|Record: The North Sea Conquered on SUP|
|Friday, 01 June 2012 00:00|
Bart de Zwart is welcomed after crossing the North Sea on SUP.
ZANDVOORT, Holland - For several weeks Bart de Zwart had been waiting to get started on a stand up paddle adventure across the North Sea from England to Holland. However, Holland had been experiencing a lot of easterly winds which would make the crossing difficult. Then, suddenly a 48 hour window and break in the weather appeared which Bart thought would be an ideal opportunity to get his crossing underway. With the good news, Bart's dad drove him to Lowestoft, England and after a few photos, he was on his way.
More specifically, Bart left Lowestoft on Wednesday morning at 9:15 am local time on a 14 foot Starboard Open Ocean stand up paddleboard. He proceeded to travel from England to Holland, solo, non-stop and unsupported. For hours and hours there had been no sign of Bart. Then finally, at about 8:20pm Thursday night, friends and supporters received a phone call from the coast guard saying that Bart had been spotted by a vessel about 15 miles off the coast of Zandvoort, Holland. Shortly after this news, with only 11 miles left to go, Bart personally made a cell phone call from the water to his dad. He said that he was still feeling fit and well but that it had already been quite a paddle.
With this good news and just a little time left in the journey some family members found themselves shedding tears of relief. After all, 36 hours with no word from a loved one who was out on the ocean alone proved to be very unnerving. This was especially true for Bart's wife Dagmar and their daughter Soleil who were at their home on Maui but kept in constant contact with everyone on site in Zandvoort, Holland.
Bart de Zwart arrived safely at a 12:45am on Friday June 1st to "The Spot" in Zandvoort, Holland after successfully crossing the North Sea.·This was the first time anyone had ever attempted and succeeded at stand up paddling from England to Holland and it will go down in history as the first ever successful journey across the North Sea on a stand up paddle board. When all was said and done, the padle was about 100 miles (182 km), lasted almost 39 hours and Bart never fell off of his board.
Friends and family were waiting for Bart when he finished his trek and shortly thereafter he was taken to his father's house in Maarn, Holland to get some much needed sleep and rest. Bart's wife has already expressed her gratitude by saying, "I really would like to thank everybody out there for being (that) amazingly supportive."
To hear more from Bart himself about the journey, follow his blog over the next several days where he will be sharing much more detailed information about the eperience.
About Bart de Zwart:
Bart is a Dutch Pro Stand Up Paddle Boarder who currently lives in Hawaii. In 2011 he was nominated for the "Top Expidition of the Year" award and the "Sup Man of the Year" award by Supconnect. In 2011 he completed an unsupported, solo, non-stop SUP trip from the Big Island of Hawaii to Kauai and as of today he can add this crossing of the North Sea to his list of great accomplishments.
UPDATE 6-1-12 3:18pm PST: It was previously stated in this article that Bart's journey was, "the first time anyone had ever attempted and succeeded at stand up paddling from England to Holland and will now go down in history as the first ever successful journey across the English Channel on a stand up paddle board". While this statement is technically true, it is also a fact that Laird Hamilton completed a stand up paddle trek through the English Channel from London to Paris in the early winter of 2006, yet his route and circumstances were quite different than that of Bart de Zwart. Laird traveled 46km and had a boat trail him on the water. Bart de Zwart paddled 182km from Lowestoft to Zandvoort which was further north. Bart was alone, unassisted and carried all of his supplies with him on his board. ·Both men achieved tremendous feats but under different circumstances and with different beginning and ending locations. Therefore, it is best stated that Laird Hamilton was the first to cross the English Channel by SUP from London to Paris while Bart de Zwart was the first to cross the North Sea by SUP from Lowestoft to Zandvoort. Appropriate clarification was made in the article above.
See references below: