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Home* News and Stories → Polar row: In a rowboat to Spitsbergen

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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last modification: 2017-07-20 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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