We’ve come to a tough decision. As soon as we say that, it’s pretty much guaranteed you all know what we’re talking about; we’re going to have to put the world record attempt on the longest unsupported crossing of Antarctica on hold.
Now that we have had time to digest the lessons learned from our Greenland training trip and take stock of our financial position we have had to come to the conclusion that attempting the crossing this season is simply neither possible nor wise. We’re now only 5 months away from our proposed departure date, and we don’t have a core backer. Given that we need to be buying the equipment and sending it off to South Africa in a couple of weeks, it’s reached the point where we have to acknowledge that it’s too late even if we found a backer tomorrow. Added to that is the kiting factor: as a team we are firmly of the opinion that there is no reason to go to Antarctica if we are not 100% confident that we can complete the crossing and set a new world record. Not having the kites we needed in Greenland as Tim mentioned in his previous blog, meant that we were simply unable to make use of the conditions to make a crossing, and that meant we weren’t able to hone our skills as much as we would ideally like. For any normal kiting expedition this wouldn’t be disastrous. But this is not a normal expedition, and the risks we are exposing ourselves to if we aren’t bloody good by the time we get to Antarctica are more than it’s worth putting our loved ones through.
So! What’s ahead? Well, the next plan clearly! We’ve learnt a hell of a lot of lessons from this attempt; whether the lack of a backer was down to our inexperience or the past year’s financial climate is a tough one to call, but there’s no doubt that we’re a lot clearer on what needs to be done next time around. The expedition logistics plan and administrative details are well and truly hammered out and ready to go; we know exactly what kit we require, and we have all the contacts we could possibly need (thank you very much indeed to everyone who has helped us, you are too numerous to mention, but we will speak to you soon). So the only thing there is to work on for PolarIce take 2, is publicity and a backer. Clearly that isn’t as easy as I’ve made it sound, but we know what we need to do, and that’s a good place to start.
Clearly we’d all rather it had worked out this year, and we were on track to have the record by March 2011; but what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger, and we have no intention of letting Antarctica kill us! We’ll get a plan together over the coming months, and rest assured if you keep reading our updates and checking the site, you’ll be the first to hear about it. Actually, when we do have a plan, you’ll know about it even if you don’t check back; we intend to let the whole world know!
See you soon!