The Race: Day 17 – The Will of Nature


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AMUNDSEN TEAM

Distance remaining: 560 nmi
Total distance travelled: 110.6 nmi (16.5%)

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In Association with the Royal British Legion

Today’s report from the Amundsen team comes from a rather shaken and exhausted sounding Henry Worsley. What starts as a report full of the characteristic sublime and epic imagery, quickly descends into an unsettling retelling of the day’s dramatic events.  

Listening to the light-hearted reports that we receive each day, it’s easy to forget that the guys face real adversity down there in the Antarctic, and are at all times subject to the will of Mother Nature. But you would not know it from the reports of either team. No one grumbles about the extreme cold, and we have come to regard their high morale as the norm. Their talent for cheerful understatement and no-nonsense attitude makes us all proud. No doubt Scott and Amundsen would be proud too.

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MAP AND SITREP

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SCOTT TEAM

Distance to the Pole: 609 nmi
Total distance travelled: 135.2 nmi (18.2%)

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Vic Vicary gives us today’s report from the Scott team. It’s a poignant day for the Scott team especially, as they pass the place where the bodies of Scott, Bowers and Wilson were found, having tragically perished 100 years ago, just 11 miles from the next supply depot.

We hear that Kev Johnson, as acting “team padre”, will be leading a small remembrance service in honour of those fallen British heroes. We too shall remember them.

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MAP AND SITREP

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LETTERS FROM HOME

We give voice to the loved ones of our intrepid adventurers. This week, Hannah Johnson of the South Pole Lonely Wives’ Club (SPLWC) tells us what went through her mind when Kev was picked for the expedition:

“As I stand here making Flossie Crums Poppy Toffee Cupcakes (thank you Gordon Ramsay) on Armistice Day I feel compelled to write my piece for the South Pole Lonely Wives Club.  If I cast my mind back to 2009, and Mark’s return from his solo expedition to the South Pole, I can vividly remember Kev saying “He’s got something else up his sleeve, and I want to be part of it”.  So when it came to ‘names in a hat’ for the Scott/Amundsen Race expedition I was neither consulted nor, in all honesty, paying much attention when Kev said he had put his name forward to be a contender.”

“I cannot really remember when this happened but it was probably just over a year ago from now and at the time, with two children under two and working full time, it was the last thing on my mind.  The draw took place and Kev’s name was drawn!  He was going to go to Antarctica with one of his most loyal friends, Mark, and others that he knew then really, only by name or face, in October 2011.”

Kev Johnson pictured here with daughters Luka May and Neve Lily

Kev Johnson pictured here with daughters Luka May and Neve Lily

“Ever since then, it has always been, truthfully, on my mind, but not at the forefront – may that be because life is busy and must go on, or because deep down the prospect of being alone and “coping” seemed insurmountable?  I don’t know.  I do know however that the dream/nightmare is now a reality and that my husband is slogging his heart and soul out day after day with two other men, the ice, and the random seal for company.”

“I feel immensely proud, as do all Kev’s family and friends.  Proud that he had the guts to put his name in the hat; proud that they are helping to raise money for the Royal British Legion on it’s 90th Anniversary; and ultimately, proud that when all is said and done, he chose to do this for his family, his daughters.  I salute you Kev Johnson. Hurry home, and get the dinner on xxx”

“May I also add that it is also truly heartfelt that so many people are behind ‘our men’ and supporting them along the route – if you are reading this then, Thank You x”

If you’re a family member or close friend, and would like to send your message out to all the readers, please do email Andrew Gough (webmaster) at info@scottamundsenrace.org.


INTERACTIVE MAP

Keep track of both teams with our interactive Google Earth map. Zoom in to see each day’s progress, with the position marked by pictures of team leaders Henry Worsley and Mark Langridge. Click on the icon to see that day’s sitrep in full.


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Comments

  1. Sobering account Henry. Best of luck to all of you boys out there and keep up the amazing work.

  2. Peter Otway on November 19, 2011 at 10:10 pm said:

    Henry, your alarming experience yesterday reminds me how our dog teams would go beserk when we were struck by similar ‘whooshers’. In case of future encounters I suggest you
    call for an airdrop of a second pair of underpants.
    Good luck! Peter

  3. Birgitt on November 19, 2011 at 7:01 pm said:

    Lieber Paul, wir Grießen Dich Aus Oberstdorf und wünschen Dir und allen anderen alles Gute. Jeden Tag lese ich den Bericht und hoffe, dass es für Euch gut weiter geht. hier geht es allen gut.
    Liebe Gruesse aus Oberstdorf. Birgitt

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