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World Cup fans make a big splash at Haulover Sandbar | Photos

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About 3,000 boaters and paddleboarders gathered at the Haulover Sandbar to watch England play Sweden and Russia take on Croatia in the final quarterfinal matches of the 2018 World Cup.

The games were broadcast on a 46-foot-long screen aboard a 58-foot boat named Ballyhoo.

The tides cooperated — yielding a sandbar that was about the size of two football fields where spectators could wade in water that ranged from ankle-high to waist-deep.

Vendors offered smoothies and sandwiches. A pizza delivery dude was bringing the goods in a kayak.

Sun Sentinel photographer Jim Rassol said that the first-ever presentation of the World Cup in a venue like this was his Florida dream come true.

"It was its own country," he said of the gathering about a 5-minute paddle from the mainland, Haulover State Park, "the country of awesomeness."

Time was up when the water started to reach his chest, threatening his photography equipment. He lashed the dry bags holding his cameras down on the paddleboard and made his way back to the parking lot.

The party was presented by outdoor advertising company Ballyhoo Media.

Click here for a list of top places to watch the remaining World Cup matches in Fort Lauderdale, Miami and elsewhere.

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