by Teresa Page
Ambassador for the Blue Climate and Oceans Project, Dave Cornthwaite (31), will attempt a 2,400 Blue mile journey from source to sea along the Mississippi River by Stand Up Paddleboard on 20th June 2011.
The journey, which if successful will break the Guinness World Record for distance travelled by Stand Up Paddleboard, will raise charitable funds for the AV Foundation and CoppaFeel charities.
Cornthwaite will be highlighting the ecological and environmental importance of this remarkable river that is vital to the daily needs of over 15 million people, provides drinking water to over 50 US cities and is home to 25% of all fish species in North America.
This isn’t the first endurance adventure for Cornthwaite, who crossed Australia on a skateboard in 2006, breaking the world record for the longest distance ever skated. The author and motivational speaker from London, England, is attempting to raise £1,000,000 for charity by undertaking twenty-five separate journeys of 1,000 miles or more, each one using a different form of non-motorised transport. Along the way he hopes to complete an expedition on every continent, cross three oceans and reach both the North and South Poles.
The Mississippi River SUP Expedition will be the fourth journey of Cornthwaite’s Expedition1000 project. He has also kayaked from source to sea along Australia’s Murray River, and in April 2011 rode a tandem bicycle 1,400 miles in 14 days from Vancouver, BC to Las Vegas, with Australian Adventurer Sebastian Terry. Among his remaining 22 journeys is riding a horse across Mongolia, paragliding 1,000 miles along the Himalayas in Nepal, a row from Perth to Mauritius across the Indian Ocean and a ski to the South Pole.
Cornthwaite will be encouraging people to join him for sections of his journey downstream by paddling a Blue Mile and helping him raise awareness about the ecological issues facing this amazing river.
Cornthwaite expects to face several obstacles on the Mississippi River, including mosquitos, alligators, oil tankers, headwinds and turbulent water following recent flooding, but despite the challenges ahead he fully expects to reach the sea in September:
'The distance alone may be daunting, but the communities along the Mississippi are currently facing much greater problems than I will on this journey. I’ll be speaking in towns and villages on my way, and hope to encourage thousands of paddlers to join me and help raise funds as I pass through, something like Forrest Gump on a paddleboard! These journeys aren’t possible without the kindness of strangers, and I’m looking forward to making a river-full of new friends this Summer.'