Polar Race 2005 News
3 May 2022
- South Africans make history in the Arctic
The South African Ikey Icemen team of Dugald Macdonald,
Peter Berning and Ted Adam completed the Polar Race at the 1996
certified position of the Magnetic North Pole at 16:10 today, and in
so doing entered their country's history books by becoming the first
South Africans to walk to the Pole.
Dugald Macdonald, Peter Berning and Ted Adam of the Ikey Icemen,
the first South Africans to walk to the Pole – © Mike Whiteside
The team was the inspiration of former Springbok Dugald Macdonald
who had already rowed the Atlantic Ocean.
It was for them a triumph over all the odds and very much a team
effort, with former pilot Peter Berning in charge of communications
and the "terrier like" Ted Adam in charge of navigation.
All were very tired and each had lost a stone in weight as a result
of their arduous trek, but overjoyed at such an amazing experience.
2 May 2022
- Neways Polar Team squeeze home to win Wedgwood Blue Ice Trophy
Despite a spirited effort by Gentlemen Adventurers in the
dying hours of the current Polar Race, the UK/Italian team of Justin
Packshaw and Christina Franco deservedly won the Wedgwood Blue
Ice Trophy as overall winners of Polar Race 2005.
Christina Franco and Justin Packshaw
of Neways Polar Team – © Steve Pinfield
There was a great deal of tactics and some good natured gamesmanship
involved on the last leg. Neways Polar Team knew that they
just had to stay in contact with the Adventurers to win and
were therefore going to track their every move. The Gentlemen
Adventurers being aware of this steered a course over the
steepest and hardest part of the Noice Peninsula in the hope that,
as the better skiers, they could build up enough of a cushion to
bring back the deficit.
Neways Polar Team were not to be
denied their win however, and stuck to the Adventurers trail like
limpets. Despite losing the last leg by 8 hours they retained the
overall lead by 5½ hours at the finish and have been
declared the provisional winners of the Polar Race, probably the
toughest race in the world.
Third behind Gentlemen Adventurers was the Cable and Wireless Polar
Team, fourth the Northern Stars, fifth Pole Position, and the Ikey
Icemen on course to finish tomorrow.
1 May 2022
- Gentlemen Adventurers battle to the last
The Gentlemen Adventurers, James Laban and Will Morton,
fought their way through a whiteout to finish first in the final leg
of the Polar Race. They arrived there at 11:53 local time and must
now wait the arrival of the pursuing Neways Polar Team and
Northern Stars to see if they have managed to win the
Wedgwood Blue Ice Trophy for first overall.
James Laban and Will Morton of Gentlemen
Adventurers. Tired, but satisfied, after winning
the final leg – © Paul Theobald
It was a truly amazing performance by the Gentlemen
Adventurers in a last ditch attempt to take the overall lead.
They covered 40 nautical miles (46 statute miles) in just under 24
hours during which they also negotiated the land mass of the Noice
Peninsula on Ellef Ringnes Island. This is quite exceptional
considering they had already raced over 300 miles. They achieved
this into a 30 knot headwind and whiteout conditions.
We will only know later this evening whether they have done enough.
Back at Checkpoint 3 the South African Ikey Icemen left the
checkpoint at a slightly slower pace, in their own attempt to make
history by becoming the first South African team to reach the Pole.
Only 3 days separate them from history.
30 April 2022
- Northern Stars taken to task
The fourth and final leg of the Polar Race started at noon today.
There are four teams vying for either an overall win or a leg win.
The teams that reported in tonight reported bad conditions but all
seemed to be making good speed as they headed towards the Noice
Peninsula of Ellef Ringnes Island. Recent reports put the peninsula
as being bare of snow but conditions in the past 24 hours have
corrected this and should make for some deep soft snow in the
If all goes well, tomorrow we hope to be able to announce the
The final team to have the rule run over them in this year's Polar
Race are the Northern Stars, who are an interesting mix.
Charlie Newington-Bridge, Alex Williams and David Aston
of Northern Stars – © David Aston
All are used to running their eyes over figures — financial
ones that is! We have an accountant, a banker and an investment
manager. Two of the team, Alex Williams and Charlie
Newington-Bridges, have competed in endurance events before, both
having previously run in the Marathon des Sables (a 150 mile race
across the Sahara Desert).
The odd one out at first, was David Aston who had no real physical
background but what David lacks in physical presence is more than
compensated for in his sheer determination and a meticulous approach
to any task he undertakes. Unstoppable, he just keeps on going no
matter what you throw at him.
Alex on the other hand is highly disciplined in all he does with a
very enquiring mind. Don't make a slip or he will suss it out
immediately! It is Alex whose presence has shaped the direction of
this team, which is highly motivated and very focussed.
Charlie is the "cement" in the sandwich, more laid back
and tolerant than the other two; probably because he has young
As a team, when they want to push they push very hard indeed, as
witnessed by their 30 miles in 20 hours at the end of Leg 3.
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