Polar Race - Arctic 2003


Polar Race News

5 April 2003 - The teams in the Polar Race start their training in Iqaluit

The serious stuff started with a briefing from Paul and Matty who have arranged all the pre-race training. The organisers hit their first snag when the boots did not fit the ski bindings. Immediate modifications were carried out that addressed the problem. As well as not fitting, the straps were barely long enough and had to be lengthened. Fortunately, Iqaluit came up trumps with a lady who stitched longer straps (34 of them!).

Then the teams and the organisers (except Jock) took to the ice on skis and had their first experience of sleeping out on the sea ice. Temperatures were approaching -30C. As well as being a new experience for most of the racers it was also a learning experience for the non-arctic organisers. On the morning of Friday 4th April Paul took the Initial Style Explorers and the Polar Team for a session on skis and Matty worked with the ViP3 and Extreme Steps teams.

Initial Style Explorers Polar Team Extreme Steps
Strong winds made conditions difficult both for breaking camp and working on skis. The wind chill factor took the temperature down to -40C.

Norman Butler Unfortunately, the Extreme Steps team and the race itself suffered a blow when Norman Butler felt he had to pull out for personal reasons.

Norman, who has rowed the Atlantic said, "It was not the conditions we experienced last night. I could handle those."

The race entourage moves on to Resolute today (Sat 5th April) for further workshops and ice training.

3 April 2003 - The racers arrived in Canada with all luggage intact; well that is for all except the ViP3 team...

L-Plate Pulk

The ViP3 team of Casper Hayes, Babs Powell and Richard Raine are all geared up for the Polar Race.

However, they're missing the L-plates for Babs' pulk!

And putting a brave face on a separate loss, Richard says,
  "So far so good... Hope the Canadian Customs enjoy our butter."

2 April 2003 - Four teams of intrepid racers gathered at Heathrow Airport today to begin the first leg of their journey which will take them to the far Canadian North to compete in "probably the world's toughest race." Luggage

At the Air Canada desk in Terminal 3 at Heathrow Airport a separate check-in desk had been set up to cope with the sheer volume of luggage required by the racers and organisors of the first ever Polar Race.

All seemed relieved as at long last the adventure was under way.

No more training sessions in "warm" climates; this is the beginning of the beginning and a competition in the Arctic the like of which has never been seen before.

God speed to all the contestants.

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The Polar Race is organised by Polar Adventures Ltd,
18 Neville Road, Kingston, Surrey, KT1 3QX, UK.
Tel: +44 (0)20 8549 1457, Fax: +44 (0)20 8241 7914
Email: info@polar-race.co.uk


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