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Freya Hoffmeister is One Leg Closer: Circumnavigating South America

Published on 6/7/2014
Source: Press Release from Freya Hoffmeister

On August 30th 2011, Freya Hoffmeister, arguably world’s most famous sea kayaker, will start her trip to become the first person to paddle the entire coast line of the South American continent. The 47-year-old business owner from Husum, Germay will start in Buenos Aires/ Argentina in the middle of the East Coast.

Paddling clockwise, she will head South on the Atlantic Ocean towards Cape Horn. Freya will round the Cape plus the southernmost big island of South America, Tierra del Fuego. Heading north again she’ll be travelling through the beautiful Fjordlands of Patagonia/ Chile on the Pacific coast. Freya will end her first stage in Valparaiso, the main harbor just off Santiago de Chile, having paddled roughly 8,000 km in eight months. In between legs she plans to return to Husum for some time to spend with her 15-year-old son and attend to her two ice cream shops and a Christmas shop.

Starting again in September 2012, Freya will head north along the West Coast along the mountainous countries of Peru and Ecuador. After crossing the equator, she’ll pass Colombia, paddles through the Panama Canal, along the rest of Columbia, through Venzuela and end the second stage in Georgetown, Guyana, after another 8,000 km and about eight months of paddling. 

Stage three picks up again in September 2013 and takes her past the tropical countries of Suriname, Guayane, Brazil and Uruguay and back south to Buenos Aires, Argentina. She will finish the last 8,000 km stage some time in 2015.

In all, she’ll have paddled along 13 countries, traveled as far south as the 55th latitude and as far north as the 15th, and crossed the equator twice.

The trip around the world’s fourth-largest continent will be her fourth big adventure.

Her previous trips took her in 2007 around Iceland in a record 33 days. Three months later, she became the first woman to round the notoriously-rough South Island of New Zealand in a record 77 days, solo and unsupported.

On January 18, 2009, she paddled out of Melbourne, heading east to become the first woman solo and just the second person rounding Australia by sea kayak. Along the route she encountered salt water crocodiles, Great White sharks, venomous sea snakes and deadly jelly fish, massive surf, an eight-day open-water crossing and hundreds of miles of sheer cliffs without any landing zones. She also had to deal with tropical heat, cyclones and the challenge of obtaining drinking water and food – not to mention the physical toll of averaging upwards of 60 km per day. 332 days and 13.800 km later, the kayaker known as “The Woman in Black”, closed the circle and set another record.

Once having circled South America, Freya will probably have paddled more miles than any expedition sea kayaker ever has done.

To follow Freya's progress:

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