This past Friday, May 13th, at a vastly underreported event given the backing of Ripley’s Believe it Or Not, a Norwegian named Stein Hoff began a solo rowing expedition across the Atlantic Ocean from North Cove Marina, in Battery Park – the recent scene of the America’s Cup. Hoff is recreating the first transatlantic rowing of the Atlantic Ocean from 1896, a feat that two Norwegian Americans, George Harbo and Gabriel Samuelsen completed in an 18-foot oak boat over the course of 55 days. Harbo and Samuelson also left from New York City, but from Battery Park. Their record would not be broken for 114 years, but the 2010 journey required four rowers.
Hoff is 70 years old and it is estimated he will spend 90 days at sea aboard the Fox II, named after the boat used by Harbo and Samuelsen. The Fox II is far more equipped than its predecessor, featuring GPS, a satellite phone, and VHF radio. The important common factor: there is no motor. He will cover somewhere between 2500 to 3000 nautical miles (2300 to 3500 miles) and his course will be updated every four hours on the Ripley’s website.
The items used by Hoff will become part of the collection at Ripley’s Believe It or Not. The original 1896 voyage was included in Robert Ripley’s first Ripley’s Believe It or Not book. Stay tuned on the organization’s website for updated on Hoff’s voyage.
Next, read about the Secrets of Battery Park.