Kayaker Finishes First Paddle Around South America

Freya Hoffmeister completed the journey around South America in an 18-foot kayak in just under four years.     Photo: Freya Hoffmeister

Kayaker Finishes First Paddle Around South America

Made the trip in 857 days

Nearly four years after setting out from Buenos Aires, German paddler Freya Hoffmeister became the first person to circumnavigate South America in a kayak. The trip, which she completed Friday, took her to 13 countries along 15,000 miles of the South American coast.

Hoffmeister spent 857 days on the water, with breaks along the way for recuperating and trips home to Germany, according to the German Canoe Association. She took a clockwise route around the continent, through the Drake Passage, up the west coast, and through the Panama Canal, Adventure Blog reports. Her 18-foot kayak sustained damaged at points, and she had to contend with the wind and current.

“Thank God I am still alive,” Hoffmeister wrote on her blog upon completion of the expedition. “Thanks to my family, thanks to my friends.”

This wasn’t Hoffmeister’s first jaunt around a continent. In 2009, she completed an unassisted circumnavigation of Australia, becoming the first woman and second person to do so, according to the Stabroek News. Along with kayaker Greg Stamer, Hoffmeister also set the record for the fastest-ever sea kayak trip around Iceland in 2007, making it in at 33 days.


Adidas and Spotify Build Running App

The app matches music playlists with pace.     Photo: Spotify

Adidas and Spotify Build Running App

Will match music with runner’s pace

German sports apparel giant Adidas has partnered with music-streaming service Spotify on Adidas Go, a mobile app for runners, according to a press release published Wednesday. In addition to keeping track of a runner’s distance, speed, and progress, the app tracks the user’s stride rate and then plays songs with a matching tempo.

“For the first time, instead of runners listening to music, music will listen to runners,” Adrian Leek, general manager of Adidas Running, said in the press release. “Adidas Go lets your energy level control the music that plays during your run, so you’re always in control.”

Instead of assembling a workout music mix before heading out for a run, Adidas Go users can allow Spotify to choose songs that match their taste by analyzing the styles of music in the user’s own digital collection. At the end of their run, in addition to reviewing their distance and pace on Adidas’s miCoach fitness tracker, users can also look back at the tracks they’ve been listening to and explore new styles of music.


USA Cycling Selects New CEO

Derek Bouchard-Hall is a former U.S. pro criterium champion.     Photo: Flowizm/Flickr

USA Cycling Selects New CEO

Derek Bouchard-Hall replaces Steve Johnson

The USA Cycling board of directors announced on Thursday that Derek Bouchard-Hall will take over as the organization’s new CEO and president in June, according to Cycling News. Bouchard-Hall is a former U.S. pro criterium champion and executive at online cycling retailer Wiggle.

“I could not be more excited to be returning to the sport I love at this time in its history,” Bouchard-Hall told Cycling News. “We hope to capitalize on the very positive aspects of cycling, including the growth of women’s cycling and the broadening of participation in cycling by those seeking to improve their fitness and well-being. I can’t wait to get started.”

Bouchard-Hall, 45, is a former member of the U.S. national cycling team. The Massachusetts native was on American-based teams Shaklee from 1994 to 1998 and Mercury Cycling Team from 1998 until he retired from professional cycling in 2002. He also holds degrees in structural engineering from Stanford, architectural engineering from Princeton, and an MBA from Harvard Business School. His post-cycling career includes consulting jobs with Ernst & Young in Boston and McKinsey in London. He joined Wiggle in 2011.

Bouchard-Hall will take over as CEO and president this summer. Former CEO Steve Johnson will remain on board likely through the end of the year, Stapleton said.


Ueli Steck* Nepal

A helicopter over Everest.     Photo: Grayson Schaffer

Himex Abandons Everest Climb

Last team on south side pulls out

New Zealander Russell Brice, owner of outfitter Himalayan Experience (Himex), the last major commercial expedition that was considering a south side Everest climb, announced Friday that he is pulling his team from the mountain this year.

After assessing the situation in Nepal following the April 25 earthquake that killed thousands and badly damaged Everest climbing infrastructure, Brice posted on the Himex website that his team will not pursue a summit.

“Now having considered all facts, I can tell you that we will not be continuing any of our ascents in Nepal this season,” Brice wrote.

The realities that led to Brice’s decision include a “lack of logistics, and of course the dramatic situation in Nepal at present,” he wrote. Himex was the last team considering a summit attempt. And after Chinese officials closed the north side of the mountain Tuesday, it’s unlikely any team will make a push this season.

Brice pledged to get his team safely off the mountain, cooperate with Nepalese officials, and to help search for missing trekkers, guides, and porters. 

“We will continue to support all of our staff and their families during this difficult time,” Brice wrote.

Clients of Himex included Under Armour senior director of innovation Nick Cienski, who was heading a project called the 6 Summits Challenge. The project sought to raise awareness on human trafficking by climbing six Himalayan peaks in one year. The team aimed to climb Everest, Lhotse, and Makalu this season, but is abandoning them “out of respect for the families and individuals who have lost lives and homes during this terrible disaster,” according to an April 30 press release.