Freya Hoffmeister, the “Woman in Black”, lives in Husum, North Germany, when she’s not traveling for sea kayaking around the world. She’s either picking her van, tent or a rental car to sleep in, independence is her lifestyle. She’s kayaked around Australia, the South island of New Zealand and Iceland.
Freya is accomplished in several styles of paddling, including marathon racing, Greenland style rolling, expedition paddling and rough water kayaking, and who knows what else she’s going to try next…she seems to choose boats, paddles and gear depending on the conditions, her moods, and by pure chance. A squeeze into a squirt boat, a sidestep to white water rivers, a sprint and balance act on a surf ski, it’s all about variety in life! No time for her to get bored, and when you see her having fun playing around or experience her endurance on a race or trip, you might feel what a kayaker’s life is all about.
Freya won the Arctic Sea Kayak Race in Norway 2004, placed 2nd in the 300 km race around the Danish Island Fyn, and took 14:07 hrs for a 120 km one-days trip around the Isle of Man.
Greenland style rolling has become her trademark. She has not only mastered most of the 35 Greenland rolls in a very short period of time, but has also made up some of her own, and added some creative balancing movements ON the kayak. Freya won the overall women’s class on the 2006 Greenland national championships. Her total of 8 gold medals in rolling and races makes her the most successful foreign competitor ever. Having been a former gymnast, bodybuilder and skydiver, Freya has the balance and flexibility needed for rolling. Soon after she started Greenland style rolling, she was already teaching rolls at symposiums all over the world.
She’s been a guest teacher in Japan, New Zealand, America, Canada, Sweden, Great Britain, Denmark, Holland, Scotland, Spain, Israel and Germany – so far! Combining this teaching with various kayaking trips in the area has been a most efficient way of traveling for the last three years.
Freya started her ‘longer’ expeditions career with a three weeks trip in May 2006 on the remote South Coast of Newfoundland, where she joined Wendy Killoran. Her appetite was wettened now for longer trips on even more challenging coastlines!
Together with her trip partner Greg Stamer, she circumnavigated Iceland in June 2007 in the record time of 33 days/ 25 paddling days only.
A solo trip around the challenging and unforgivable coast line of New Zealand’s South Island made her the first woman to circumnavigate, and the 4th person overall, again in the record solo time of 70 days/ 47 paddling days only. Freya recently became the second person to complete a 15,000km circumnavigation of Australia. She achieved this very impressive trip in 11 months and survived a shark attack on her kayak, and a 7 day and night crossing of the Gulf of Carpenteria.
Freya is part of Justine Curgeven’s “This is the Sea III” video.