Shipping Executive begins 1000km kitesurf challenge


Jacob BlikstedPacific Basin shipping executive Jacob Bliksted Sørensen has begun his 1,000km kitesurf challenge between Mozambique and Somalia, in aid of Mission to Seafarers and Adeso (African Development Solutions).

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 root causes of piracy and to support long-term efforts to improve the safety of the Indian Ocean.

His goal is to kitesurf over 1,000 km solo along the coast of East Africa and with just a surfboard and a kite, Jacob will be relying on the power of the wind and waves to make his way along the coastline of Mozambique, Tanzania and Kenya.

The expedition is in aid of two non-profit organisations, the Mission to Seafarers and Adeso (African Development Solutions).  Founded in 1856, the Mission to Seafarers is a charity that provides a wide range of practical welfare and support services for seafarers and their families around the world.  Adeso is an African non-profit organisation that delivers a number of grassroots projects in Somalia and East Africa to tackle some of the causes of piracy, including coastal habitat restoration and sustainable fishing initiatives. All fundraising proceeds raised from Jacob’s expedition will go directly towards the Mission to Seafarers and Adeso.

Jacob’s challenge began in Pemba, Mozambique and is expected to take up to four weeks to complete.  Speaking shortly before he took to the water in Pemba to start his expedition, Jacob explained his motivation for establishing Mission: Safe Ocean: “Through my work in the shipping industry, I see the threats to the safety of the ocean along the East African coast and the costs that are borne by all seafarers, local and international.  We need to find long-term solutions that address the roots causes of piracy and help to make the oceans safer for all seafarers.  My goal with Mission: Safe Ocean and this expedition is to shine a light on these root causes and to raise money for two charities that are doing fantastic work at the grassroots to support coastal communities in Somalia and the 1.5 million seafarers around the world.

“I know how tough this expedition will be, but I believe that we can make a positive difference to the lives of those who bear the brunt of the risks and costs of piracy.  I hope that the international shipping community and everyone who cares about our oceans and our seafarers will get behind our mission and help us to raise funds for the vital work of the Mission to Seafarers and Adeso.”

Sturrock Grindrod Maritime is one of Mission: Safe Ocean’s leading partners, with a network of offices along the East African coast.

Andrew Sturrock, CEO of Sturrock Grindrod Maritime, explained why he supports Jacob’s challenge: “Jacob is taking on a courageous mission in aid of two very worthy causes.  We share Jacob’s commitment to helping to make the oceans safer for all seafarers and to raise awareness of the root causes of piracy.  It’s going to be an incredibly tough challenge for Jacob, but everyone at Sturrock Grindrod Maritime offers our very best wishes to him for strong prevailing winds and full speed.”

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