March 9th – Exactly at 8:32 AST today, the 42-year-old South African water sports Pro Chris Bertish finally crossed the Atlantic Ocean with nothing but a stand-up paddle board (SUP).
The big-wave surfer became the first man to cross the Atlantic Ocean using an SUP. Despite the challenges he had to face in his journey, Bertish still managed to paddle his way across the Atlantic Ocean remarkably.
Challenges such as being unassisted, unfavorable winds, possible equipment failure, huge swelling, shark encounters, and loneliness have been things he had to overcome.
He started his journey on December 6th and stroked into Antigua’s English Harbour which covered exactly 6,460 kilometers and paddled for 96 kilometers a day that set a record for the further distance traveled solo. Which is more than any of us could do.
He crossed 4,500 miles from Agadir, Morocco, until 6,460 kilometers later, arrived at the end point.
His SUP was able to endure the journey because it was not purchased off the shelf at any store; it was a custom-made SUP seeing as how challenging the whole trip was going to be. The SUP weighed about 1,360-pounds and had a 20-foot long vessel that was made sure to be attached to the tiny cabin and panels. Furthermore, it was meant to support the 93-day journey including possible shark deterrents.
Bertish’s 93 days of paddling is exactly equivalent that of a marathon while he was just skirting the Canary Islands before heading to the Caribbean.
n spite of everything, he still managed to keep us, the world rather, updated from his travels by keeping a captain’s log on Facebook. He even posted his encounters with sea creatures such as the puffer fish and turtles. Not only with them, but with cargo ships and yachts that dropped off treats and money for the Bertish’s charitable cause.
Bertish was able to raise enough money while working with some charities such as the Signature of Hope Trust, the Lunchbox Foundation, and Operation Smile in order to build at least five schools in Africa. Also, the money was also used to provide monthly share that will feed and educate thousands of children. Lastly, he’s going to pay for surgeons to perform life-changing cleft lip and palate operations.
The total amount of money that Bertish has raised is $412,000.
The crossing of the Atlantic Ocean was his latest achievement all throughout the South African’s career. Back in 2010, he won the Maverick Big Wave Invitational in California for surfing one of the biggest waves recorded in history on borrowed equipment. In 2013, he set another world record for open ocean 12-hour nonstop in an SUP that was held in South Africa. Lastly, for also setting the fastest time to cross the English Channel on an SUP in the same year.
This marks as another triumphant close to the chapter of his journey.
This serves as an inspiration for those who believe that nothing is impossible unless you believe it to be.
“You just break everything down, by the minute, by the hour…You just have to believe in yourself.”