Meet the Men of the World Record-Breaking Polar Row Expedition
After 12 days of constant rowing, first man-powered vessel reaches the polar ice cap.
Imagine rowing 90 minutes on and 90 minutes off for 12 days straight through waves as high as 20 feet during freezing temperatures and bone-chilling winds, all while sitting in an open-air, 29-foot boat with no sails or motor.
Out on the water in the last few days before leaving Tromsø. The Expedition will start any day now when the weather is right & the crew is ready… Fiann, Carlo, Tor, Roy & Jeff in the boat taking strokes on the cold Norwegian water. #polarrow #rowing #expedition #training #preparation #norway #Svalbard #oceanrowing #records #explore #adventure
But that’s what one team of intrepid explorers did as part of the ‘Polar Row,’ to be the first man-powered vessel to reach the polar ice-cap. They broke 11 world records along the way.
A five-man team began the rowing journey on July 20 in Tromsø, Norway, and rowed 520 nautical miles in nine days. Then, a few days later, a team of six men departed for Iceland, explains Men’s Journal.
Men’s Journal interviewed six of the nine rowing members of the most “record-breaking man-powered team in history.” The team was international, and included a two-time Olympic Gold medalist, an expert sailor, an ultra-endurance athlete, and an adventure cyclist, among others.
The boat had cabin space where the men would eat and sleep. But “cabin space” is something of a misnomer, it was more like a small space where you couldn’t “sit up, lie flat, or find a dry spot anywhere.”
The men slept “shoulder to shoulder with our legs on top of bags and our heads carefully rested on the last inch of the mattress.” On top of that, they had to synchronize their movements whenever they wanted to get into sleeping position.
Heading out of the harbour for a bit of training & boat familiarisation, navigating a safe passage. Jeff on the camera, Tor, Carlo, Fiann rowing & Roy navigating. Time for departure is getting close, everyone involved in the project is itching to get out on the water and start leaning on the oars, but the time must be right. Any day now – Svalbard bound. #polarrow #training #navigation #rowing #endurance #science #tromsø #norway #svalbard #oceanrowing #records #arctic #adventure @the_explorers_club @hellyhansen @precisionhydration
On a more poignant note, the men told Men’s Journal that a couple of seagulls followed them on throughout their voyage, almost as if they were checking in on the team. The crew also saw plenty of whales and a pair of walruses.
And one lesson they learned from it all? “Extreme environments, such as the Arctic Ocean, generate a lot of gratitude.”
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