760 mile dash is quite daunting. You’re out there all alone, there are no other boats around, you’re several hours away from any Coast Guard or other helicopter or boat support, in 2000’ feet deep water, with no working cell phones and if you’re lucky, your satellite phone works. That’s scary enough to eliminate 99% of those reading this. Now add the uncertainties of weather. Sure you can check the weather reports all you want, but Mother Nature has ultimate control and sometimes feels the need for a good sudden storm or two or three. Sorry about your luck if you’re in the way. This is what these guys encountered, September 21st and 22nd, 2011, on their Bermuda Challenge run. After running very well for many hours, they encountered storm after storm, riding up and down, over and through 8’ to 10’ waves, in the dark. Not only does powering through these waves take a lot of fuel, it’s also a lot more distance traveled. The team was smart and made the decision that they wouldn’t have enough fuel to complete the challenge and headed back to the US. While they were unsuccessful at this attempt to reach Bermuda, they put the team, the boat, the suspension, the engines and drivetrain through an ordeal like no other and passed with flying colors.

Footnote: just got Mike home, he's sunburned, rain pelted, sore and tired but wants all to know the boat ran flawlessly and he feels confident they would have beat the record if they didn't encounter such over the top horrendous weather (waves 10'-12' (they were higher than the t-top), horrendous rain, lightning storms, crazy winds, etc). Despite all their crazy antics, they are a great team and very safety conscious. They want to live another day for more crazy adventures !

Leslie Fox

Photo: Nick Buis, Chris Fertig, Mike Anderson, purchased from Sharkey Images
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Last edited by Cat Girl; 09-22-2011 at 10:00 PM. Reason: updated info
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Old 09-22-2011, 07:57 PM
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Great post. I remember the barefoot days. A bit painfull.
Ohh... to be young again..
I am so glad that all turned out well at the end. It was a good call heading back. And thank you and Priscilla, (dont know Chris's or he has one) for putting up with these yo-yo's so we can't get any sleep at night.
Good stuff boys,, (from just another yo-yo).
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Old 09-22-2011, 08:57 PM
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THANKS Leslie !!!

Here is where I will be uploading all of the pics:

Bermuda Challenge 2011 Photo Gallery CLICK HERE !!!



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Old 09-22-2011, 08:59 PM
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I just left Delaware and heading back to Jersey.

Got shot a few videos of Chris for interviews.

Some amazing stories from him as well...
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Old 09-22-2011, 10:50 PM
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Wow great story. Thanks
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Old 09-23-2011, 07:06 AM
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Great adventure and great backstories !!!

Thank you.
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Old 09-23-2011, 07:30 AM
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Excellent write-up! Those guys have what it takes!
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Old 09-23-2011, 09:28 AM
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Livin the dream!!!!!!!!! Congrats on the attempt.
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Old 09-23-2011, 09:49 AM
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Fertig Begins Bermuda Challenge

IslandStats.comChris Fertig is the First to Enter Bermuda Challenge Established in 1996. The live streaming of Fertig will begin soon, please stay tuned and enjoy.

In an article posted on the Boating website states, "I'm drawing a line in the sand. Fine pink sand. On a beach in Bermuda." David Seidman, then editor of Boating magazine December 1996 - When David Seidman uttered the words above, the sport of boating was at an all-time high, and quality demands from customers were making boat and engine builders step up to meet them.

November 1999 - on July 17th, a small boat entered St. George's Harbour in Bermuda, adding an emphatic period to the slash of an exclamation point that was made three years before. In 1996 a Glacier Bay 260 Canyon Runner with twin Honda 90s was the first outboard to make the 700-plus mile run to Bermuda - doing it in 37 hours. Now a second boat, a World Class 266SF powered by twin Mercury OptiMax 150s, had also done it - cutting the running time by seven and a half hours.

November 2002 - There have been six attempts to set a new record for Boating Magazine's Bermuda Challenge - a 760-mile dash to a tiny speck in the Atlantic Ocean barely 16 miles long and 4 miles wide. So far, only three boats have completed the journey, and they've all been outboard-powered catamarans.

Article was on one of Bermuda's Sporting websites..
www.islandstats.com
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Old 09-23-2011, 09:51 AM
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Nice to know the guys are safe.. I was really looking forward to meeting them..maybe next time..but man it's been some Bermutiful weather here for the past week..
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