ExWeb posted an update on the race around the North Pole that is currently being conducted by the Russian crew aboard the Peter 1 and Norwegian explorer Børge Ousland. Both ships have been attempting to become the first to sail completely around the North Pole via the Northeast and Northwest Passages. According to the update, the Russians are the first to clear the Northwest Passage, and while that is an important milestone, the race isn’t over yet.
Peter 1 arrived in Pond Inlet on the Northern coast of Baffin Island a few days back, marking the end of the journey through the Northwest Passage, and with the Northeast Passage already complete, it’s just a matter of which ship reaches their home port first, completing the entire voyage.
Ousland and his boat, the Northern Passage, are said to be not far behind the Russians and have also reached Pond Inlet. That has to be a big relief for him and his partner, Thorleif Thorleifsson, as their ship is much smaller and lighter than the Russian yacht, and had the potential to suffer more damage from the ice. On the other hand, the ship is also much faster and more nimble on the water, giving them the possibility of overtaking the heavier hulled ship of their rivals.
It should be noted that “rivals” is a bit of a relative term, as the two crews are obviously seeking the same goal, but have also become friendly during this “race.” Apparently they are now not very far apart either, as ExWeb says that the Northern Passage crossed the 74th Parallel just hours behind the Peter 1. Perhaps they’ll end up reaching the finish line, which is in Grimstad, Norway, together. That seems like a fitting end.