First Circumnavigation of South America By Kayak
The Feat: It took four years for Freya Hoffmeister to complete her groundbreaking 16,000-mile journey around South America. The German paddler left Buenos Aires in August 2011 heading south en route to the most dangerous part of her trip: the notoriously choppy and windswept Drake’s Passage. She skirted the entire Pacific coast from Chile to Colombia between 2012 and 2013 before crossing back into the Atlantic via the Panama Canal. It was the tidewashed northeastern corner of South America that proved one of the greatest challenges of the trip — one that pushed her arrival date back in Buenos Aires to May 3, 2015. The trip took about 30 months of solo paddling spread across four legs, with trips back to Germany in the middle.
Previous Record: Hoffmeister is the first to kayak the circumference of South America.
The Near-Miss Moment: When Hoffmeister got caught in 60-knot winds near Cape Horn she had to make an emergency crash landing on a remote island in the Tierra del Fuego archipelago. She also got caught in a tidal wave on the Amazon that dragged her for 5 miles through complete darkness.
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