Polar Race 2003 News: 30 April - 3 May 2022 (Leg 4)
3 May 2022
- Extreme Steps complete final leg in a very fast time and ViP3 get to
the pole on the same day
The Extreme Steps team of Steve East and Mike Krimholtz surprised
everyone but themselves in putting up an extremely fast time on the
final leg. They adopted a strategy of making the last leg of 40 miles
into a "sprint leg" in the first ever Polar Race for the
Wedgwood Blue Ice Trophy.
Extreme Steps at the North Magnetic Pole
Very much the novices when they started out they astonished everyone
with their speed of progress up the learning curve and on the third leg
had finished only a few hours behind the highly rated Polar Team of
Tony Martin and Richard Dunwoody. ViP3 and Extreme Steps started the
final leg on a different day and at a different time to the two
leading teams. They pushed themselves to the limit taking only a few
hours sleep and posted a last leg time of just over 27 hours.
ViP3 at the North Magnetic Pole
Finishing fourth in the race and probably creating a new Arctic record
was the British team of ViP3: Richard Raine, Casper Hays and, the only
female racing, Babs Powell who has shown, for a generation of fifty year
olds, how mind can triumph over body.
She is almost certainly the oldest female to have ever accomplished such
a feat, a terrific achievement for her and her teammates who unselfishly
bolstered her during the race.
Babs Powell supporting the Lord's and Lady Taverners
2 May 2022
- Initial Style Explorers complete the last leg of the Polar Race and
are confirmed as the overall winners
The Initial Style Explorers team of Chris McLeod, Phil Ashby and Manley
Hopkinson dominated the Polar Race for the Wedgwood Blue Ice trophy.
They finished today (Thursday 1st May) to win the Race 22 days after
setting out from Resolute Bay in Nunavut.
Initial Style Explorers and Polar Team at the North Magnetic Pole
Their actual time racing between checkpoints was just over 10 days,
which meant they were averaging nearly 35 miles a day. This is quite a
phenomenal performance in the severe conditions prevailing and a
statistic that astounded the locals more used to doing that sort of
speed on skidoos. They survived temperatures as low as -40°C, deep
snow and ice and encounters with polar bears.
Gary Walker presented the Wedgwood Blue Ice Trophy to the winning team
on the finish line, which must rank as one of the more unusual and most
northerly of prize-givings ever enacted.
Initial Style Explorers cracking open the champagne
Finishing only a few hours behind in the overall stakes was the second
placed team of Tony Martin and former champion jockey Richard Dunwoody
who overcame a multitude of injuries including a twice dislocated
shoulder to finish.
Gary Walker congratulating the Polar Team
What is unclear yet is who has won this stage as both Initial Style
Explorers and Polar Team opted to start a day earlier than the other
teams and until the other teams both finish and their elapsed time for
the leg is calculated we will not know that result.
There may still be a surprise yet!
Extreme Steps and ViP3 will feature in tomorrow's web update. Both
teams are in great spirits.
1 May 2022
- All the teams are on the ice racing to the finish of the final leg of
the Polar Race 2003 for the Wedgwood Blue Ice Trophy
Initial Style Explorers and Polar Team continue their head-to-head
confrontation during the final leg of the race. Tony Martin of Polar
Team said: "Initial Style Explorers may be ahead overall but we are
still going to be going flat out to beat them on this final leg."
ViP3 and Extreme Steps set off this morning (Wednesday 30 April) on the
final leg in good spirits and looking forward to getting to the Magnetic
North Pole. At the moment, we are expecting Initial Style Explorers and
Polar Team to reach the finish tomorrow (Thursday) and ViP3 and Extreme
Steps may well arrive tomorrow as well.
Terrain encountered by Extreme Steps during the 3rd leg
Extreme Steps using the Garmin eTrex GPS to establish their position
In the call from the checkpoint team, we were given an update on the
most northerly open golf competition between Ian Davis and Mark Harris
- Ian 6, Mark 3, 6 to play.
Gary Walker manages the Control Centre in Resolute, the communications
between the Control Centre and the UK and the Control Centre and the
teams out on the ice. He is also has responsibility for generating all
the articles and pictures that go out each day to update the website.
30 April 2022
- ViP3 reach Checkpoint 3 and Initial Style Explorers and Polar Team set
off on the last leg of the Polar Race 2003
ViP3 arrived at Checkpoint 3 at about 1900 hrs after completing the
penultimate stage of the race in good weather conditions - sunny and no
wind. They are fit, in fine spirits and will start the final leg with
ViP3 arriving at the checkpoint
Meanwhile at noon today Initial Style Explorers and Polar Team started
the last leg of the Polar Race. The third leg was a mass start and the
picture shows Ian Davis officially starting the third leg.
Start of Leg 3
Leg 3 underway
Jock Wishart introduces Initial Style Explorers, the team that has led
the way by winning every leg so far of the Polar Race. They are:
- professional in attitude
- professional in approach
- professional in spirit
- probably the Complete Team.
Initial Style Explorers
Phil Ashby was the youngest ever Major in the British Services and won
the Queen's Gallantry Medal for leading the escape in Sierra Leone. He
wrote a best selling book on his exploits on which a film is being based
and bets are now being taken on who will play him in the lead role.
Brad Pitt and Vin Diesel are the front-runners. Phil is a bit of an
equipment freak always looking to improve any item of equipment that he
is issued with. It is his knowledge, determination and drive that has
made ISE the team they are.
Chris McLeod is the team leader and another decorated ex-marine. He is
determined and focused in everything he does and is always looking for
an edge for his team. He can be a bit impulsive - trying to scare away
Polar Bears by beating ski sticks above his head and advancing on them
proved to be a good idea, though not for the faint hearted.
Manley Hopkinson is the "joker" in the pack and the cement
that links the two other characters together. He is a former
"matelot", served in the Gulf war and then skippered a yacht in
the BT Global Challenge. Immensely strong he started off, as the most
inexperienced skier of the trio but now needs to be kept at the back to
prevent him setting too fast a pace!
29 April 2022
Matty McNair, who with Paul Landry carried out much of the pre-race
training here in the Arctic, read a poem for the Racers on the night
before they started.
After reading the poem Matty added:
"The team who is winning is the team who is having the most fun!"
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