Kokatat Sponsors First Attempt to Circumnavigate Svalbard Archipelago

Tuesday, 29 April 2008
Kokatat LogoArcata, CA - In June 2008, Alon Ohad and Tim Starr will attempt the first ever circumnavigation of the Svalbard archipelago which consists of the three main islands Spitsbergen, Nordaustlandet, and Edgeøya plus a number of smaller islands. The archipelago is the northern most part of Norway and is located between latitude 75 to 81 degrees north. The Islands are some of the closest landmasses to the North Pole and are home to some of Europe's largest and most spectacular glaciers.

The expedition will commence at Longyearbyen (Spitsbergen Island) where the team will paddle clockwise to circumnavigate Nordaustlandet and Edgeøya. Being so close to the Arctic Circle will provide close to 24 hours of daylight, all of which will be needed for some of the 18 hour paddling days that they anticipate as they travel past steep ice walls that make up some of the coastline.

The1700 kilometre journey is expected to take the team approximately ten weeks. "Being completely self supported our biggest concern is not, having a run in with a roaming polar bear or negotiating the ice pack, but running low on food or fuel. We expect the trip will be immensely challenging but also a visually rewarding feast of stunning coastlines, breathtaking fjords and an array of wildlife" says Alon Ohad, Team Leader.

Alon Ohad, a world travelled veteran of sea kayaking, has a solid background of extreme expedition paddling. His taste for adventure has seen him negotiating the wild coastlines of Tasmania, Stewart Island and Ireland. At present Alon is working as a software developer and sea kayak guide in Tel Aviv, Israel and is devoting much of his spare time to honing his white water kayaking skills in preparation for a trip to India in September.

At 32, Tim Starr is an avid talented and enthusiastic white water kayaker. With 15 years of experience under his spray deck Tim has had the chance to paddle in 6 out of the 7 continents. Tim is currently working as a raft guide and safety kayaker in British Columbia, Canada and when not working can be found hucking 40 foot waterfalls and organising whitewater river expeditions. Although a relative novice to sea kayaking, Tim will be bringing with him to Svalbard a vast wealth of outdoor experience and knowledge.

For more information please visit the expedition website at http://www.ohad.info/svalbard.


Get "Into the Water" with Kokatat Watersports Wear, an independent manufacturer committed to growing the sport since 1971! Please contact Lisa Beckstead, Kokatat Public Relations representative, at (775) 225-8039, or

e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Visit us at www.kokatat.com.
David Johnston

David Johnston

David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.

Strategic partner

Paddle Canada Logo