Stand-up paddleboarder crosses Atlantic Ocean for African charities

WASHINGTON (WUS9) - Guinness World Record holder Chris Bertish will make history tomorrow as the first person to cross the Atlantic Ocean on a stand-up paddle board March 9 when he docks at English Harbour in Antigua.

Bertish,42, embarked on Dec. 6 from Agadir, Morocco, and has been traveling unassisted, the equivalent of a marathon every day-- 7500 kilometers -- for three months, per a press release.  

"It's now midnight...on the 5th March...pretty exhausted, paddled pretty much non-stop today from daylight till just after dark, like doing an ironman, except I don't have the luxury of changing disciplines to give my other muscles a rest," Bertish posted on his captain's log available on Facebook.

Bertish has broken three world records on this trip alone, including paddling 300-miles of open ocean unsupported and unassisted. The South African has had numerous scares along the way including strong wind gusts and an altercation with a great white shark, according to his captain log.

"Sometimes you never know how strong you can actually be, until you put yourself in a place where being strong and using all the courage you can muster to get you through it, is all you have and exactly what you require," Bertish posted on his captain's log.

Bertish's expedition is riding on more than waves of social accolades--he's raised nearly 5.5 million Rands, the equivalent of more than $416,000 USD for South African charities. Bertish is hoping to build two schools, feed more than 5,000 children monthly and provide 3 monthly cleft-lip corrective surgeries with Operation Smile, through corporate sponsorship and public donations.

 

The pioneer prepared his paddle board with 50 liters of water, freeze dried meals, a parachute, a life raft, radios, a satellite, radar, a MacBook and other navigation gadgets, all of which is man and solar paneled. His 20-foot craft has a cabin in the stern for Bertish to take intermittent breaks.

Bertish is expected to dock March 9 between noon and 7 p.m., where fans and friends will congratulate the paddle board pirate. 

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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