Thursday, January 03, 2008

Long-distance Paddler News

Seems this is the season for determined kayakers down under to set records, or a least try to.

Just the other day, German kayaker Freya Hoffmeister became the first woman to circumnavigate New Zealand's South Island in a kayak. The 43-year-old took 70 days to complete her trip, which was expected to take three months.

The first man to complete the same task did so in 1978, but only two more people have managed it since. But hot on her heels are two other women hoping to share the glory. A Swedish woman started the trip a couple of weeks ago, and a Welsh woman is planning to begin in late February.

Also, a group of four paddlers have finished crossing the Tasman Sea from New Zealand to Australia, the first to do so without the help of sails. The waters are notoriously nasty, and a solo paddler recently died just off the coast of New Zealand's South Island trying to complete the crossing in the other direction.
There is a pair of kayakers also trying to make the trip from Australia to New Zealand after starting their crossing on November 13, 2007. Their original plan was to arrive in Auckland on Christmas Eve, but big waves and high winds have been working against them, and the pair are still trying to get through the last few hundred kilometres!
It all sounds like very hard work to me. Think I'll stick to paddling around in more sheltered waters, like Wellington Harbour!

Photos via Yahoo-Xtra and

1 comment:

Maple Kiwi said...

Just a quick follow-up. The two kayakers finally made it to land, at New Plymouth. They were greeted by a crowd of about 8,000 who had gathered by the beach to see them complete their voyage.

The pair were in good physical and mental condition considering their 62 days at sea. They are said to be already planning their next adventure.