Polar Race 2005

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Polar Race 2005 News

17 June 2022 - The Adventure finally comes to an end

The Travellers Club in Pall Mall, London, proved to be an exceptional venue for an exceptional prize-giving event last Friday, 10th June — the last public event for the 2005 Polar Race.

Attended by Mike Wilcock and Andrew Stanistreet from Wedgwood with their spouses and other guests, the Wedgwood Blue Ice Trophy was given away in style to the winners, Neways Polar Team, together with other specially commissioned prizes and momentos from Wedgwood to all the teams.

Pole Position Northern Stars Cable and Wireless Polar Team

Gentlemen Adventurers Wedgwood Blue Ice Trophy Neways Polar Team
Pole Position, Northern Stars, Cable & Wireless Polar Team, Gentlemen Adventurers and Neways Polar Team
being presented with their prizes and momentos by Mike Wilcock of Wedgwood – © Paul Theobald
(Unfortunately, our other team, the Ikey Icemen couldn't be with us this evening)

Prominent amongst the guests was Mark Hankey, who is the great, great, great grandson of James Clark-Ross the first "discoverer" of the Magnetic North Pole. Mark gave a witty and entertaining speech in support of the racers. With race organiser, Jock Wishart, also in fine form the audience was reluctant to leave till the last. When they finally did, most chose to party the night away at nearby nightspots.

Mark Hankey with Simon Marshall Jock Wishart in full flow
Mark Hankey (on left) with Simon Marshall, and Jock Wishart in full flow
– © Simon Marshall and Paul Theobald

Many thanks to Simon Marshall and Ben Worsley who jointly organised the evening, and whose minute attention to detail made it such a great occasion.

...and a new one begins

Preparations have already begun for the next race in April 2007.

The first presentations and interview for aspiring competitors will be held in London in October and already a number of possible entrants have come forward. With the possibility of having to restrict the number of entries in order to preserve the unique quality and character of the race, possible entrants are urged to send off their "Expression of Interest" forms to us as soon as possible. Click here to download a form.

23 May 2022 - Prize giving dinner to be held on 10th June

Following the success of the 2005 Polar Race, the official prize giving of the Wedgwood Blue Ice Trophy is to be held at the Travellers Club in Pall Mall, London, on the evening of Friday 10th June.

The event will celebrate the accomplishment not just of the winners, but of all the racers taking part in "probably the world's toughest race".

The format of the evening will be a black-tie dinner, by invitation only, for all the racers together with their partners, organisers, and special guests.

Among the special guests will be Mark Hankey who is the great, great, great grandson of James Clark Ross, the original "discoverer" of the North Magnetic Pole in 1831.

The Ross family played an important role in Polar exploration both in the Arctic and the Antarctic. Mark himself was in the Arctic last year investigating some of the old historical sites.

9 May 2022 - Congratulations!

With everyone now safely home, it seems a good time to sum up the great event that has just taken place.

The race was a huge success and full of firsts.
  • Christina Franco became the first Italian woman to walk to a northern pole.
  • Helen Lee became the first Australian woman to walk to a northern pole.
  • Ted Adam, Peter Berning and Dugald Macdonald became the first South Africans to walk to the Magnetic North Pole.
But let's not forget the individual achievement of each and every one of the racers, and the many tens of thousands of pounds raised for charities.

On top of all this, it was definitely the closest, most exciting Polar Race we've seen.

It was also a rewarding time for Polar Race organiser, Jock Wishart, who first had the idea for setting up a challenge walk to the Magnetic North Pole ten years ago. Read more about this in Jock's article: 1996 Certified Position of the Magnetic North Pole.

But perhaps, the most touching aspect of the race was the camaraderie between all those taking part. I can safely say on behalf of all the racers and the organisers that we have all built up a special bond together, and that this bond will continue for many years to come.

So although there was satisfied relief at the successful completion of an event two years in the making, and an ever-increasing desire to see our loved ones back at home after five long weeks away, our departure from Resolute was tinged with a little sadness.

Racers and organisers at Resolute Bay Airport
Racers and organisers at Resolute Bay Airport – © Aziz Kheraj

It was a long journey home from the Pole — there were four separate flight legs just to get back to Ottawa. But once in Ottawa it was time for a much deserved knees-up. And boy, can these folk party!

So, finally, a big congratulations to all the racers who have made this such a wonderful event, and on behalf of the racers and organisers I'd also like to thank all those following the race for your emails of encouragement and support.

Paul Theobald
Polar Race 2005

P.S. If you're sitting there thinking "I really fancy giving that a try myself", we are already accepting applications for the next race in 2007! Click here to find out more.

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