Adventurers aim to be first to row to North Pole

Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:05am EDT
 
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By Nick Olivari

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Polar bears and ice floes are prudently avoided by most people but to Scottish adventurer Jock Wishart they are food for the soul.

Leading a crew of six with a support crew the same size, Wishart, 55, will attempt a 450 nautical mile (833 nautical kilometer) voyage in a specifically designed boat to be the first to row to the magnetic North Pole this Arctic summer.

Why?

"Because it's there," said Wishart, in the tradition of explorers, mountaineers, sailors and other adventurers throughout time.

His personal hero is Sir Ernest Shackleton, who famously failed to reach his goal of crossing Antarctica in the early 20th Century. But after his ship became ice bound and sank, Shackleton ultimately made an open boat journey unrivaled in recorded history to ensure his crew was rescued.

Wishart himself has a long history as an adventurer.

Within the space of 18 months alone, he rowed across the Atlantic, led a crew which established 15 new world speed records for powered circumnavigation and captained the team that broke the London-Paris rowing record.

Wishart's expedition to the magnetic North Pole, as designated in 1996, will set off from Resolute Bay in Nunavut, Canada sometime in late July.   Continued...