Shackleton Epic adventurers due to set sail

  • Thu, 3 Jan 2013

The countdown is on for the challengers to recreate historic voyage


The crew of Shackleton Epic are due to set sail today on their trans-Antarctic expedition.

Weymouth's sailor and navigator Paul Larsen said the team remained optimistic despite a few setbacks.

The crew will be departing the world's southernmost city a day later than originally planned, due to gale force winds over 55 knots and a delay in essential gear arriving into port.

With key pieces of gear stuck in Chile, expedition Bosun Petty Officer Seb Coulthard made a mercy dash by air early this morning to retrieve the crucial items. 

Larsen, who recently set the world speed sailing record of 65.45knots aboard VESTAS Sailrocket 2 in Namibia, said overcoming obstacles is what this expedition is about.

He said: "Today's problems are forgotten as quickly as they are resolved and this whole trip is such an adventure, even just being in Ushuaia training on the ice today was brilliant.

"I'm really looking forward to getting onto the Alexandra Shackleton [replica lifeboat] so I can start using my expertise."

The Shackleton Epic expedition aims to honour and celebrate Sir Ernest Shackleton's remarkable 800 nautical mile voyage across the Southern Ocean, made from 1914 to 1916.

Expedition lead Tim Jarvis and his crewwill sail Alexandra Shackleton, a purpose-built, exact replica of Shackleton's 22.5ft (6.9m) lifeboat, James Caird across the same stretch of open ocean and then attempt to cross the rugged peaks of South Georgia.

The crew will be using 1916 gear without assistance from modern navigation aids or any 21st century equipment.

The Shackleton Epic expedition aboard the support vessel ‘Australis' is due to depart Ushuaia, Tierra del Feugo, Argentina around 12 noon local time on 3 January, 2013.


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