Prescient Freedom Paddle hero will inspire others to enter 

 March 16, 2023

As the South African ocean paddling community sets its sights on the annual Prescient Freedom Paddle around Robben Island on April 27, the organising team are still celebrating the recent achievements of one of the event’s driving forces, Richard Kohler.

Kohler recently made history by becoming the first person to kayak solo across the Southern Atlantic Ocean from Cape Town to Salvador in Brazil. His mammoth, two-month unsupported 6 403km journey will provide inspiration for the paddlers who are daunted by the 27km circumnavigation around the famous South African landmark just off the coast of Cape Town.

“It’s been a dream of mine to cross an ocean alone. Paddling a kayak across the ocean has been a ten-year dream and the last five years of planning and execution. I am very relieved that I had what it takes for an adventure like this, but also very grateful that it has come to an end,” said Kohler after arriving in Salvador.

“The experience is one that I will cherish for the rest of my days, but more importantly I hope that my story has inspired others to dream and to act on their dreams. I would like to thank all my sponsors, supporters, followers, donators, my exceptional shore team and my family for getting me across the ocean.”

Kohler also hopes that his journey inspires paddlers contemplating the Prescient Freedom Paddle to take on the somewhat more modest crossing from the Oceana Power Boat Club to Robben Island, and back to the start near Granger Bay Harbour.

While the focus on the April 27 event is on traditional racing surfskis, the event is now open to all human-powered paddle craft, which means stand-up paddle boarders, prone paddlers, ocean sculls and ocean kayaks add to the variety of craft on show on Freedom Day.

Entrants have the option of two distances: The majority of the field will tackle the full 27km route, which takes all competitors around Robben Island. However, for those paddlers not confident enough to take on the open-water crossing to the world-famous island, there is a shorter, 10km option. In this event the competitors will hug the shoreline and travel west past Mouille Point and Green Point, and then to a turning buoy just off Sea Point, before returning back to the start/finish area at the Oceana Power Boat Club.

Paddlers can enter at freedompaddle.co.za/enter/ and there are a variety of different entry phases with significant discounts the earlier paddlers enter. Entries will close on April 14.

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