Chris Bertish completes his record breaking transatlantic voyage
South African sailor and big wave surfer Chris Bertish has completed his record-breaking transatlantic voyage in his SUP after arriving in Antigua yesterday.
Using a £100,000 custom made and watertight SUP constructed by leading naval architect Phil Morrison, Chris paddled an estimated two million strokes, averaging 44 miles a day on the astonishing 4,050-mile journey.
The custom-made equipment was a little different from our SUP boards for sale; Chris’s SUP featured a shelter to give him respite from the extreme weather, allowed him to sleep as well as electrical equipment that aided him for navigational and communication purposes. The vessel could also right itself if it capsized and had stabilising attributes thanks to anchors and drogues.
As to be expected the incredible journey wasn’t without some hiccups – well that’s putting it lightly! Sharks, weather and injuries, such as his torn rotator cuff, were some of the obstacles thrown his way, as Chris explained:
“Everything that could possibly have gone wrong, went wrong, it’s been constant stress. You can feel very inconsequential at sea. When that happens, you have to tune in and get in sync with what’s around you and go with the flow. It’s the only thing that’s going to help you survive out there for that amount of time. That said, there were definitely times when I was hanging on by a thread, just trying to keep it together.”
During the first five days of the journey, he fought to avoid being blown back to land. And over the final 72 hours, the weather and the difficult angles for the final approach were scary, he said.
After leaving the Agadir Marina in Morocco on the 6th December the original plan was to make the 4,600 mile journey to Florida in four months, but due to Atlantic winter storms he had to change course for Antigua instead, cutting the journey down to 4,050 miles and 93 days at sea.
The last three days saw him put in a Herculean effort paddling an arm burning 125 nautical miles over the last 3 days, and after arriving yesterday at 8.02am local time was greeted with fanfare, reporters and a tasty burger once he stood on dry land for the first time in three months.
In his first interview on land he said:
“The sky was really fierce and ominous, but then the sun peeked its way through with this incredible gold and black beaming through the clouds. It was just beautiful, and it was just me in the middle of it. The last few days were super intense, it’s just so nice to be on dry land and not to have to worry about all the billions of things that could wrong.”
If you want to go on your own adventures on the water, we have a wide range of SUP’s, kayaks and open canoes for sale, providing you with the perfect platform to venture out into the Great Outdoors.