Wings over Greenland

Expedition News-Official Website

From 05.05.2008 to 15.07.2008 - Status: ongoing

International Polar Foundation

International Polar Foundation

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A team of three sportsmen (two Frenchmen and a German) are trying to break the record for the fastest crossing of Greenland from South to North.

This expedition's team consists of Thierry Puyfoulhoux (a 46-year-old French designer), Cornelius Strohm (a 34-year-old German researcher) and Michael Charavin (a 37-year-old French mountain guide). All three have considerable experience in mountain trekking, whether on foot, on skis or in kayaks. Charavin, for example, has already crossed the Andes on a mountain bike, an autonomous 8,000 km trek through some of South America's most isolated regions.

This time, the trio is embarking on Greenland's North/South route. In order to reduce the logistical expenses and their project's environmental impact, the adventurers have chosen as their departure and arrival points two airports serviced by regular flights: Narsaq, in the south, and Qaanaaq, on the north-western coast. The total distance between these two places amounts to 2,300 km, "or twice the length of France", as the press kit puts it.

Unlike most current polar expeditions, which usually include an educational or environmental element in their adventures, these three men's motivation is sport for sport's sake. It is thus a sporting challenge.

The trio will be progressing, obviously, with traction wings. In order to give themselves the best possible chance, they have opted to make alternate use of box kites (self-stabilising cross-sections) assembled on a "depower" bar and Parawings, box wings directly rigged on a simple bar. That should enable optimal winged progression in winds blowing between 15 and 50 kph.

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