Stein Hoff Soldiers On

Oldest Ocean Rower Passes One Third Mark
Moves Past Site of Early Tragic Attempt

Police Gazette sponsee Stein Hoff has made it safely beyond the one third distance mark on his solo row from New York to England. The Police Gazette was the sole sponsor of the first successful people ever to row across an ocean when we partnered with George Harbo and Frank Samuelsen for their 1896 voyage. They named their boat the “Fox” after the Gazette‘s publisher, and Hoff has named his boat the “Fox II” to honor the original pioneers who were fellow Norwegians.

Largely forgotten to history, however, is the attempt made 12 years before Harbo and Samuelsen—and reported on in the Police Gazette—of one Captain Traynor, who rowed out of New York City on June 26, 1884, but was struck by a steamer about one third of the way across. Traynor, from Bath, Maine, was trying the trip solo, bringing only his cat for companionship. But one night in August, his boat was struck by a steamer in thick fog at latitude N 45° 30′, longitude W 51° 12′. Traynor survived and was picked up on August 25th by a French schooner. No word on whether his cat made it or not.

In spite of battling adverse winds and currents for much of his voyage so far, the 70-year old Stein Hoff is now past the mark where Captain Traynor ended his try and is on his way to matching the great Harbo & Samuelsen.

SteinStein Hoff’s location as of July 6th.

NPG_5-3-1884_p4_RowboatCaptain Traynor and his cat in the boat which he attempted to row across the Atlantic. Picture is from the May 3, 1884, National Police Gazette.

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