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Danish Kitsurfer Completes 1,000km East African Odyssey

4th September 2015
Jacob_Bliksted_Sørensen
Jacob Bliksted Sørensen completes his 1000km kitesurf challenge in Mombasa, Kenya
Danish Kitsurfer Completes 1,000km East African Odyssey

Denmark's Jacob Bliksted Sørensen has successfully completed his 1,000km solo charity kitesurf expedition between Mozambique and Kenya in aid of his campaign, Mission: Safe Ocean.

Setting off from Pemba, Mozambique, Jacob took 24 days to kitesurf the 1,000km distance along the East African coast to Mombasa, Kenya, completing the journey with just one day remaining. Over the course of this journey, Jacob also achieved a remarkable total distance surfedof just over 2,000km.

Jacob is a General Manager at Hong Kong-based ship owner Pacific Basin and the founder of Mission: Safe Ocean, a campaign to raise awareness of the roots causes of piracy in the Indian Ocean, to support seafarer safety and to raise money for two charities, the Mission to Seafarers and African Development Solutions.

Speaking shortly after his arrival in Mombasa, Kenya, at the completion of his 1,000km journey, Jacob spoke about his achievement and the challenges that he faced:

"I'm delighted to have completed this 1,000km journey from Mozambique to Mombasa, not to mention covering 2,000km on my surfboard along the way. Setting off almost four weeks ago, we didn't know if it would be possible to cover this distance in the time available and the fact that we achieved this goal with just one day to go shows how close it was. I encountered all sorts of obstacles along the way, including a severe lack of wind at crucial times during our journey. I was stranded overnight on a remote island, I had a near miss with a humpback whale and had to kitesurf at night at times to stay on schedule, which definitely isn't recommended!

"It has been a tough few weeks, but all the risks and the physical challenges were worth it, in return for the causes we are highlighting and the two charities we are supporting. Mission to Seafarers support our seafarers and I was privileged to meet their port chaplains in Dar Es Salaam and Mombasa during my journey. African Development Solutions deliver vital grassroots projects in Somalia to tackle some of the root causes of piracy and help to find long-term solutions.

Jacob also spoke about his vision for Mission: Safe Ocean and his ongoing fundraising efforts:

"It may have been me on the surfboard, but I couldn't have started this expedition, let alone achieved my goal, without the wonderful backing of our friends and supporters, particularly our lead partner, Sturrock Grindrod Maritime and the staff of all of their offices along the East African coast.

"This kitesurf journey may be complete, but our mission continues. Our vision is a safe Indian Ocean for all and my dream that it will one day to possible to attempt a 6000+km kitesurf journey from Durban to Djibouti, including over 3,000km along the Somali coastline. Through Mission: Safe Ocean, we hope to help reduce the piracy risk for the benefit of shipping, international trade and all of our seafarers by raising awareness and addressing the root causes of piracy. Our fundraising also continues and I urge anyone that has taken an interest in my mission to please encourage their organisation to support our seafarers and donate to our two charities."

Mission: Safe Ocean is supported by a number of leading shipping organisations, including Sturrock Grindrod Maritime, Neptune Maritime Security, Pacific Basin, Univan Ship Management, Thuraya and BLUE Communications.

The Mission to Seafarers visits ships, addresses seafarers needs and provides counsel and support for those suffering from anxiety of passing through dangerous areas or who have become victims of piracy. During his kitesurf expedition, Jacob met with the Mission to Seafarers port chaplains in Dar Es Salaam and Mombasa to learn more about their invaluable support for seafarers calling at those ports.

African Development Solutions (Adeso) runs local coastal habitat and sustainable fisheries projects in East Africa that address the root causes of piracy, improve food security and provide alternative livelihoods, thereby reducing the appeal of piracy.

Donations to Mission to Seafarers and African Development Solutions can be made at: www.justgiving.com/teams/missionsafeocean. All donations go directly to the two charities.

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