Rowing specialist completes trip around the most beautiful and important sea island in Brazil

Rowing specialist completes trip around the most beautiful and important sea island in Brazil


Roberta Borsari is a Brazilian athlete who has more than 15 years’ experience in sports linked to canoeing. Since 2010 she has undertaken some first-time ever trips and expeditions on her stand up paddle board. This relationship with the board led the athlete to choose the island of Fernando de Noronha for yet another of her exploits.

The archipelago, which is famous for its natural beauty, is located in northeast Brazil and considered by UNESCO to be a World Heritage Site. In addition to being an important environmental reserve, it has the title of the best place for diving in Brazil and one of the best in the world.

Strong sea currents coming from Africa to the north of the island made the standup paddle board trip even more complex, technical and strategic.

In carrying out this challenge, Roberta relied on the experience she acquired during her trips around Easter Island in Chile and the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador, which offer conditions similar to those around the Brazilian island. Even though she faced the challenge of strong winds and powerful currents, the athlete finished the 50 km circumnavigation in 7 hours.


During her time on the archipelago, Roberta Borsari also dived with dolphins and documented the day-to-day life of local communities and the environmental work being done by the National Park (ICMBio). The reason for this is that the trip forms part of a bigger project called “SUPtravessias” (, the objective of which is to register from a female and SUP viewpoint the natural beauty, curiosities, history and culture of some of the most interesting islands in the world.

“This was a challenging trip, but at the same time one of the most beautiful I’ve ever done. It provided me with an incredible experience on the high seas and I learned humility, given the success we had under extreme conditions, which was the result of teamwork”, says the athlete.


One of Roberta’s main characteristics is her pioneering spirit. She was the first woman in the world to surf the pororoca [tidal bore] on the Araguari River in the Brazilian Amazon region in 2011, a phenomenon caused by the meeting of tides that can produce waves up to 2 m high traveling at 40km. She has also faced the challenges offered when kayaking on various rivers in Brazil and was the first-ever person to attempt various standup paddle board trips.

In addition to all these feats, Roberta’s background also includes various rafting, outrigger and kayak slalom titles. Today she is one of the top 10 world kayak surf athletes, with the best position in the ranking of anyone (men and women) from Latin America and collecting medals in the main international events in the sport.

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