Surfer conquers Atlantic on paddle board

Chris Bertish completed the epic 93-day adventure across the ocean on a custom built 20-foot-long stand up paddle board

BY Michael Staines 14:44 Friday 10 March 2017, 14:44 10 Mar 2017

Image: @chris_bertish / Twitter

A South-African big wave surfer has become the first man to cross the Atlantic Ocean unassisted and unsupported, on a stand-up paddle board.

42-year-old Chris Bertish braved waves, wind, sharks and storms on the epic 93-day adventure across the ocean.

Bertish arrived at the Carribean island of Antigua at 8.32am local time on Thursday according to SUP the Mag.

He pulled off the 7500km voyage on a custom-built 20-foot-long board, complete with a small sleeping space at the front of the vessel and weather forecasting equipment, GPS systems, VHF radios, an autopilot system, satellite phone, solar panels and water stores.

The board was constructed over six-months at a cost of approximately €113,000.

In his final Captain’s Log posted to Facebook yesterday, Bertish said: “I have put everything on the line for this project, so to me once I started there was no giving up, turning back or failure; that just wasn’t an option.”

He said the journey had taken more than 2 million strokes - covering 69km a day and raising over €465,000.

“It's an incredible day,” he wrote. “It's the culmination of everything I've been working on and towards for half a decade now and it's a day that will change history, the world and both my life and the lives of millions of little children in South Africa forever!”

The Guinness World Record holder aims to raise enough money to build five schools in South Africa and pay for education and medical procedures for thousands of children.

Bertish kept himself fed using protein shakes, freeze-dried meals and dried salted meats and celebrated both Christmas and New Year’s on board.

He previously set the record for the fastest crossing of the English Channel on a stand up paddle board - completing the crossing in five hours and 26 minutes - and surfed some monstrous waves to win the Maverick Big Wave Invitational in California in 2010.

You can donate to the project here

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