Almost flying over the ice

Published on 01.02.2012 - Antarctic Ice Expedition

Dixie and Sam are making an average of almost 120 kil per day...

Dixie and Sam are making an average of almost 120 kil per day...

© Expedition website

With the triple digits distances done almost every day since a week now, Belgians Dixie Dansercoer and Sam Deltour have succeeded to break the world record of the longest distance established in Antarctica.

A world record (unsupported and non-motorized distance travelled in Antarctica)

As of today, Day 70 of the Antarctic ICE Expedition, Dixie Dansercoer & Sam Deltour have broken the previous world record for unsupported and non-motorized distance travelled in Antarctica. The previous record was held by Norwegian explorer Rune Gjeldnes, who in February 2006 completed 4.804 km in 90 days.

The Belgians have achieved 4 829,4 km in 70 days -and still going strong, they are far from the end of their wind propelled adventure : if they succeed to reach the russian base of Novolazarevskaya, they will probably set a record that is not going to be beaten in a short future.

Having said that, Dxie and Sam are progressing very well ; of course they do not make a tripe digits distance every day, but they are advancing very fast. The last eight days for instance, between 24 and 31 January, they have done 958 kil, which is a 119 kil pace per day.

Not entirely satisfied...

The funny part of all this is that Dixie is a bit frustrated once in a while. Like that day of 27 January when he found that they were fumbling along. Here are Julie Brown's comments : "... But they have the distinct impression that they are fumbling along. Dixie explained that they had a rather frustrating day yesterday.  They found themselves repeatedly changing sails, the sastrugi returned, and their food was brick-hard and quite difficult to eat in the bitter cold of - 44°C.

And yet, somehow, they completed 91 kilometers of progression.

Dixie has always sought to move with grace and style on the ice.  He believes that such movements increase efficiency and provide the most pleasure during long monotonous hours of travel.  He doesn't like to feel clumsy on an expedition, or anywhere for that matter.

It took our phone call to remind both Dixie and Sam that while they may feel a bit clumsy, they are progressing in a grand fashion.  They listened, and they finally agreed with this rather obvious perspective at the end of our conversation.

They were ready to head back out again and see where the next hours of travel would take them.  But Dixie & Sam agreed to keep this promise:  to look around, enjoy the view of this unique voyage, and make a mental travel journal.  Because in a few weeks their horizons will have a different appearance, and they will be longing for these infinite white expanses."

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