On Tuesday morning, after years of preparation and planning, South African waterman Chris Bertish set off on his mission to attempt to become the first person to ever cross the Atlantic Ocean solo and unassisted on a standup paddleboard:
Bertish began his journey — which he and his group of sponsors have titled “#theSUPCrossing” — in Morocco and is pointing his specially-designed SUP towards the Canary Islands.
After reaching the Canaries, he will head towards the Caribbean Leeward Island of Anegada before aiming his craft for his final destination in Florida.
If successful, Bertish will spend approximately the next four months traveling across roughly 4,600 miles of open ocean, paddling the equivalent of a marathon each day for 120 days straight.
“I’m really excited and looking forward to leaving, as this has been a 4-year project in the making and lifetime of preparation and I’m ready,” Bertish said in a press release about the mission.
In his press release statement, Bertish emphasized the reason behind the trip was to hopefully raise over $1 million for three nonprofit groups — The Lunchbox Fund, Operation Smile and Signature of Hope — in an attempt to help children across Africa.
“My specialized SUP craft is incredible, I have an amazing team behind me, supporting me from land and an unbelievable support from friends and people all around the world for this incredible journey, which is going to change the lives of millions of children in Africa,” Bertish was quoted as saying in the release.
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