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Daily Archives: 19. July 2017 − News & Stories


Polar row: In a row­boat to Spits­ber­gen

If you want to tra­vel to Spits­ber­gen in an envi­ron­men­tal­ly fri­end­ly way, per­haps you should join the­se five men: the Nor­we­gi­an Tor Wigum, the Welsh­man Jeff Wil­lis, the Ame­ri­can Car­lo Fac­chi­no, the Indi­an Roy Tat­ha­ga­ta and the Ice­lan­dic Fiann Paul want to row from Trom­sø to Spits­ber­gen today!

Fiann Paul is the lea­der of this expe­di­ti­on named “Polar Row”. The­re is no doubt about his qua­li­fi­ca­ti­on. He has alre­a­dy crossed the Atlan­tic Oce­an, the Paci­fic Oce­an and the Indi­an Oce­an in record time in a rowing boat. Fiann Paul has pre­pared the expe­di­ti­on for one year. Sin­ce the oars­men can not expect any help from sea curr­ents, they will have to row con­ti­nuous­ly 24 hours a day. In doing so, the team chan­ges with the tasks: Some will row for two hours. During this time, the others may eat, sleep or inspect the boats or their own inju­ries.

It is plan­ned to tra­vel the almost 1000 kilo­me­ters long rou­te in 9 to 13 days. The expe­di­ti­on will arri­ve in Lon­gye­ar­by­en at the latest in the begin­ning of August.

Ple­nty of equip­ment and strong ner­ves

Expe­di­ti­on lea­der Fiann Paul doesn’t worry too much about the phy­si­cal effort or the cold. All par­ti­ci­pan­ts are phy­si­cal­ly and men­tal­ly very strong, he told the news­pa­per Sval­bard­pos­ten. An accom­pany­ing boat is not included, but safe­ty equip­ment such as sur­vi­val suits, res­cue ves­ts, a res­cue boat and a satel­li­te pho­ne. Only if the equip­ment fails or the­re are pro­blems with the boat, it could be dif­fi­cult.

If the expe­di­ti­on suc­ceeds, it should be the first regis­tered rowing tour of this kind. Howe­ver, the­re are sto­ries of peo­p­le who have tra­ve­led the rou­te bet­ween Trom­sø and Spits­ber­gen (or a part of it) in a rowing boat due to a ship­w­reck.

The Barents Sea, also cal­led the devil’s dance flo­or, on a sai­ling ship – that is one thing. It is ano­ther thing on a rowing boat.

Barents Sea

Rowing for a good cau­se

The expe­di­ti­on also pur­sues two fur­ther goals: the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cam­bridge will inves­ti­ga­te how the extre­me tour affects the par­ti­ci­pan­ts psy­che. In addi­ti­on, 20,000 Bri­tish pounds (around € 22,600) are to be coll­ec­ted via a crowd­fun­ding plat­form. With this money a school will be built in the Hima­la­yan regi­on in 2018.

And Lon­gye­ar­by­en is not yet the end of the expe­di­ti­on. After a few days break, they will con­ti­nue to the nor­t­hern­most city of Ice­land Sig­luf­jörður – about 2000 km, also in the rowing boat.

To the expe­di­ti­ons home­page.

Sources: Sval­bard­pos­ten, Polar­row-Home­page

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