05 January 2014: 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 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.”

Chris Bertish. Image supplied by Flux Communications

Chris Bertish. Image supplied by Flux Communications

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 truly 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, Miles for Smiles, Island Tribe, Go Multivitamins, Go Pro, Gul, Mophie, and SUUNTO. The exact date of the attempt is weather dependent and remains to be confirmed.


Many thanks to Voyager Fishing for the use of TarrynAmy as a support vessel for the 24hour World record Project.


About Cipla Foundation:

Cipla South Africa, 100%-owned by Cipla India, is one of the country’s leading pharmaceutical companies that produces world class medicines at affordable prices.


The Cipla Foundation, Cipla SA’ s social enterprise division, is a recognised non-profit organisation and operates as the umbrella for various fundraising projects and initiatives aligned to Cipla’s core ethos, ‘advancing healthcare for all South Africans’. Key projects aligned with the Foundation include: Ajuga, fire-resistant crèche structures deployed in communities; Owethu, South Africa’s first fully-serviced modular medical and dental clinic; and the Cipla Miles for Smiles initiative, which creates awareness for the plight of children born with cleft lips and palates, as well as raises funds to perform corrective surgery on them.


About Cipla:

Cipla is a global pharmaceutical company which uses cutting edge technology and innovation to meet the everyday needs of all patients. For more than 70 years, Cipla has emerged as one of the most respected pharmaceutical names in India as well as across more than 170 countries.  Our portfolio includes 2000 products in 65 therapeutic categories with one quality standard globally.  Cipla’s turnover in FY 2013-14 was 1.7 billion USD.


Whilst delivering a long-term sustainable business, Cipla recognises its duty to provide affordable medicines.  Cipla’s emphasis on access for patients was recognized globally for the pioneering role played in HIV/AIDS treatment as the first pharmaceutical company to provide a triple combination anti-retroviral (ARV) in Africa at less than one dollar a day and thereby treating many millions of patients since 2001.


Cipla’s research and development focuses on developing innovative products and drug delivery systems and has given India and the world many ‘firsts’ for instance Triomune. In a tightly regulated environment, the company’s manufacturing facilities have approvals from all the main regulators including US FDA, UKMHRA, WHO, MCC, ANVISA, and PMDA which means the company provides one universal standard both domestically and internationally.