Florida Skiff Challenge | Salt Water Sportsman

Florida Skiff Challenge

Benefitting Captains for Clean Water

The Challenge

Dates: April 3-5, 2018

Race begins in Pensacola FL and will end up at famed Cabin Bluff, GA. Who will win!

It takes a robust flats skiff to navigate the 1600 hundred miles of water to circumnavigate Florida. Much of it is open water, like the seas from Pensacola to Tampa Bay. Skiffs tuck inside nearshore islands on protected waters for some miles but when they get to Marco Island, they'll have to head to open seas again to make Key West. Fuel stops are up to the crews, but there will be a mandatory stop at Gilbert's Marina in Key Largo. The final destination is Cabin Bluff Lodge near Cumberland Island. The 1600-mile challenge is expected to take two and a half days and put both crew and vessels to the most extreme test, worthy of Florida’s premium built flats skiffs.

Why are these men taking such extreme risks? To help save Florida’s bays and estuaries from the most extreme pollution and to raise funds for Captains for Clean Water. This water quality watchdog group of charter captains are dependent on clean bays and rivers for their livelihood and so are the contestants whose boats attack this challenge.

The challenge is bigger than ever, now that it encompasses Key West and the stakes are higher than ever too, for our waters have never been more critically challenged.

The Teams

Heath and Chase from team Yellowfin.

Heath Daughtry & Chase Daniel

Team Yellowfin

Team Yellowfin will be piloting the 17 Skiff in this challenge. The 17’6” skiff has a 6’8” and weighs in at just 600 pounds. It will be powered by Yamaha 70Hp Master Captain Heath Daughtry will be piloting the 17 Skiff. Daughtry is the Vice President of Yellowfin Yachts and a returning competitor of the Florida Skiff Challenge. Chase Daniel returns as co-captain.

Ty Nelson returns ground support co-crewmember. Nelson is a legal clerk, founder and owner of Florida Fishing Products and is an active member of the outdoor media. His partner will be returning ground crewman Guillermo Nazario who is the Inshore rigging Manager for Yellowfin, and a returning competitor of the Skiff Challenge.

team chittum

Ground Crew

Team Chittum

Hal T. Chittum and George A. Sawley are the main partners of Chittum Skiffs and will be running an Islamorada 18 powered by a Honda 70 Horsepower Outboard. Their Ground Crew will be Kevin Michael Casey and Shane Thomas Casey, also associates of Chittum Skiffs.

JC and Chris Peterson of Hell's Bay

JC and Chris Peterson of Hell's Bay

Team Hell's Bay

Hells Bay Boatworks: Captain Chris Peterson president and CEO of Hells Bay Boatworks and is returning to the skiff challenge to defend his championship title with JC Peterson, skiff co-Captain also a returning competitor and a member Hell's Bay Test Team. Ground support will come from Hells Bay Service Specialist Dan Hunt, returning for the third year and skiff challenge rookie Steven Hobb, an advance composite specialist at the company.

Panga Marine team

Panga Marine

Team Panga

PANGA MARINE — SERIOUS BOATS FOR SERIOUS FISHERMAN. The first and foremost builder of Panga style fishing boats in the U.S. We've taken the original Panga design and transformed it into a line of sophisticated fishing boats tailored to American anglers. Tom Biller and Ryan Till will be running an 18 skiff with a 60HP Suzuki. Panga’s are known the world over for their seaworthiness in commercial fishing, but Panga Marine is the world’s largest builder of recreational pangas for flats, bay and offshore fishing.


Captains for Clean Water was founded by charter captains mourning the once pristine waters on which they ply their trade. Today, effluent from Okeechobee continues to diminish water quality and fish stocks on both the East and West Coast of Florida and as these treasured waters continue to choke to death, Floridians are still surprisingly unaware of their critical plight. Captains for Clean Water are committed to pressing forward on a quest for the State to acquire land south of Lake Okeechobee to create an estuary reservoir to filter and clean agricultural runoff and return the flow to the Everglades.

Florida Skiff Challenge 2017 Recap

Follow the Race

The Sponsors

Hell's Bay Boatworks
Yellowfin Yachts
Cabin Bluff Lodge
chittum skiffs logo
Tito's Vodka
Justin Boots
spot logo
captains for clean waters
Panga Marine
costa logo