The lake I grew up on has held a 10K paddle board race for the last few years. Once completed, the participants strut around town and boast of their valor over beers. But those days are over. Case in point: Chris Bertish just became paddle board champion of the world.
On March 9th, the South African became the first person to cross the Atlantic Ocean unaided on a stand-up paddle board. No, he is not half-machine and/or Poseidon.
His journey began on December 6th in Agadir, Morocco, continued 4,500 nautical miles across the open ocean, and ended at English Harbour, Antigua. The pace necessary to complete this 93-day journey? Roughly a marathon every single day. As CNN notes, that speed led to his breaking another world record: “furthest distance traveled solo, unsupported and unassisted over open ocean in a day (71.96 miles).”
Don’t get any ideas about taking your cute lil’ lake cruiser out to beat his time, though. Bertish was working with a 20-foot, $120,000 custom craft equipped with everything from satellite communication systems to a water-tight cabin to his MacBook.
Some highlights of the trip: “He celebrated Christmas aboard and rang in the New Year with a dram of scotch,” reports CNN. “Keeping a captain's log on Facebook, Bertish has posted his encounters with puffer fish and turtles, cargo ships and yachts — the latter dropping off a bag of treats for the paddler and money for Bertish's charitable causes.” Those organizations include Signature of Hope Trust, the Lunchbox Fund and Operation Smile, for which he has raised $412,000.
Another thing Bertish did while sloshing around in the middle of the sea by himself? Answer our question about the one item he’d want in the apocalypse (thanks again, Chris!). Spoiler: the most indispensable item for him was not a paddle.