Maleen Hoekstra/Courtesy of The SUP Crossing with Chris Bertish

It took him 93 days.

Nina Ruggiero
March 13, 2017

If you've ever taken to the water with a paddleboard on even a mildly rough day, you know that remaining upright is not the easiest feat. 

So you'll be impressed to hear about Chris Bertish: an ambitious South African surfer who just became the first person in history to cross the Atlantic Ocean on a stand-up paddleboard. According to National Public Radio, Bertish powered through more than 4,050 nautical miles from Agadir Marina in Morocco to English Harbour in Antigua. It took him 93 days.

Alan van Gysen/Courtesy of The SUP Crossing with Chris Bertish

Throughout his journey, Bertish faced strong winds, swells, equipment failure, and sharks, according to SUP Magazine. He did it all with a 20-foot, high-tech board that featured GPS and weather forecasting equipment, solar panels, and a small space for sleeping. 

He completed the trip at 8:32 a.m. on Thursday and was appropriately stoked about the accomplishment.

"It's an incredible day," he wrote on his Facebook page, where he chronicled his travels via so-called captain's logs. "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!"

As cheering supporters waited on land to greet Bertish, his brothers joined in for his final paddle to shore.

Alan van Gysen/Courtesy of The SUP Crossing with Chris Bertish

The trip broke multiple records, NPR reported, including longest distance paddled alone in 24 hours (an outstanding 71.96 nautical miles). But upon finally stepping on dry land, Bertish revealed that he was most proud of raising money for charities Signature of Hope Trust, The Lunchbox Fund, and Operation Smile. As of his trip's completion, that number was more than $490,000.

How did Bertish celebrate such success? The same way anyone who'd been solo fighting the elements at sea for over three months would: by sitting down and digging into a good burger.

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