For further information contact:
Polar Adventures Ltd
18 Neville Road
Tel: +44 (0)20 8549 1457
Fax: +44 (0)20 8241 7914
The Polar Race Organisers
David Hempleman-Adams is a founder of Polar Adventures Ltd,
organisers of the Polar Race.
He was born in Swindon, Wiltshire and educated at Writhlington
Comprehensive School. He is a graduate from Manchester and a
postgraduate from Bristol.
He has successfully climbed the highest peak in each of the seven
continents Aconcagua (South America), Carstenz Pyramid
(Australasia), Elbrus (Europe), Kilimanjaro (Africa), Denali
(North America), Mount Vinson (Antarctica) and Everest (Asia).
In 1984 he was the first person to successfully walk solo and
unsupported to the North Magnetic Pole. In 1992 he led the first
team to walk unsupported to the North Geomagnetic Pole. In 1996 he
became the first Briton to walk solo and unsupported to the South
Pole and in the same year sailed to the South Magnetic Pole. In 1999
he walked to the North Pole and in so doing became the first and so
far, only, person to have completed the Explorers' Grand
In 2000 he piloted the first balloon to the North Pole.
He lives in Box, Wiltshire and is married with 3 children.
Scotsman Jock Wishart is a founder of Polar Adventures Ltd,
organisers of the Polar Race.
He was born in Dumfries, Scotland and educated at Dumfries Academy.
He is a graduate of Durham University where he was President of the
He has represented his country at rowing and yachting and is a
veteran of the 1980 America's Cup as well as being a former European
Dragon Boat Paddling Champion. At University he was a British
Universities champion in rowing, sprint canoeing and power lifting.
He was formerly sponsorship director for Hill and Knowlton, one of
Britain's largest P.R. companies and in 1991 was Head of Public
Relations for the Rugby World Cup.
In 1992 he was a member of the team that first walked unsupported to
the North Geomagnetic Pole and in 1996 organised the Ultimate
Challenge, the first ever televised trek to the North Magnetic
Pole, an expedition comprising largely of novice explorers, during
which they successfully measured the position of the pole for the
He rowed the Atlantic in 1997, headed the team that broke the Round
the World Powered Record in 1998, captained the crew that broke the
London-Paris Rowing Record in 1999 and in 2000 led the
Shackleton's Steps expedition which replicated for a TV
documentary, Sir Ernest Shackleton's traverse of South Georgia in
May 1916. In 2001 he was navigator on the winning American yacht in
the 12-metre World Championship in Cowes.
He lives in Kingston-upon-Thames with his wife and two children and
enjoys skiing and watching rugby.
Richard Bull is one of the Arctic advisors for the Polar Race.
He was born in Reading and was educated at Highdown School, Emmer
Green. After leaving school, he became manager of a newsagent
His Arctic expertise was gained on numerous expeditions to the area,
including several trips to the North Pole, meeting up with David
Hempleman-Adams and Neill Williams on the way
When not leading or advising on trips to the Arctic he runs his own
business, based in Wiltshire, supplying the motor trade. He set up
this business at the age of 22 after 3 years of military experience.
Richard is also involved with the Mitchemp Trust that has run camps
for over five years in the Brecon Beacons for disadvantaged children
between the ages of 11 and 15.
Richard is married to Vicky who is also involved with the Polar Race
(see next entry below). They have one child of 2 years old, and
another on the way.
Vicky Bull is responsible for ensuring that administration for the
race runs smoothly, liaising between teams, families and press and
trying to keep everyone smiling! She will be the UK contact point
whilst the trip is underway.
Vicky gained a degree and travelled the world before settling on
teaching as a career. She enjoys the challenges that 11-18 year olds
bring. Her love for the outdoors extends to her encouraging the
youth by being a Duke of Edinburgh Award leader for the local
Vicky gains her Arctic experience by being married to Richard Bull
who regularly puts her through her paces! They met whilst on the
Mitchemp Trust camp working with disadvantaged children. (David
Hempleman-Adam who is a trustee, is known to them both).
Vicky and Richard now live in the Cotswolds and when not involved in
trips spend time with their daughter who is 2 years old. Vicky has
put her full-time teaching career on temporary hold in order to be a
full-time mum and be part of the Polar Race team.
Simon Marshall is one of the Arctic experts for the Polar Race.
He was born in Harrogate, North Yorksire. He's had a varied career,
working 4 years as an assistant golf professional, 5 years as a
restaurant manager, and 11 years in the Fire Brigade where he worked
as Station Officer in its Research & Development Group. Simon
now works as UK Sales Manager for a large multinational company,
supplying firefighter protective clothing to the UK, Scandinavia,
Middle East and South America.
In 1996, Simon met up with David, Jock and Neill on the Ultimate
Challenge expedition to take 10 novices to the North Magnetic
Pole, during which he took on the reins of Base Camp Manager at
Liking the Arctic so much, in 1998 he went back to spend 4 weeks
In his spare time Simon enjoys many sports, including playing
cricket for North Petherton Cricket Club, and following rugby. He
also collects polar literature.
Simon is married and lives in Wembdon, Somerset with his wife and
15 month old child.
Steve Pinfield is responsible for organising and running the Arctic
training for the Polar Race.
Steve has spent his whole life in the outdoors, initially in outdoor
education centres and worldwide outward bound schools, and then into
full time guiding.
He is equally at home in the rainforest, desert, mountains and polar
regions, where he has run a number of successful guiding
Steve's wealth of Arctic experience includes leading three
expeditions to the North Magnetic Pole, and eight seasons working
in Antarctica as Head Field guide and Base Commander. Amongst
his clients have been National Geographic and the BBC.
He currently lives in Penzance, Cornwall, where he can frequently
be found climbing on the granite cliffs, surfing or paragliding.
That is, of course, if he's not off galavanting somewhere else in
one of the more remote and inhospitable regions of the world!
Rob Sleep is responsible for organizing support gear for the race.
Rob is a devoted globetrotter and has spent the last fifteen years
working and travelling extensively and independently all over the
With a core career skippering on superyachts he has gained his
Master Class 4 Captain's license with well over 60,000 miles at sea,
sailing and racing all around the world as well as 9+
transatlantic's. During his travels he has worked, amongst other
things, as a rafting guide in the Himalayas and New Zealand, in the
Alps as a bar manager and all over as a dive master. He also has a
history of numerous adventure hobbies from kite boarding and
windsurfing, through paragliding and skiing, to trekking and
He is intending to start his own business, initially basing himself
in the UK.
Paul Theobald is the IT organiser for the Polar Race, maintaining
the website and email links.
He works at Data Connection Ltd in Enfield, Middlesex and has over
10 years experience of Internet software development.
Paul was born in Slough, but spent most of his early life in East
Anglia, attending Wayland High School and Wisbech Grammar School,
before gaining a degree in Computer Science at Cambridge University.
He is a keen trekker, with recent trips to Nepal, Morocco, Peru and
the Grand Canyon. His climbing exploits include scaling Kilimanjaro
in Africa and Mt Rainier in the United States.
After meeting Jock in early 2003, Paul took over the reins of the
Polar Race website, running it from Data Connection's offices in
Enfield, providing daily news updates for the 2003 race and tracking
the progress of competitors for family, friends and the watching
media. In 2005 Paul again ran the website, but this time doing live
updates directly from an 'office' in the Arctic!
Paul lives with his newly wedded wife, Yukiko, in Enfield,
Middlesex. He's a life-long fan of Ipswich Town FC, with all the ups
and downs that entails. He hasn't yet persuaded Yukiko to follow
Gary Walker is a core member of the organising team for the Polar
He is a founding director of Data Connection, a leading software
development company based in Enfield, Middlesex.
He was born in Peterborough and educated at The Kings School in
Peterborough and at Reading University gaining a degree in Physics.
Gary has been involved in three major adventures.
In 1998 he was one of the crew of the "Cable and Wireless
Adventurer" which broke the Round the World Powered Record.
In May 1999 he was one of the organisers and lead skipper of the
safety boats which supported the successful attempt by top British
oarsmen to break the London to Paris Rowing Record - a distance of
480 miles from Westminster Bridge to the Eiffel tower.
In November/December 2000 he was part of an expedition to
Antarctica, where he provided logistics and communications support
to a party making a documentary on the crossing of South Georgia by
Sir Ernest Shackleton.
Gary lives in Hertford with his wife and three children and his main
interests are boating, watching rugby and playing tennis and squash.
Mike Whiteside is the Polar Race doctor.
He is currently an SHO in general medicine in Sheffield. Brought up
in Birmingham, he qualified in 2001 and since then has worked in
general medicine, genitourinary medicine, A&E, infectious
diseases and, most recently, diabetes.
He has just come back from a year out of the UK medical scene,
gaining a diploma in tropical medicine, travelling through China,
mountaineering in the Alps and working in Uganda. He's managed to
avoid the normal career path of a typical medic by not taking exams
but rather going on expeditions -- he has experienced as a medic
jungle, high altitude and diving expeditions.
Mike is a keen mountaineer, and has trekked and climbed in the
Himalayas, China, Europe, Canada and the UK. This year he will
complete his mountain leader award.
He is also a keen musician. He was a founding member of the
internationally acclaimed(?) band "The Flaming Pies",
but now plays the guitar on his own, and intends to inflict his
musical talent on everyone out in Canada!
Mike lives in Sheffield with long-term girlfriend Cariad, and three
Neill Williams is one of the core team members in charge of
organising the Polar Race since its inception in 2002. His main
responsibilities for the 2005 expedition are clothing, equipment and
Neill is Managing Director of specialist graphics manufacturer,
Polycrown Limited in Yatton, Avon.
He was born in Manchester, later moving to the Southwest where he
was educated at Gordano Comprehensive School in Portishead. He
subsequently formed his own successful graphics company, Polycrown
Ltd, with his sister, Wendy, which specialises in product branding
and I.D. emblems.
His first expedition was as a member of the 1992 team which first
walked unsupported to the North Geomagnetic Pole. He was a
co-organiser of the Ultimate Challenge, "the expedition
with a difference", which successfully took 10 novice explorers
on the first televised trek to a Pole. Neill has since taken part in
or organised 12 Polar expeditions including 5 to the North Magnetic
Pole. He has climbed Mont Blanc, Elbrus (the highest mountain in
Europe), Kilimanjaro (the highest in Africa) and Aconcagua (the
highest in South America).
He is a passionate supporter of Manchester United and in 1992, 93,
94, 96 and 98 "survived" the legendary Tough Guys
He lives in Clevedon, Somerset and has 2 children. In his spare time
he keeps fit through running, cycling and five-a-side football.
Tony Woodford is responsible for the video filming during the race.
Between the ages of 18 and 28 Tony spent 6 of the ten travelling and
working internationally. The first was a back packer trip to
Australia. He hitch-hiked all round Australia taking in as much as
possible visiting everywhere except Broome. After completing a dive
course on the Great Barrier Reef he even drove the 3000 miles across
Australia on a GSX1100 motor cycle. That spawned an idea that would
later prove the most challenging of his overland exploits. Gaining
work at a city hotel he quickly found himself managing the complex
and was even offered sponsorship to stay in Australia.
The travel bug had a firm grip so New Zealand was next on the list.
This time buying a car and exploring the North and South Islands
taking in the many Kiwi experiences such as climbing, pot holing,
bungee jumping and the slightly risky bridge pendulum jumping all
with the amazing New Zealand backdrop of mountains and in one of the
most volcanically active places in the world.
After returning to Australia for an additional six months Tony
returned to the UK to plan a trans-continental motorcycle trip,
"The London to Sydney Marathon". The logistics proved to
be difficult to organize but after many months of planning entrants
were ready. Departing in late 1993 with seven motor cycles, he
crossed 27 countries and 3 continents. Four of the entrants made it
to Sydney, Tony included, and he spent a further six months in
Australia working at a back packers in Surfers Paradise. He returned
to the UK and continued his travels by plane.
More recently he returned to India and lived and worked there for
over a year. Realising the lack of business knowledge and western
customer service he helped many locals start new tourist companies
and activities. This including guided dolphin and crocodile tours, a
new Chinese restaurant, co-authoring the "Goan Guide" and
overseeing the building of a mansion house. Previous attempts at
dolphin watching had often ended in failure but Tony used his
hand-held GPS to track and locate schools of dolphins in open water.
A record of their movements and activities was built up for a less
Returning from India, interest in a new kind of trip was sparked by
Jock Wishart. (The Polar kind!)