Rowing Team Preps For Arctic Ocean Crossing

Row for Hope 1

A team of American adventurers is preparing to take on the Arctic Ocean next year, and if successful in their venture, they will become the first group to row non-stop across that body of water. That aptly named Arctic Row 2012 is scheduled to get underway in July of next year, and if you’re looking for something to do next summer, maybe you can join the expedition.

The team of rowers currently consists of Paul Ridley, Collin West, and Neal Mueller. All three already have some impressive credits on their adventure resumes. Ridley, for example, has already rowed solo across the Atlantic Ocean, while West is a top adventure racer, and Mueller has climbed the Seven Summits and swam the English Channel. They’re hoping to add a fourth member to the squad before they embark and interested parties are encouraged to e-mail for more information.

The row will begin in Olafsfjorour, Iceland and end in Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway. The team will cover approximately 1100 miles and expect to be done in 20-30 days depending on weather conditions. To accomplish that goal, the four-man team will row non-stop, 24-hours a day, with two-man rotations spending two hours on the oars at any given time. Their specially designed boat has been built to take on the rigors of the Arctic Ocean and features two cabins – one for the crew to sleep in and one to store their gear.

While the team does plan to row the Arctic Ocean in the July, that doesn’t mean that the conditions will be all that easier to endure. Even in the height of summer, temperatures will hover around freezing and the water will be colder still. High winds, choppy seas, and unexpected storms will all conspire to thwart their progress, which is why no one has ever made this journey before now.

I’ll follow-up on the expedition as we get closer to the launch next July and follow along with the team as they make their crossing. It should definitely be one adventure to keep our eyes on.

Kraig Becker

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