To celebrate Women’s Day it’s only fit to salute Freya Hoffmeister, a woman, and a mother, who has achieved the ultimate feat, the entirely unthinkable in anybody’s terms, by paddling around all of South America, a distance of 37000 kilometres [23000 miles]. This has to go down as the greatest endurance feat of all time. Adventure and expedition paddlers being typically modest about their achievements, word of her utterly staggering performance is only now reaching the public at large and it’s being met with disbelief and incomprehension, as well it should be! Whilst the world is engaged in the trials and chores of daily living, one individual has stepped up to achieve what few will ever contemplate, never-mind doing! Departing 30 August 2011 and returning to her point of departure in Buenos Aires on 3 May 2015, Freya stepped into the history books. Hers is an
achievement for all humankind, but particularly for women, proving once and for all, if it was ever in doubt, that the gentler sex has the ability, tenacity and will-power to take on all challenges. Building up to this gargantuan performance, Hoffmeister circumnavigated Iceland in 2007, covering 1400 kms [830 miles], South Island, New Zealand in 2008, doing 2700 kms [1700 miles] and in 2009, Australia, covering 13800 kms [8570 miles]. In total she has covered approximately 55000 kms in 9 years.
Spare a thought for Oscar Speck who set off on the Danube in 1932 and arrived in Australia in 1939 having covered a distance of 48000 kms [30000 miles] in an open, wooden-framed canoe. A small exhibit in the National Maritime Museum in Sydney bears testimony to this unheralded achievement in the time of Amelia Earheart’s flying and the adventures of the celebrated Richard Haliburton. On the expedition side Ranulph Fiennes’ record speaks for itself [see]. On the fanatical and obsessive side of things one may want to throw in the name too of Mohan Das [Lotan Baba] who rolled, yes rolled, 30000 kms across the whole of India, but Hoffmeister’s sheer endurance in a sleek, but dangerous sit-inside kayak, mostly paddling solo and unassisted along the
world’s great oceans, including around Cape Horn, takes first prize. PaddleYak SEA KAYAKS and REAL CAPE ADVENTURES salute Freya Hoffmeister whose grace, beauty and commitment personifies womanhood, for her incredible performance in a humble kayak.

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