Wednesday, June 16, 2021
Wing Foil Attempt to Hawaii Fails
The big-wave surfer who set out from Half Moon Bay last week in hopes of crossing the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii alone pulled into Morro Bay on Sunday night, shutting down his trip after six challenging days. Chris Bertish, the South Africa-born waterman who stand-up-paddleboarded 4,000 miles across the Atlantic by himself four years ago, launched from Pillar Point Harbor last week on a custom-made hydrofoil boat powered by a handheld sail — a novel craft for the 2,400-nautical-mile voyage he was attempting. Bertish had planned to spend about two months at sea. He hewed closely to his planned route for the first several days but then, off the Big Sur coast, diverted back to shore in San Luis Obispo County after his “main electronics systems drained overnight, which shouldn’t happen,” according to a statement from his shore crew. He also had “some issues with water getting into the craft previously, and he realized that he could not move forward across the Pacific without addressing these two issues first,” the statement said. “With all these adventures you have to be 100% confident in your craft and the integrity of the vessel you’re with, and until that’s in place, the only right and rational decision is to get the craft up to speed before continuing on,” Bertish said in the statement. Bertish is transporting his boat to Berkeley for repairs. He said he hopes to restart the trip at some point — potentially in the next month. Despite cutting his journey short, Bertish may have set an obscure world record in the process for traveling 212 miles unsupported on his wing-foil boat, according to his crew’s statement.