The Row To The Pole is an expedition which successfully navigated a rowing boat to the North Magnetic Pole at 78°35.7N 104°11.9W, the position certified in 1996. It is believed to be the only polar expedition to feature rowing boats since the crew of Sir Ernest Shackleton's row to Elephant Island off South Georgia in 1916, after his aborted attempt to cross Antarctica.
The expedition set out from Resolute Bay on July 28, 2011 reaching the Pole position on August 25. It was the first time any surface vessel under human power had been to any pole position. The expedition was the first attempt at such a voyage and was made possible by the open water in the Arctic region in summer. According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, part of the University of Colorado, the Arctic sea ice melted to its third smallest extent (since 1979, when satellite measurements began) in September 2011. This year's melt of the Arctic Ocean (2012) was the greatest ever recorded.
Jock Wishart has established an international reputation as a leading maritime and polar adventurer and explorer. His most recent major expedition was the Row to the Pole – a voyage by rowing boat the 1996 position of the Magnetic North Pole - a feat that had not previously been attempted.
In the 90’s during an 18 month period, Wishart rowed across the Atlantic in his Mount Gay Rum-sponsored rowing boat, led the crew which established fifteen new world speed records for a powered circumnavigation of the world in the Cable and Wireless Adventurer and captained a team that broke the London-Paris rowing record in the CNA Maritime Challenge.
A lifetime interest in polar exploration led to him honing his pioneering spirit as a member of the first team to walk unsupported to the Geomagnetic North Pole in 1992. Four years later, he organised The Ultimate Challenge, the first ever televised trek to the Magnetic North Pole – an expedition comprising largely of novice explorers. He is one of the few men ever to have walked unsupported to a Pole and rowed across an ocean.
Born in Dumfries, Scotland and educated at Dumfries Academy and Durham University. He has represented his country at rowing and yachting and is a veteran of the 1980 America’s Cup, as well as being a former European Dragon Boat Racing Champion. He lives in Kingston upon Thames in the UK with his wife and two children.
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