Rowing single-handed across the Atlantic wearing SeaWind suit
Stein Hoff from Norway (71) rowed across the North Atlantic single-handed. He christened his boat “Fox II”, naming it after the original boat belonging to Georg Harbo and Gabriel “Frank” Samuelsen who with their “Fox” were the first ever to row across the Atlantic. That was 120 years ago in 1896. They rowed from New York to the Isles of Scilly, England, in just 55 days, an incredible feat that few know about and that Hoff wants to put the spotlight on.
Hoff’s own words before the expedition:
“I’ll row in Habo and Samuelsens wake, but start almost three weeks earlier than they did, in the knowledge that I am going to spend a lot more time in a larger, well-equipped and, therefore, far heavier boat. My start is from Manhattan, New York, on May 15 and I expect to arrive after about 90 days. The boat will be shipped from Drammen, Norway, and I fly after on May 5.”
“I have many years’ experience from ocean rowing and ocean racing. I rowed the Mid-Atlantic route from the Canary Islands to Barbados in 1997 with a friend in 69 days. In February 1999, my daughter, Elisabeth Hoff, tried and became the first woman to row solo across an ocean. Unfortunately, she got marooned for 10 days in bad weather near the Cape Verde Islands, the boat ended up with the keel in the air and a survival suit saved her life.”
“After that we built a new boat and later that year let my wife, Diana Hoff, set off on the same trip. An American woman who had marooned on a previous attempt started simultaneously with Diana and got to the Caribbean before her, but Diana was the first European woman to row across an ocean alone.”
“In 2002 I rowed alone and without support from Lisbon, Portugal, to Pareka, Guyana in 97 days. I was the first to have rowed from Europe to the South American continent. I must admit that I didn’t have a survival suit on the trip, only a life raft. But now that I shall row from America to England it’s going to be much colder with more unstable weather so I need to have a survival suit. Maybe I’ll use it on cold, windy, rainy days and not just keep it in reserve for serious emergencies.”
“My Hansen Protection SeaWind Survival Suit and Sea Lion lifejacket will give me and my family extra security.”
The boat is 24 feet (7.2 m), professionally built in fiberglass in England in 2009 and has been used for two trips across the Atlantic, and from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean. The last time was with the Swedes Erik Grafström and Stefan Erlandsson in 2013/14. The boat is well equipped in terms of safety and in excellent condition. It has two places for rowing and has been renamed “Fox II” (in memory of Harbo and Samuelsen). On board will be two pairs of carbon fiber oars, an electrical fresh water machine type Katadyn 40 (with manual back-up), 150 liters of freshwater cum ballast and spare drinking water below deck, food for at least 110 days (mostly freeze-dried food), standard safety gear including a Viking life raft, automatic position transmitter (AIS and Yellow Brick 3) and EPIRB, a SeaWind suit with and without lining and a SeaLion lifejacket from Hansen Protection. The boat will have communications equipment, including a VHF radio and Iridium Satellite phone.