WHAT IS THE OUTER EDGE POLAR CHALLENGE, RIDE FOR LEUKAEMIA?
In November 2014, the Outer Edge Magazine team will depart on the journey of a lifetime – a world record attempt in Antarctica! The Outer EdgePolar Challenge, Ride for Leukaemia 4,500 kilometres unsupported > Challenge the current world ice sailing speed record > Prove snow/ ice sailing and wind powered travel is viable > Scientific exploration > Education > Raise funds to support the Leukaemia Foundation and much more… http://outeredgepolarchallenge.com.au
Their plan is to complete a return trip, departing from the Polar Plateau, south of the Russian Base at Novolazarevskaya (Novo) and sail directly to the geographic South Pole, a one-way distance of approximately 2100km and an increase in elevation of over 2000m.
After departing from the Novo base in three snow/ ice sailers, the goal is to cover as much ground as possible each day, dependent on the conditions. In good weather, they expect to be able to travel as far as 300km, however due to the nature of the Polar climate there will be days we may not make it out of their tents. The daily distances they may achieve will be largely dependent on weather conditions, in terms of wind and visibility, and also the terrain.
Along the route they'll be sure to run into Sastrugi – an uneven and relentless windswept section of snow and ice. It will significantly slow efforts in terms of sailing and may very well have to hike and tow their sailers through those sections which will not only be time consuming, but also energy consuming. The team have designed the ice sailer to handle significant levels of Sastrugi.
Once at the South Pole, they will make a decision as to whether to return directly or via the Pole of Inaccessibility. The latter would increase the return leg by a further 500km. The decision for this will depend upon current status of food stocks, time and supplies when the guys reach the geographic South Pole.
The entire expedition is unsupported. That means they'll be on their own and won’t have the help of anyone else from the time they leave Novo until they return. All will be completely self sufficient, carrying their own food, fuel and enough supplies to keep them alive for up to 90 days! In an ideal world, the expedition will only take 45 days to complete, but as no one really knows how thick the Sastrugi will be or what the wind conditions will be like, the team have to plan conservatively.
To travel unsupported from the edge of the Antarctic polar plateau to the geographic South Pole, then returning via the Pole of In-accessibility back – a distance of approximately 4500 kilometres.To prove that snow/ ice sailing and wind powered travel is a viable and environmentally friendly means of travel and transportation in Antarctica.To raise funds to support the Leukaemia Foundation.To challenge the current world ice sailing speed record.To challenge the current world record for distance covered unassisted and wind powered in a 24 hour period in Antarctica.