Bringing an Ocean X smile this Christmas

Richard Kohler’s two years of planning for his incredible Ocean X adventure has now come to fruition as he embarks on his journey this Friday.

Ocean X has always been Richard’s dream. No one has ever attempted to kayak across the Southern Atlantic Ocean and the 52-year-old is on track to make history when he departs from Granger Bay in a North Westerly direction to Salvador in Brazil

The journey will take between 60 and 80 days to complete with Richard paddling on an 8m-long kayak constructed out of carbon fibre, making it lighter and easier to use. He will use a custom-made pebble and CS1 blade which is about 260-270 cm long.

Richard aims to raise R100 000 for Operation Smile, which will bring many a smile for Christmas. He has named his kayak Osiyeza, inspired by Johnny Clegg’s 1993 hit, The Crossing. Osiyeza means “We are coming” in isiZulu.

He will consume around six litres of water and eat mostly freeze-dried foods with minimal carbohydrates. In terms of communication, Kohler will have a Thales Vessellink that is used to provide global satellite coverage for maritime communications. Through this, he will be able to send photos, videos and emails.

Richard will also have an Iridium Handheld Satellite phone for voice calls and texting in case of emergencies. SMD in partnership with the AST Group have sponsored the equipment and airtime for both units, bringing Richard’s adventure to life for his Ocean X supporters who can follow his progress on social media.

Operation Smile
Operation Smile is a global surgical non-profit that improves the health and dignity of patients living with cleft lip and cleft palate in low- and middle-income countries. Since 1982, Operation Smile has been committed to providing patients with health that lasts through life-saving cleft surgeries and comprehensive care, helping them to better breathe, eat, speak and live lives of greater quality and confidence. Its training and education programs elevate safe surgical standards and strengthen a global network to reach more people earlier in their lives. Learn more at or by following @opsmilesa on social media.

For every R6,000 raised another child can receive a life-changing operation. Richard aims to raise over R100k for Operation Smile.

Ronel Visagie, Operation Smile’s Marketing Coordinator, said, “It is an honour to have someone like Richard Kohler choose Operation Smile as his beneficiary and take up such an enormous challenge, to help raise funds for kids and adults born with a cleft lip and palate – to help change lives; one smile at a time.’

Please consider donating to Operation Smile through the Givengain fundraiser:


The Treble team wish Richard all the very best on his incredible journey and we are behind him all the way to Brazil.

You can follow Richard’s Ocean X journey on all of these various platforms.