Polar Race 2003 News: February 2003
27 February 2022 - Celebrity competitors launch
North Pole race in style.
Celebrities, arctic warfare specialists, sportsmen, housewives and amateur
adventurers are all set to take part in the Polar Race 2003 for the Wedgwood
Blue Ice Trophy. It will be the first ever race to a pole and it is being
launched at Initial Style Conferences latest venue Devonport
House, in Maritime Greenwich at 11am on March 7 when the competing teams
will be announced.
It is being organised by two of Britains leading modern day adventurers:
Swindon-based David Hempleman-Adams and Dumfries-born Scotsman Jock Wishart.
The 400-mile gruelling trek from Resolute Bay, Canada towards the Magnetic
North Pole is billed as probably the worlds toughest race.
With 14 competitors forming five teams, the contest is likely to last
between 30 to 40 days and each competitor will pull a 70kg sledge on skis
and on foot. Temperatures will fall as low as -40ºC, with the ever
present danger of polar bears and open water.
The Polar Race 2003 launch ceremony will see participants, including
Richard Dunwoody and Babs Powell test out their gear in a mini hike with
their sledges. They will start from Devonport House and climb up the hill
to the Royal Observatory, which, along with the neighbouring Royal
Naval Collage has been the start point for adventurers for hundreds of
The teams fly out to Canada at the beginning of April in time for the
official race start on 9th April. To let the public follow the race daily
reports from each of the teams will be posted on the web at www.polar-race.co.uk.
For the first time ever in a sporting event, the watching public will
also be able to place a bet on line on their favoured team,
proceeds of which will go to one of Cancer Researchs charities
The Bobby Moore Foundation.
Devonport House, Londons first and only residential training and
conference venue is part of Initial Style Conferences who, in partnership
with leadership development experts, Mission Performance, are putting
forward a 3-man team the Initial Style Explorers.
The team includes Phil Ashby (32), a former Royal Marine, arctic warfare
specialist and recipient of the Queens Gallantry Medal. His decoration
came in 2000 after he escaped from rebel forces while on UN peace-keeping
duties in Sierra Leone.
Phil will be joined by Londoner Manley Hopkinson (39), a former naval
captain and keen mariner. He served during the Gulf War and was also the
skipper of Olympic Group a yacht in the 2000/01 BT Global
The team captain is 33-year-old Chris McLeod from Chichester,
an ex-marine and director of Mission Performance.
Chris said, "As a venue provider and trainer, the Initial Style
and Mission Performance partnership works on a daily basis to equip professionals
with the skills they need to tackle challenges in business. The Polar
Race 2003 gives us the chance to build on our relationship by working
together to conquer a challenge of our own."
Initial Styles managing director, Alastair Stewart said: There
is a natural link between this tremendous race and our aims. Initial Style
is committed to helping individuals and teams achieve to the best
of their ability, whether in training sessions, team-building events or
outdoor activities. This race takes those aims to new limits and applies
them in the most challenging of environments.
24 February 2022 - A special trophy is to be
crafted to mark one of the world's most extreme endurance races.
The 'Wedgwood Blue Ice' has been uniquely designed to reflect the challenges
set by the Polar Race 2003 - a race towards the Magnetic North Pole.
Commissioned by luxury home lifestyle group Wedgwood this week, the trophy
seeks to convey the spirit of discovery of five teams of modern day explorers
as they strive against nature's worst to complete the challenge.
The prestige 'Wedgwood Blue Ice' will be completed at Barlaston, Stoke-on-Trent,
by Wedgwood's famed special skills department, a team of craftsmen and
women who already have many other famous sporting trophies to their name.
Based around a prestige fine bone china Wedgwood Flame Vase, the trophy
will be heavily gilded with Platinum over a rich powder blue body. It
will also contain two hand painted scenes, one a map of the race route,
and the second, a depiction of the arctic race itself.
Wedgwood, which has agreed to become an official sponsor of the race,
will also provide a number of other items for competitors to mark their
participation in the race, including four stage trophies which will be
presented actually on the arctic ice.
Wedgwood Managing Director, UK and Europe, Mr. Tim Harper, said: ' The
Polar Race 2003 has many parallels for Wedgwood. For more than two centuries
we have shown we have a spirit of discovery in design, will challenge
convention and will always strive for the best - very much the ethos of
the race itself. We are therefore delighted to be able to supply a world
class trophy for this superb adventure - an adventure where achievement
and ambition go hand in hand.''
The Wedgwood Blue Ice - a trophy named after the purest of ice and befitting
a pure adventure.
13 February 2022 - Satellite communications
are all important in the first ever Polar Race and competitors will be
carrying the latest equipment supplied by Ocean Safety of Southampton.
The latest in satellite technology will ensure the safety of the competitors
in the first ever Polar Race.
The Race which could take up to 30 days and will involve the competitors
travelling 350 miles across some of the most difficult terrain in the
World, in temperatures as low as -40 degrees centigrade will use state
of the art technology to track the competitors
All competitors will carry the latest Personal Locator Beacon (a GyPSI
406 PLB manufactured by ACR Electronics Inc. connected to a handheld GPS
(a Garmin eTrex). The PLB is an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon
known as an EPIRB and is part of the international safety system widely
used by ships and aircraft.
In the event of an emergency, the PLB is activated and a unique identifier,
plus the precise location from the GPS of the competitor, is relayed via
satellites to a ground station and search and rescue personnel alerted.
This system has been put together for the Polar Race organisers by the
UK's leading supplier of safety systems at "sea", Ocean Safety
of Southampton. The race is after all on frozen water.
Competitors will also be required to communicate with the Operations
base at Resolute at least twice daily on Iridium satellite phones again
ensuring their safety in what is "probably the world's toughest
race". These are a far cry from the SSB radios of only a few years
ago, which encounter great difficulty in communication because of the
proximity of the Magnetic Pole.
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