Crew will be following in Sir Ernest Shackleton's wake

Explorer Tim

Jarvis and his crew will be setting off on the most challenging expedition of

their lives on 2 January 2013.

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.

Mr 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, which includes

speed sailing record breaker Paul Larsen of the Vestas Sailrocket 2 team, will

be using 1916 gear without assistance from modern navigation aids or any 21st

century equipment.

Mr Larsen said he

was excited to be part of another big challenge, straight after breaking the

Nautical Mile and Outright World Speed Sailing records.

He added: ‘It’s

the closest I’ll ever get to walking in Sir Ernest Shackleton’s boots.’

The Tall Ship

Pelican, which had been preparing to be a support vessel in the historic

re-enactment, has now pulled out of the project.

The

square-rigger, left Weymouth last September 23, with the intention of providing

a filming platform, communications and safety support when the adventurers sail

the lifeboat across the treacherous Southern Ocean.

A spokesman for

Adventure Under Sail Ltd said: ‘It is with regret that due to extreme

unseasonal conditions in the Antarctic, TS Pelican has been forced to withdraw

as the support vessel for the Shackleton Epic Adventure.”

The spokesman

said Antarctic pack ice had 

‘reached its greatest maximum extent since satellite measuring began’,

forcing the charity to reluctantly withdraw from the venture for safety

reasons.

Adventure Under

Sail would like to wish Tim Jarvis and his expedition team ‘every success in

their extraordinary challenge’.

Visit the expedition website here.