First Ever Solo, Unsupported, Open Ocean Expedition Approaches Monumental Milestone, Continues on to Finish
52 days and nearly 2,000 miles into his attempt at the first-ever solo, unsupported transatlantic SUP crossing, today Chris Bertish reached the monumental 34°W mark in the Atlantic Ocean. This milestone brings him in line with the easternmost point of mainland South America, in the direct path of oceanic trade winds that will help propel him toward his goal of reaching the North American Atlantic Coast roughly 2,600 miles west of his current position.
Chris Bertish began this massive undertaking on December 6, 2016, launching from the mainland of Agadir, Morocco and paddling in a southwesterly direction past the Canary Islands on December 20. As the New York Times reported on, the entire journey will take Bertish across an estimated 4,000 miles of open ocean, alone, paddling the equivalent of over a marathon a day for more than 90 days straight.
In the first 16 days of the expedition, despite harrowing weather conditions and numerous major technical challenges, Chris managed to break the previous solo, unsupported and unassisted open ocean distance world record of nearly300 miles, previously set by Bart de Zwart during a five-day paddle from Hawaii’s Big Island to Kauai. Chris has gone on to set a new 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, Bertish adds to the new world record and has now traveled over 1,750 miles by reaching 34°W longitude.
Chris Bertish is no stranger to big adventures. A nominee for SUP Awards Top Expedition in 2013 and 2015 for his past expeditions, and winner of the Nightjar Adventurer of the Year Award in 2014, he believes no challenge is ever too great or impossible. He attributes his many years of meticulous planning, preparation, sailing, and big-wave surfing experience—coupled with the vast knowledge he has gained from multiple Atlantic 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 Caribbean. This happens to be the same location where Chris will be finishing his monumental expedition, which he hopes to arrive at first two weeks of March.
ImpiFish, the one of a kind, customized, stand up paddleboard craft designed specifically for the Sup Crossing by Chris, took many key aspects and design concepts used by the Talisker Rowing Teams on their transatlantic row boats. 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 can 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 transatlantic voyagers rarely set course on the shortest route as it would take them into light and variable winds found the Atlantic. 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 shown 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!” said Craig Featherby, CEO at Carrick Wealth.
“The main goal 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,” said Bertish. “We are 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.”
The SUP Crossing crosses 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 $1,124,150 US Dollars, 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.
More on The SUP Crossing.