In 1911 / 1912 Robert Falcon Scott, representing Great Britain, raced Roald Amundsen of Norway to the South Pole. Amundsen and his team got there first. Scott and his team all perished on their way back.
Now, 100 years later, it’s ‘game on’. Six nations will be racing to the South Pole. This is an unsupported cross-country ski race of approximately 750 kilometers. My good friend, Pete van Kets, and I will represent South Africa in this epic expedition. But we will not just be racing to the Pole, we will be racing for the Earth. We are all in a race against time to slow down and ultimately stop climate change and global warming. Our future and the future of all species depend on the decisions we make and the actions we take in the next few years.
Our race begins shortly after COP17 which takes place in Durban, South Africa from the 28th of November to the 9th of December 2011. We leave for Antarctica on the 19th of December and begin the race on the 1st of January 2012. We will be doing a 4-part TV series on climate change and the effects of ice melt in Antarctica on South Africa and Africa. The Antarctic holds between 60 and 80% of the planets fresh water in its ice. It is the coldest, driest and highest desert in the world with an average ice thickness of 1.6 kilometers. It is also the largest unspoilt wilderness left on Earth.
My message is, that unless we protect our wilderness areas and halt what human consumption and greed has caused through the use of fossil fuels, unless we urgently curb our population growth, there will be a horribly compromised future for our children. We must embrace Nature’s laws…we must understand that species only survive by giving and taking. All species play an important role in the eco system. We are not exempt from this law.
I want to encourage each and every person to understand that the role they have to play is a vital and important one…if we all, in some small way, do one thing in respect for the Earth, we begin a massive collective shift…we begin to heal not only our home, but ourselves as well. This is my DOT initiative…Do One Thing.
So, Pete and I invite you to be part of this journey to the bottom of the world with us. Follow our progress and help to create a wave of like-minded people…for the sake of our children, our species, our home.
South Pole Race 2011 / 2012 Centenary Race
100 years on from Scott and Amundsen’s epic duel, the centenary race to the South Pole is the toughest endurance race on the planet. Starting from the frozen coastline of Novo, up to 51 competitors will race to be the first to the pole, negotiating multiple crevasses, crossing snow bridges, and rising to 3000m on the high polar plateau on the way. With katabatic winds up to 80mph, temperatures as low as -40C, and the threat of blinding snowstorms, this is the ultimate extreme endurance race set in the stunning landscape of one of the coldest, driest, and highest deserts on the planet.
Race distance: 704km
Calendar of dates: Race 15th
Centenary Race to the South Pole: Race Leg 1
- Flight from End of Acclimatization and Crevasse Training to Race Start.
- On arrival at the start line, all EWR Centenary Race to the South Pole racers will spend a night to prepare, rest and restock their food and fuel supplies for Race Leg 1 from Start to Mid-way Checkpoint.
- After Race Start, all teams will separate from the training staff and travel alone. Safety teams will be in place for the duration of the race.
- Race Leg 1 will be approximately 215 nautical miles.
Centenary Race to the South Pole: Race Leg 2
- On arrival at Mid-way Checkpoint, all teams will fully resupply for final race leg and take an enforced 24 hour stop.
- From here to the South Pole is approximately 215 nautical miles.
- Teams are likely to travel more slowly on the second leg of the race. However fit they may be, the altitude, cold, and deeper snow on the plateau is likely to slow them down.
- Race Leg 2 will be approximately 215 nautical miles.
Centenary Race Finish at the Geographical South Pole
- Celebrations and well-earned rest at the finish line at the Geographical South Pole.
- Flight from South Pole to NOVO
- Rest at NOVO before flying to Cape Town