Chris Bertish has become the first person to successfully stand-up paddle across the Atlantic Ocean
It took 93 days, but Chris Bertish has paddled his way into the history books.
The South African is now the first person to have crossed the Atlantic Ocean using just a stand-up paddle board.
He started his journey in Agadir, Morocco before paddling 4,050 miles to English Harbour in Antigua, Caribbean, finishing on 9 March 2017.
Writing on his Captain’s log just before completing the journey, Bertish wrote: “It’s an incredible day… It’s the culmination of everything I’ve been working on and towards for half a decade now”.
He completed the solo, unassisted journey in his custom-built self-righting 20-foot long board, which was designed by internationally renowned naval architect, Phil Morrison.
It has a watertight main cabin forward, where Bertish slept, as well as housing his satellite weather forecasting equipment, GPS systems, VHF radios, autopilot system, satellite phone, solar panels and water stores.
It also came with a rigging system for the use of a para-anchor, a specially designed parachute used under water, to allow Bertish to ride out storms.
He also had to deal with equipment failures, unfavourable trade winds, loneliness, huge swells and shark encounters.
During the crossing, which he describes as his “legacy project”, he ate freeze-dried meals and protein shakes.
Bertish is no stranger to pushing the limits.
A sailor and big wave surfer, the 42-year-old was the 2010 winner of the Mavericks Big Wave Invitational at Half Moon Bay, California.
He also set the New Open Ocean Guinness World Record in 2014 when he paddled 130.10-kilometres in 12 hours, and completed the world’s first 325-kilometre unsupported/unassisted SUP up the west coast of South Africa in 2013.
His SUP trans-Atlantic crossing has also help raise more than 12 million South African rand for three charities – The Lunchbox Project, Operation Smile and Signature of Hope Trust.
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