Chris Bertish is officially North of South America and now more than half way through his monumental, solo, unsupported, open ocean expedition, on the trans-Atlantic SUP Crossing, presented by Carrick Wealth.
On Friday, 27 January 2017, Chris Bertish, internationally acclaimed Speaker, Big Wave Surfer and Guinness SUP World Record Holder, reaches the monumental 34°W mark, in the Atlantic Ocean, bringing him in line with the easternmost point of the mainland of South America, in his attempt to become the first person to ever stand-up paddle across the Atlantic Ocean, on the Sup Crossing presented by Carrick Wealth.
Chris Bertish began this mammoth undertaking, on 6 December 2016 from the mainland of Agadir, in Morocco, 51 days ago, paddling in a south westerly direction past the Canary Islands, on the 20th December. The entire journey will take Bertish across an estimated 4000 miles/ 7500 km’s of open ocean, alone, paddling the equivalent of over a marathon a day for over 90 days straight.
In the first 16 days of the expedition and in spite of harrowing weather conditions and numerous major systems failures, Chris still managed to break the previous, solo unsupported and unassisted open ocean distance world record of 180 nautical miles set by Bart de Zwart (Tahiti and Bora Bora in December 2014) and has gone on to set a new 300-mile open ocean world record, while also becoming the first person to ever paddle between the mainland of Morocco and the Canary Islands. Every day since then, Bertish adds to the new world record and now by reaching 34°W longitude he has now traveled over 1,750 miles/ 3240 km’s.
Chris Bertish, a true waterman that is no stranger to big adventures, winning the Nightjar Adventurer of the year award in South Africa 2014 and runner up for Global Expedition of the Year in 2014 at the International SupMag Awards, believes no challenge is ever too great or impossible. He attributes his many years of meticulous planning, preparation, sailing, big wave surfing experience, coupled with the vast knowledge he gained from multiple Atlantic yacht crossings, as invaluable assets to the overall success of the Sup Crossing. Chris was part of Trinidad and Tobago’s Crash Test Dummies Sailing Team in the late 1990s, which won the Antigua Sailing Week in the Caribbean, which is the exact same location where Chris will be finishing this monumental expedition, which he is hoping will be completed by the first two weeks of March.
As a sought after keynote and inspirational speaker known for inspiring audiences with his tales of courage, belief, tenacity and ability to overcome seemingly impossible obstacles in pursuit of his goals and dreams. Chris is not only fast on the road to becoming the first to ever stand-up paddle across the Atlantic Ocean, a feat most people thought to be impossible, but as of early this week, he has now already caught up to and overtaken two of the Pure Solo Class row boat competitors, Daryl Farmer and Dmitry Rezvoy of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, despite getting to the same start point where they departed from in the Canary Islands, just over a week after they started.
The Talisker Whisky Atlantic competition, which began on December 14th, 2016 from the harbour of San Sebastián de La Gomera, Canary Islands is an estimated 3,500 mile journey that finishes in the Caribbean Leeward Island of Antigua, which is where Chris too, will finish his epic adventure and paddle into the history books once again.
This is quite a remarkable achievement considering Bertish has traveled over 400 miles more than than the Talisker race competitors, Chris departed from Agadir 8 days earlier and had to endure some of the most difficult and toughest ocean conditions imaginable.
The one of a kind, customized, stand-up paddleboard craft Bertish named ImpiFish, designed specifically for the Sup Crossing, has taken many key aspects and design concepts used by the Talisker Rowing Teams on their trans-Atlantic row boats and when the weather proves too much, Chris is able to hide in his cabin to escape the elements and, even if the craft capsizes, it is able to self-right completely unassisted. Chris’ craft has been put to the test several times already in his voyage including one complete capsize and being semi-inverted twice.
Chris’ and most trans-Atlantic voyagers rarely set course on the shortest route as it would take them into the light and variable winds found at that latitude in the Atlantic and this is why the 20° North, 34° West mark is an important milestone, as he is now directly in the trade winds and due North of the most Eastern tip of South America.
“We are extremely proud of what Chris has achieved thus far, already breaking a number of world records. It has been remarkable for us at Carrick Wealth to watch his journey. He has showed immense tenacity in the first half of the SUP Crossing and we are excited to see him achieve even greater things in the next few weeks. Whether at sea or in everyday life he completely lives by his motto: Nothing is impossible!” explains Craig Featherby, Chief Executive Officer at Carrick Wealth.
Bertish commented, “The main aim of this project is to push the limits of what’s possible for the sport and for what the human spirit can endure, while inspiring others to believe in themselves and what’s truly possible, while changing the lives of millions by paddling smiles across the faces of less fortunate children in Africa and South Africa, with the money we raise for this incredible project, which I believe we have already succeeded in doing, as we have already raised just short of 5 Million Rand to date and I’m only half way, this is my mission.”
“The SUP Crossing project and the work that Chris is doing is very close to home. At Signature of Hope Trust and Carrick Wealth we strongly believe in making a meaningful impact and providing sustainable solutions, shifting away from annual fundraising and moving towards sustainable income, which is the core function of this charity arm. We are honored to be a part of this campaign and look forward to making Chris’ charitable dream a reality”, concludes Featherby.
The main goal of The SUP Crossing is to cross the Atlantic Ocean, while leaving a sustainable legacy by raising enough funds for: The Lunchbox Fund, Operation Smile and Signature of Hope through the annuities we have set up, with the target of raising over 15 Million Rand, but simultaneously making the entire project, a completely self sustainable charity initiative, that will have a lasting legacy by paying out monthly, for more than two decades and for generations to follow.
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