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Arctic Rowers

In July, a crew of rowers from India, Norway, Iceland, United Kingdom and United States started on a record-breaking mission: Rowing 958 kilometers from Tromsø to Svalbard. In addition to breaking records, the goal for the expedition is to finance the construction of a school in Uttarkhand and contribute to research on Arctic climate.

The Polar Row left Tromsø on July 20 and arrived on Svalbard July 27. This is the northernmost point ever reached by a rowing team. They are the first people who have reached the island using only muscle power, and it happened at a furious pace. It was expected to take 12 days, but the crew finished in just seven. They managed to beat several records, including fastest ocean rowing north of the Arctic Circle.

The crew took turns behind the oars. One and a half hours of rowing, equal time to eat and rest, and then repeat - for a whole week. Along the way, they were rewarded with great nature experiences. Both humpback whales, dolphins and killer whales followed the boat on their journey.

Last week they departed from Svalbard to start the second phase of their epic voyage, which will take them 2000 kilometers to Iceland and make it the longest Arctic crossing ever completed. The plan is to reach the final destination point for the expedition on September 1.

Visit the Polar Row facebook and homepage to read more about the expedition and track their whereabouts in real-time.

Tor Wigum (Norway), Jeff Willis (UK), Tathagata Roy (India), Carlo Facchino (US) og Fiann Paul (Iceland). Photo: