Achievements and my life as a Heart Patient/Survivor:
Endocarditis Infection & Open Heart Surgery 1. ( 2001)
I Survived and took over a year to rehab and recover, both mentally and physically. In some cases there has not been full recovery. Psychologically and physically this operation knocked me and has permanently effected my speech, concentration, athletic conditioning and mental behavior, mostly negatively. However i have taken positives from the experience and have recovered and do see this world in a better light, and its enabled me to focus on more important things, like this site.
I Bought out my partners in True Blue Travel. And then sold 50% of the business to The Club Travel ( Uni-Palm Group).
In 2002 Started www.www.all-heart.org to assist persons dealing with trauma and medical hardship resulting from heart and other related Operations, diagnosis, recovery etc.
After a year I returned to competition and sports. I Won Gold at WP Lifesaving Champs – Board Rescue and represented Clifton Surf lifesaving Club at many team, Club and National events. I Won club Victor-Ludorum.
I Continued my pursuit and love for surfing bigger waves.
In 2004, I Founded and set up the SHARKSPOTTERS program. ( a non profit, community based program) www.sharkspotters.org.za A world first and the only Shark detection, protection and warning system of its kind in the world. This was eventually picked up by the City of Cape Town, and The (SOS) Save Our Seas Organisation, and has been extended to cover 6 areas in the Western Cape. I remain as Chairperson and adviser.
2006 – Was the first person to ride the Massive Waves at DUNGEONS reef, on a surfski. (along with Rich Kohler)
2006/2007 Re-infection & Open Heart Surgery 2. With further complications and 100 Days in Hospital on IV drips
Again it took me a year to recover mentally and Physically.
I still ( nervously) Traveled extensively, lived part time in Ozz while having a long distance relationship with my wife to be Tracy Heard, and traveled to Indonesia and Madagascar surfing many perfect waves.
2008 -I Started the sport of Stand Up Paddle Surfing ( SUP) in and around 2008.
Married my beautiful wife, Tracy Heard in Yserfontein South Africa on 29 March 2009
-Was a Nominee for Raw Courage Big wave awards 2009 ( Biggest wave ridden 2008/9)
-Won the Coreban SUP Summer Series Event 2008, 2009 and 2010
-I won the Core SUP series 2009 ; 1st place in Downwind SUP Series 2010, 1st in Primi Naish Race Series 2010; 1st in Down Wind Dash 2010; 1st Battle of the Bay 2011
Kodi Rifle Bertish born 22/01/10
-Won GOLD at 2011 SA Champs Lifesaving – Masters Surf Ski
Started www.oceanriders.co.za ; the first online Stand Up Paddle Board company in South Africa, offering lessons, rentals, sales and info.
-Ryder Bertish Born 29/01/12
-Represented South Africa at the 2012 World SUP Champs ; 16 th in Marathon; surf race finalist; 3rd with my Brother Chris in Team Relay, and over all Bronze Medal Winners, Team South Africa.
The future awaits – its exciting.
VIEW PHOTO GALLERY HERE