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Captain Willem Schouten / Jacob Le Maire

The first to be honoured on the IACH Cape Horn Hall of Fame board in Les Sables d’Olonne are Dutch Captain Willem Schouten and his Flemish compatriot Jacob Le Maire who first discovered Cape Horn in 1616.

They named it Cape Horn in recognition of the Dutch city of Hoorn where their fleet of ships had set out from and where Schouten was born.

Captain Jacob Le Maire’s father, a prosperous merchant from Antwerp, had sponsored the voyage to find a western route to the Pacific Ocean and spice islands to circumvent the trade restrictions imposed by the Dutch East India Company. The Strait of Le Maire, the infamous channel northeast of Cape Horn separating the mainland from Staten Island, was named after him.

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