Team Glenfiddich with its Patron Prince Harry has finally started the grueling Antarctic trek.
“The Virgin Money South Pole Allied Challenge got underway at 1335GMT this afternoon. Team Glenfiddich were first out of the starting blocks with Prince Harry leading. We just got back to the support crew camp. We were racing ahead with the vehicles, filming and taking photographs.” Expedition Manager Victoria Nicholson commented via video diary on the WWTW website.
“I feel good about the race at the moment. I’m sure we’ll have mishaps, but we’ll adapt to anything that hits us, and just get on with it,” stated Captain Guy Disney to The Telegraph prior to the start on Sunday. Disney was a member of the 2011 race to the North Pole, where he met Harry for the first time.
Joining Harry and Captain Disney are three other wounded servicemen and women: Duncan Slater who is seeking to be the first double amputee to complete the expedition, Kate Phelp who was the first British woman to lose a limb in combat and Ibrar Ali who lost his arm serving in Afghanistan.
“I’d say Harry is a dynamo within the team, and he’s been a laugh. He brings a huge skill set to the party – and we’re very lucky to have him on board,” added Disney.
Team Glenfiddich is racing against Team Noom from the US with actor Alexander Skarsgård as its honourary member and Team Solider On from the Commonwealth with actor Dominic West as their honourary member.
The journey is expected to take 16 days and cover 205 miles.
At the beginning of the race:
“Team Glenfiddich were leading for the first few minutes, with the Commonwealth (
[Soldier On] Team close on their heels and the US [Noom Coach] Team behind, weaving their way through the sastrugi, trying to find the flattest route possible for Ivan. It is a huge challenge for him – he is one-hundred percent blind and is led by Inge in front with poles attached to Inge’s sled. It is a real challenge for him [Ivan], so Inge has to take the flattest route possible. The sastrugi is really challenging – we don’t know if it is going to be like this all the way to the Pole but the teams are all happy and raring to go,” Nicholson commented.
As reported last week by Royal Central, temperatures on the 200-mile journey will dive to -45C along with blustery and sometimes rather dangerous wind conditions. The three teams will ski for approximately 12 hours each day taking a 10 minute break every two hours.
Harry was patron of the WWTW North Pole journey in 2011 and the 2012 the expedition to Mount Everest.