First Man Standing: Stand-up Paddleboarder Crosses the Atlantic

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Chris Bertish became the first man to cross the Atlantic Ocean on his own, unassisted and unsupported, on a standup paddleboard.

Bertish departed from Agadir, Morocco, on December 6 and traveled 4,500 nautical miles to English Harbor, Antigua where he arrived on March 9. He paddled an equivalent to a marathon a day for a total of 93 days.

Bertish used a specially crafted 20ft long, 1,360-pound vessel that has a tiny cabin and is solar powered.

While completing the world’s first solo trek across the ocean, he also set the world record for furthest distance traveled solo, unsupported, and unassisted in a single day (71.96 miles). The South African water sports pro has been in the spotlight before, surfing some of the biggest waves ever recorded, and he also notched the fastest time to cross the English Channel on a commercial stand-up paddleboard.

Bertish is working with charities such as Signature of Hope, Lunchbox Foundation, and Operation Smile. His goal is to build at least five schools in South Africa, to feed and educate thousands of children, and to aid surgeons to perform cleft-lip and palate operations. He has raised $412,000 so far.

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