Atlantic pedal: Interview with Robyn Wolff

So long as you have breath you can do something.
(Correne Coetzer) Yesterday we talked to Davey du Plessis about his upcoming 6500km custom built pedal boat expedition across the Atlantic Ocean from South Africa to Brazil. His mom, Robyn Wolff, is joining him. When successful, they will be become the first mother and son team to pedal across any ocean.

Robyn grew up in a house with sporty parents, her father an Olympic medalist and her mother, at 74, still running every day, she told Pythom. Apart from exercising consistently, concentrating mostly on yoga in the last months for a holistic preparation, Robyn says she has always had a very disciplined life with good habits. For this crossing, she emphasizes, mental endurance is going to be the biggest requirement.

When not on the pedal boat, Robyn is in a private practice as a registered counsellor in Durban (South Africa), specializing in trauma and addictions. She also designs and makes silver jewellery. Robyn has another son called Richie. “He is overseas doing great things with his life. He has an independent spirit and gives me as much joy and pride as Davey does,” she tells Pythom.

PYTHOM: Why did I decide to go with Davey?

ROBYN: My motivation for wanting to join Davey is a personal one catapulted by my life experiences. Besides caring for our environment and all who inhabit it, I feel a deep sadness for the atrocities that so many innocent animals and humans have to endure. My personal motivations are to inspire woman to be self-reliant which creates more control in their lives. I also want to inspire kindness in others especially to one another and to all creatures with whom we share this planet.

PYTHOM: You grew up in house where sport was important. Also in particular, tell us about your father and what you have learned from him please.

ROBYN: I grew up in a home where we all had to get up early and be productive. Laziness was not an option. My mother ran every day and still does. She is 74. My father was an Olympic athlete. He ran in the 400m race in 1956 and 1960, coming third in the world. I was fortunate to have had parents who modeled kindness and healthy lifestyles.

I learnt from my dad the huge power of kindness and gentleness, he never raised his voice to me once in his life. He understood my nature, mentored and guided me throughout my life. He always raised me to a higher standard throughout my life. My mother, still the rock of our family, has been and still is the most inspiring kind human being that I know.

PYTHOM: You will be physically challenged with this trip, how do you stay fit?

ROBYN: Physical challenges on the trip will be the sleep deprivation and the challenges placed on the body and legs due to the pedaling. The confined space will be a challenge but we will have to make continuous adjustments according to what is required to maintain ourselves whilst we are on the ocean.

I have been exercising consistently all my life. And have concentrated mostly on yoga in the last months, which prepares one holistically for such an adventure, and I have always had a very disciplined life with good habits which also helps on such times which we are to go through.

Mental endurance is going to be the biggest requirement during the crossing.

PYTHOM: Anything else?

ROBYN: Last but not least I have a love for all of humanity. I seem to feel the atrocities that I see around me more than the good things. I think this comes from being a typical empath. So I hope to find some meaning in all of the sadness I see around me and to make a difference in someone else’s life and to create an awareness of how we need to look after this planet as it is showing signs of collapse from humans destroying it. No one can afford to not care about this. It saddens me to see what happens to animals and nature.

So I am motivated by doing something out of my comfort zone to show people that anything is possible and everyone can make a difference. So long as you have breath you can do something.


Estimated start date: End of November 2015 (Weather Window Permitting)

Estimated duration: 3 – 6 months

Start point: Hout Bay, Cape Town

End Point: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Distance: 6500 km

#oceans #atlantic #daveyduplessis #robynwolff #pedaltheocean #pedaltheatlantic


Live tracking at

Previous in the link below: Amazon-left-for-dead, Davey du Plessis’ next adventure, with his mother