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Press Releases

Nikwax Sponsors Paddler Sonya Baumstein in her Solo Row from Japan to California

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Seattle, Wash. (June 25, 2014) – Nikwax athlete and accomplished paddler Sonya Baumstein currently is training to be the first person to complete a 5,700-nautical mile solo row from Choshi, Japan to San Francisco, California in 2015.

Baumstein, 28, has an extensive adventure resume. Most recently in 2013, Baumstein became the first person to SUP the Bering Strait from Big Diomede to Alaskan mainland, just north of Wales, AK. The year prior, in 2012, she sea kayaked from Seattle to Juneau, AK; and in 2011, Baumstein successfully rowed across the Atlantic, from the Canary Islands to Barbados.

Sonya Baumstein

Inspired by more than just her spirit of adventure, Baumstein’s motivation is also driven by her commitment to raise awareness for climate change. During her solo row from Japan to San Francisco, Baumstein will collect information that will be analyzed by NASA to increase knowledge of how global warming is impacting our oceans. Baumstein’s boat will be outfitted with a device that measures ocean salinity, temperature and depth.

As the global leader in environmentally safe aftercare and waterproofing solutions, Nikwax is passionate about helping athletes – including Baumstein – achieve their outdoor adventure goals. “We at Nikwax believe that a passion for the outdoors and adventure goes hand-in-hand with the desire to help protect our environment,” said Heidi Allen, Marketing Director for Nikwax N.A. “Therefore, we are thrilled to be sponsoring Sonya on her upcoming voyages. She is an amazing athlete who is not only an intrepid adventurer, but also a supporter of scientific study and education.”

To help Baumstein achieve her goal, Nikwax will outfit Baumstein’s boat with the Spectra Rowboat 150 water maker that is vital to her expedition. The water maker will supply Baumstein’s drinking water, as well as the water she will use to properly clean and care for her gear during her journey. Nikwax also will supply Baumstein with products – including Tech Wash, TX.Direct, Polar Proof and BaseWash Travel Gel – to help clean and maintain the water repellency of her gear to assure she stays dry and warm during her journey.

Baumstein is an accomplished ocean rower, paddler and backcountry adventurer, all of which make her an impressive addition to the Nikwax team of athletes. To follow Baumstein and her expeditions, visit her website at

Watch Sonya’s Bering Strait journey here:

For more information about Nikwax and its team of athletes, visit

About Nikwax®:

Nikwax® was founded in 1977 by Nick Brown, a keen mountain walker and traveler, who designed his own product, a waterproofing wax, to keep his leather mountain boots dry.

Subsequently Nikwax has become the global leader in environmentally safe aftercare and waterproofing solutions that extend the life and performance of technical footwear, clothing and equipment. Nikwax is the only major aftercare company to have never used aerosols or fluorocarbons. Nikwax products are all fluorochemical-free, use advanced elastomer technology, are not tested on animals, and are non persistent in the environment. Nikwax has received numerous awards including the prestigious Queen’s Award (4x), Sunday Times Best Green Award (3x), and the Green Apple Award, and is ISO 9001 and 14001 certified.

The recent global awareness of serious environmental problems with PFC based products has stimulated Nikwax to refocus on the development of a “PFC Treatment Free” industrial standard for Outdoor brands, and to promote the concept of waterproof directionality internationally.


Easier ·Safer · Drier