Wayne Arthur, of San Francisco, CA, along with Rob Hartman and Billy Bellinger, of Holland, MI, will surfski 79 miles from Racine, WI, to Holland, MI to raise money for H2OpenDoors, on Sunday, July 25.
The three men are all avid paddlers with varying athletic backgrounds. Arthur, CEO of Skyfii, is an impressive endurance athlete who has swum across the English and Rottnest Channels twice. Bellinger, a retired Navy pilot and current American Airlines commercial pilot, has competed in several surfski world masters championships. Hartman, a software engineer, has won national championships in flatwater marathon racing and competed internationally as part of the U.S. team.
“The three of us thought it would be fun to test our endurance and paddle surfskis across Lake Michigan. If successful, we would be the first people to ever do it on surfskis,” explained Arthur. “I have a family connection to Holland and both Rob and Billy are Holland locals, so we wanted to make the finish point our homes.”
”We recognize this is a feat of endurance, so we wanted to raise awareness for a cause in the process.
The three will make their way to Racine to begin their journey at 4 a.m. CST on Sunday, July 25 and plan to arrive in Holland between 6-7 p.m. EST. A chase boat will follow them during their 12-15 hour journey with a tracker that will post updates on their whereabouts. You can follow it here.
Money raised for their journey will go to H2OpenDoors, an organization dedicated to providing clean and safe drinking water to communities in need. In addition to the men’s donation, Causely, Skyfii’s subsidiary company, will also donate.
“We recognize this is a feat of endurance, so we wanted to raise awareness for a cause in the process,” said Arthur. “We chose to support H2OpenDoors to bring awareness to the growing need for clean and safe drinking water. H2OpenDoors educates communities and installs water purification plants that provide 10,000 people with two liters of purified water each day.”
“We are so thankful for this donation, as it helps provide purified water systems to villages and promote self reliance,” said Jon Kaufman, Project Director for H2OpenDoors. “This year we plan to travel to South Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Guatemala, and Mexico to put in water purification enterprises. These enterprises free women from the task of getting water for their families, so they can go to school and have access to other opportunities.”
To support H2OpenDoors, donate here.