Just when you think one inspirational polar challenge leaves you amazed along comes another one! That’s right, as I met Kate Leeming of the Break the Cycle South Pole adventure I also met Charles Werb who is undertaking the Outer Edge Polar Challenge Ride for Leukaemia.
Kate Leeming is hoping to cycle across the Antarctic whilst Charles is planning to sail to the South Pole!
A plan of 4 years in the making was inspired by Charles Werb’s love of wind toys and sailing plus a desire to do something that has never been done before. An initial plan to make this amazing record attempt in November 2014 had to be postponed so is now being geared up for later in 2015.
About Charles Werb
On meeting Charles in person it is clear that he has an amazing passion and drive to complete this challenge. His enthusiasm and can do attitude just oozes out as he chats away like an excited child.
Charles explained to me that from his earlier years he developed a love of sailing, although maybe the conventional form. He does have a desire to do something different and is not afraid of a challenge.
A few years ago he bought the struggling Outer Edge Magazine and turned it around into a very successful venture. Now as Managing Director he is able to connect with the followers of his dream through the magazine.
The timing of Charles Werb’s inspirational idea coincided with a very sad moment in his life. Within 4 weeks of taking on the Outer Edge Magazine, Charles’ father (Henry) died from leukaemia. As a fitting tribute this world record attempt has now been named the Outer Edge Polar Challenge Ride For Leukaemia. I have to admit that seeking to raise funds for such an important and meaningful cause must be a great motivator for what is also a fabulous world record attempt.
What is the Outer Edge Polar Challenge Ride for Leukaemia
So what exactly is this challenge and how will it be done?
Well the plan is to journey from the Polar Plateau (south of the Russian base of Novolazarevskaya (Novo)) on a snow sailer to the geographic South Pole. Then to return back again.
The return journey is more than 4,000km and can reach altitudes of over 2,000m.
The challenge will be completed unsupported. By this it is meant that Charles and his travelling companions will not have the help of anyone else back at any bases. They will have to bring their own food and supplies for their own survival. This is a very dangerous challenge.
They will embark upon some very treacherous conditions. The land and snow may even mean that in some parts sailing is near impossible so they may have to proceed on foot and tow the sailer.
It is hoped that the expedition will take around 45 days, however they are looking to take 90 days worth of supplies just in case.
The snow sailer used for the Outer Edge Polar Challenge
I was honoured for Charles to show me his vehicle, the snow sailer for this impressive challenge.
This ice riding vehicle will glide along capturing wind in its sail. There have been numerous test runs made to date and videos show how much fun it is, although maybe not how cold!
The design of the vehicle has changed over time after testing. At first a buggy had skis fitted yet it was difficult to manoeuvre the sailer. So snowboards with ice blades were fitted and efforts made to keep the weight down.
Testing results have been encouraging and things look almost ready to set sail.
This awe inspiring challenge has been successful in obtaining sponsors and a globally recognised patron, non-other than “the world’s greatest living explorer”. Yes, I’m talking about Ranulph Fiennes. What an inspirational patron this is. Not only has he led many record breaking expeditions he was also achieved the world record for unsupported northerly polar travel.
So now with sponsors and patrons in place they are nearly ready to go. The attempt is set to begin in November 2015. Charles Werb hopes to break the world record for distance covered unassisted and with only wind power.
You can follow the amazing Outer Edge Polar Challenge from the dedicated website:-