Chris Bertish is a waterman and adventurer of the highest order.  A multiple world record holder in long distance stand-up paddle boarding, Chris has previously won the 2010 Mavericks Big Wave Invitational in some of the largest waves ever ridden in a contest and holds the distinction of being the first person to catch a wave by paddling in at the infamous Hawaiian surf break called Jaws, which was previously thought to only be rideable via tow-in from a personal watercraft.

On Thursday March 9, Chris completed an epic journey of 93 days and 4,600 miles as he single-handedly piloted his stand-up paddleboard across the Atlantic ocean from Morocco to Antigua.

This unbelievable effort was in aid of Operation Smile South Africa and two other South African charities. Chris has thus far raised about R2 million for Operation Smile South Africa to be held in annuities, which will change the lives of children with cleft lip and cleft palate for many years to come. The feat garnered much attention from the world’s media and brought even more awareness to the terrific work of Operation Smile. Follow these links to read his story in CNNNational Geographic and The Guardian.


“Every child that has a facial deformity is our responsibility. If we don’t take care of that child, there’s no guarantee that anyone else will.”

- Kathy Magee, Operation Smile Co-founder and President