Bailey of Bristol is pleased to announce that it will be sponsoring veteran polar explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes as he takes on one of the last remaining polar challenges by attempting to cross Antarctica in winter for the first time.
The Coldest Journey expedition departs for the Antarctic from London on the 6th December 2012 – the centenary year of Captain Scott’s death in 1912 – in the South African ice-strengthened research ship ‘SA Agulhas’. Then on 21st March 2013 six team members, including Sir Ranulph, will begin a six month journey across the continent – something which has never been attempted before at this time of year.
During this period the expedition team will travel nearly 4,000 kilometres, mostly in complete darkness in temperatures as low as -90°C. The team will have to be entirely self-sufficient on this crossing as there will be no search and rescue facility available, because aircraft cannot penetrate inland during winter, due to darkness and risk of fuel freezing.
Of the Antarctic traverse Sir Ranulph Fiennes said “This will be my greatest challenge to date and one which will stretch the limits of human endurance. Britain and the Commonwealth has a strong heritage of exploration, from Captain Cook 300 years ago to the present day. As such, it is fitting that a Commonwealth team should be the first to fulfil this last great polar expedition.”
In addition to conquering this final frontier of exploration the specified aim of this venture is to raise $ 10 million for Seeing is Believing, a global charitable initiative to fight avoidable blindness. Commenting on their work Sir Ranulph remarked “I have been on some amazing expeditions and seen many of the beautiful and unique sights the world has to offer. When I discovered Seeing is Believing, what it stood for, and understood how easily avoidable blindness could be prevented, it inspired me and my colleagues to undertake this challenge.”
The expedition also aims to make a decisive contribution to our comprehension of the effect of climate change upon the poles. It will provide a unique opportunity to carry out a number of scientific tasks, relating to oceanography and meteorology, in the extreme polar environment that will help our understanding of the true effects of global warming on the Antarctic continent.
Members of the Bailey team were fortunate enough to meet Sir Ranulph at the Millbrook Proving Ground recently through their joint participation in The Caravan Club Towcar of the Year Competition – where Bailey supplies the caravans used for the testing and Sir Ranulph was this years’ guest presenter. Other common ground included use of the Millbrook Cold Chamber where Bailey regularly tests the market-leading thermal properties of its Alu-Tech leisure vehicles down to temperatures of -15 degree centigrade and The Coldest Journey team recently put their specialist polar clothing and equipment through its paces in the same facility but at considerably colder temperatures of -60 degrees centigrade to simulate conditions they are likely to experience in the Antarctic.
Bailey Managing Director Nick Howard said “The Coldest Journey was something we really wanted to be involved in and we are consequently very proud to become one of the sponsors of this attempt to complete one of last great polar challenges” he added.
You can follow the progress of The Coldest Journey expedition, as well as making a donation to Seeing is Believing, on the dedicated www.thecoldestjourney.org web site.