He is 38. He is french. And he wants to be the first man who crosses the Atlantic on a Stand Up Paddle board. What has been a secret project for the past three years, is about to turn into reality. Nicolas Jarossay, the french firefighter from Carro, in the south of France, has got the board, the mental and almost all the budget. In January 2016, he will set off to be the 1st man to cross the Atlantic on a SUP.
Bonjour Nicolas, first of all, could you tell the TotalSUP readers who you are?
My name is Nicolas Jarrossay. I am 38 years old and I have been a professional firefighter for 17 years.
I have been practicing Stand Up Paddle since 2009, windsurf for 15 years and I have always taken part in other endurance sports (marathon, mountain biking, snorkeling …). In 2010, I descended the Rhone river with two friends between the city of Lyon and my hometown Carro on the mediterranean coast in three and a half days. In 2011, I beat the 24 hour SUP world record (151 kms), a record which was recently broken not too long ago. I also crossed Lake Geneva in Switzerland this winter in under 13 hours.
When did you decide that you would be the 1st man to attempt crossing the Atlantic ocean on a paddleboard?
It has been 3 years since the idea germinated in me. Initially I wanted to do it with a guide boat and on a regular sup. The plan was to mark the GPS point at the end of a day of paddling and start again from that exact same point on the next morning. Then over time I realized that the story wasn’t meant to be told that way. I need to write this story on my own. First of all, being followed by a guide boat implies two months of a horribly slow cruise and a lot of waiting for the people on board the boat. And secondly, one night I had a terrible nightmare: I am out there in the ocean paddling with my food on board the SUP for the day and a heated argument breaks out with the people on the boat who take off and leave me in the middle of the Atlantic. From that night, it became clear to me that I should do the whole crossing without assistance and in total autonomy !
Why do you want to be the first man to cross the atlantic on a SUP?
I have always said that one day I would make a sea crossing, that I would take off for a while and do something special…
In the past 6 years that I have been practising SUP, I have always loved unique challenges. The Atlantic crossing is definitely a unique one as it will be a World’s first attempt. I’m already proud to train on my prototype which is the first “liveable” SUP in the world!! Actually, when you get into such a challenge, it is hard to say why. It is in you that’s all. So I would answer “why not!”
Where do you plan to leave from and when?
I will set off in January 2016 and will be crossing the Atlantic between Cape Verde and the french island of Martinique. Finishing on french ground is something that I hold close to my heart.
How long is the crossing going to take?
The plan is to achieve the crossing between 60 to 75 days.
Can you introduce the SUP board which has been specially designed for this SUP crossing?
My current prototype measures 6.3 meters x 0.82 meters / 20’8 x 32′. It sounds big but it’s actually small when you think that I have to sleep in it. So it’s big enough to accommodate me and to store freeze-dried food for the whole crossing. The equipment on board is limited to a minimum. Because of the space and weight, I can’t take an electric desalinator on board, but a manual one, which means I will have to pump between 1 hour and a half and 2 hours a day to have my daily 8 liters of fresh water.
How much does an adventure like this one cost? How are you financing it?
We are currently on a total budget of €45,000 / $50,000 … I have gathered half of the sum so far via various partners and sponsors.
In order to gather the rest of the money, I am counting on the support of the public and hopefully new sponsors.
> In addition, I am “selling” each kilometer of the crossing at €5 per kilometer. I think that’s a great way to get people involved in the project. Also, each sponsored kilometer will be entered in a draw which we will organize upon arrival and the winner will receive the signed paddle of this world’s premiere!
I would like to add that 10% of the sale of kilometers but also of the total budget will go to the french association “Rêves” that I have supported for many years. Rêves helps ill children’s dreams come true.
Moreover, as part of my journey, I will make scientific surveys on the physalia, hoping to help researchers understand the reasons behind the proliferation of this devastating jellyfish.
Currently paying for kilometers online does not work. If you want to support me financially please send a cheque to:
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