Beaumont North Pole boat too small


SCOTS adventurer Mark Beaumont has revealed the specially-designed ice boat for his North Pole trip is too small.

Beaumont, 28, set off last Friday on a 450-mile row to the North Pole.

He disembarked with five others, including trip leader and veteran adventurer Jock Wishart, from Resolute Bay in the Canadian Arctic on Friday.

They aim to be the first to row to the magnetic North Pole – a journey that has only been made possible in the past ten years due to the melting of the polar ice caps.

But Beaumont, who set the world record for cycling round the world in2008, has revealed that the boat that the six of them will use had been designed for transport rather than comfort.

He said: “A triple skull boat for rowing the Atlantic or the Indian Ocean would normally be a good bit bigger than this.

“Ours is really small because the only way to bring it up to the Arctic was in a plane and it had to fit in the hold.

“It’s going to be incredibly cramped. I’m 6ft 3in – I wish I was a wee bit shorter.”

Wishart, who has trekked to the North Pole twice, said the boat – described as the world’s first ice boat – had been designed to take account of a number of practicalities.

He said: “Flying it up here determined the size of it. We had to have something that was very tough as well as having the capacity to take us and our supplies and also have the speed necessary to get us across the bits of water where we will run into very strong winds.

“I also made the decision that we needed to get the boat up on to the ice and so the underside was made to be like a sledge so that it could be dragged over the ice if needed. It’s unique.”

The Row to the Pole is expected to take about five weeks and will cross some of the world’s least known terrain.

The crew are expected to encounter polar bears and Beluga whales, as well as suffering from frostbite in sub-zero temperatures.

If they do not reach the North Pole by the first week in September the sea will freeze over again.