Latest Miles for Smiles Ambassador, Guinness World Record holder, Mavericks Big Wave Invitational Champion & Inspirational Speaker Chris Bertish, will attempt to break the current 24 hour stand-up paddleboard (SUP) world record of 157km’s/97miles by attempting to paddle 170km’s/105Miles in 24 hours from Cape Point up the west coast of South Africa to between Saldahna and Paternoster. This initiative, sponsored by the Cipla Foundation, begins tomorrow 6 January and is geared to raise awareness and funds for the plight of children born with cleft lips and palates.
Bertish, who holds the current Guinness world record for the longest distance paddled in the open ocean in 12 hours by SUP, as well as the New England Channel SUP record, is waiting for the ideal weather conditions to coincide with the full moon which will provide the necessary natural light for this extremely dangerous adventure. He explains that he prefers using the moonlight for visibility during the night time paddling as man-made light is more likely to attract sharks. “We have also painted the bottom of the board to resemble an orca – the only natural predator of the shark – as an additional deterrent.”
He will use a personal locator beckon (PLB) which will transmit his GPS coordinates every 10 minutes so that his progress can be followed via his website at http://chrisbertish.com/projects/24-hour-world-record/ or via updates on Twitter: Chris_Bertish #24hrsup, over the entire 24 hour period.
According to David Grier, Managing Trustee of Cipla Foundation, one in every 700 children in Africa is born with a cleft palate or lip, and one in 10 babies born with this condition do not make it to their first birthday. “Malnutrition, medical and psychological problems also compound the problem. Life can be a tough and complicated place for children and not being able to smile shouldn’t have to limit their experience of the world.”
Bertish says that he is appreciative of the opportunity to change the lives of these children and that knowing his efforts might raise funds to facilitate even one corrective surgery will serve as great motivation. “I am honoured to represent such a worthy cause and I hope that my struggle in completing this challenge will draw attention to the daily struggles faced by each and every child who suffers from a cleft lip / palate.” I like to try and inspire people into believing in whats possible, no matter the adversity or struggle, obstacles you are up against. If you trly believe it and have the courage to try, anything is possible.
The Cipla Miles for Smiles initiative, in collaboration with Operation Smile, have facilitated just under 2000 corrective surgeries. Cipla Foundation calls on all members of the public to change the lives of these children one smile at a time by contributing to this worthy cause. Donations can be submitted on the Miles for Smiles Website: http://milesforsmiles.co.za/make-a-donation.
To follow the progress of this courageous athlete as well as the progress of the Miles for Smiles initiative, follow @chris_bertish and @davidgrier on Twitter and share your support by using #24hrsup.
This initiative is proudly sponsored by Cipla Foundation, Island Tribe, Go Multivitamins, Go Pro, Gul, Mophie, Voyager Fishing and SUUNTO.
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