Adventure Travel

Tag: Record

Clarisse Crémer made history sailing solo round-the-world in the Vendée Globe

French skipper Clarisse Crémer sailed around the world, alone on her sailboat, non-stop, without assistance, racing against other sailors across turbulent seas. The Vendée Globe race is often called the Everest of the seas.

The 31-year-old says her main goal was simply to complete the challenge, but in doing so in only 87 days, she smashed the previous women’s record by seven days.

It was her first time entering the competition, after six years of training.

Source » France24

French skipper Clarisse Cremer smashes the Vendée Globe women’s record by seven days

Clarisse Cremer broke the women’s record for the Vendee Globe round-the-world race when she completed the solo event in just over 87 days.

The 31-year-old French skipper finished the race in 87 days 2 hours and 24 minutes, smashing Ellen MacArthur’s previous mark of 94 days and 4 hours set in the 2000-01 race.

“I’m so happy to be here. It’s a big relief, we were stressed until the end,” she said on the race website. “I’m happy to have succeeded and to be back with my team. This welcome is incredible, I feel like I am dreaming.

“There were times when I wished I had pushed harder on the machine, but the goal was to finish.”

Source » France 24

Colin O’Brady claims to be the first person to ski unaided across Antarctica. But is he?

Update added below.

According to his website, Colin O’Brady has completed the first-ever solo, unsupported, unaided crossing of Antarctica. He has reportedly arrived at the Ross Ice Shelf on the Pacific Ocean.

Aaron Teasdale, writing for National Geographic »

Using solely his own muscle power, O’Brady skied 932 miles pulling a 300-pound sled over 54 frigid days across the coldest, windiest, most remote continent on Earth, crossing from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean via the South Pole. After a remarkable 80-mile continuous push over the last two days, almost five times his strenuous daily average, he emerged from the TransAntarctic Mountains onto the Ross Ice Shelf a little before 1 p.m. EST, December 26 and stamped his name into the annals of polar lore.

Peter Winsor, writing for Explorersweb »

But was O’Brady’s crossing really unassisted? O’Brady and Rudd have been skiing on a packed road all the way from the South Pole to their finish line. Known as the McMurdo-South Pole Highway, or the South Pole Overland Traverse Road (SPOT), it is a flattened trail groomed by tractors towing heavy sledges. It conveys personnel and supplies from McMurdo Station to the South Pole. Flags every 100m or so make navigation easy during whiteouts, and all the crevasses were filled in by the original construction crew. Most importantly for a skier, it eliminates the rock-hard, bumpy sastrugi that the wind shapes out of loose snow.

“It is a highway,” says veteran polar guide Eric Philips, “[that] more than doubles someone’s speed and negates the need for navigation. An expedition cannot be classed as unassisted if someone is skiing on a road.”

In polar travel, while “unsupported” means no supply drops, “unassisted” additionally requires no outside help of any kind to make the distance easier: no kites, dogs, roads or navigation flags. Norway’s Borge Ousland crossed Antarctica alone and unsupported in 1996-7, but his journey is not considered unassisted because a kite towed him part of the way.

Update 2020.02.03 

Aaron Teasdale, writing for National Geographic »

National Geographic also reported on O’Brady and Rudd during their treks in 2018, and when O’Brady completed his journey, described it as “historic” and “unsupported.” After reviewing those stories and gathering more information, we’ve amended them with an editor’s note.

Prominent leaders of the adventure and polar communities were less enthusiastic about O’Brady’s claims. Conrad Anker, Alex Honnold, Mike Horn, Borge Ousland, and others spoke out against him, accusing O’Brady of exaggerating his accomplishment or worse.

Over the last several months, National Geographic has investigated O’Brady’s claims. He agreed to three phone interviews but recently stopped responding to requests for comment. We also spoke with an array of leading polar explorers, including some of O’Brady’s mentors, many of whom believe he has distorted the truth in pursuit of fame.

O’Brady “didn’t do what [he] advertised,” says Australian polar explorer Eric Philips, cofounder and president of the International Polar Guides Association. “This wasn’t some Last Great Polar Journey. Rather, it was a truncated route that was a first in only a very limited way.”