Our competition to win two tickets (plus guests) to the Welcome Home reception at Buckingham Palace on February the 16th has now ended. The winners will be notified on Monday the 23rd of January, and announced on here soon after. Many thanks for taking part, and if you haven’t already donated, you can do so by visiting our Donate page.
A MESSAGE FROM MARK
The guys are now back in Punta Arenas, most likely scoffing steak and chips and burgers and goodness knows what else (and quite right too!).
However, before they left the South Pole, Mark Langridge sent through one last audio message, lest we forget him!
Lou Rudd was also able to send through some excellent images from the Amundsen team’s journey. It’s a mix of the sublime and the, erm, not so sublime. Be warned!
LISTEN TO THE AUDIO REPORT
Can’t see the audio player? Download the audio as an MP3
(Click to open directly or right-click and choose “save target or “save link as”)
Here is the full message from Race patron HRH The Duke of Cambridge, sent to us on receiving notification of the completion of the journey by both the Scott and Amundsen teams:
I count it a great privilege, as Patron of the Scott-Amundsen Centenary Race, to welcome you home. What you have achieved, and the honour you have done to Amundsen and Scott and the other great men of history who accompanied them, is beyond all praise.
The fire in heart and soul that drives man to push the boundaries of what is physically possible and, in so doing, to lay bare the extraordinary strengths and depths of our humanity, is alive in the breast of every one of you today, as it was with those intrepid men a century ago.
Hearing of your exploits as they unfolded – and their resonance with 1912 – lent your expedition an almost mythic aura: Team Amundsen as the first people to tackle unsupported the Axel Heiberg Glacier since Amundsen himself passed that way; Team Scott struck by ferocious blizzards in precisely the same spot as were Robert Falcon Scott and his comrades; that same team reaching the South Pole a hundred years to the day as their forebears; and, as if that weren’t enough, with you all the way went the Polar Medal of the valiant Captain Oates. It reads like a heroic epic, like a Norse saga of the frozen South.
As a serving Officer, it makes me so proud that, with the staunch support of The Royal British Legion, it is British soldiers who have achieved this great feat. Four out of the five men who went forward as Scott’s final party were Servicemen too. How proud they would be too of what you have achieved in their memory.
We end our Letters from Home series with a special message from a much-loved member of the Langridge family, not to mention Mark’s other best friend – Bullit the dog!
I cannot tell you how much I have missed you, taking me for walks and playing with my tugger. You will be pleased to hear, I am sure, that I got a plastic squeaky turkey in my Christmas stocking, although, as you will have guessed, the squeak went in about 15.6 seconds followed by the head and legs!
I have especially missed you over the festive period when you sing “The Christmas Songs” to me after a couple of real ales. Again, the house looked like Santa’s grotto as it does every year and Mama kept telling me off for pinching the baubles off the tree, she resorted to dressing me up, as you can see!
I have though been a VERY good boy and although I may be rather rotund (Uncle Kev) I am in no way obese, at least that’s what Murphy tells me!
I was glad to hear your voice when you called home and that you could hear my wiggle waggle tail. Not long now until you are home so in the meantime stay warm and think of me under “Mr Blanky”!
Your faithful dog,
Letters from Home has now come to an end, but you can still leave your messages of support by visiting our Message Board.
Part 3 – The Conclusion
A series of reflections on Antarctic travels past and present, by Peter Otway. In the early 1960s, Peter surveyed much of the areas through which our teams are now passing. In this, Part 3, Peter concludes his series of reflections.
“Our mission, dictated by the New Zealand Antarctic Division, was to produce an accurate topographic map (at a scale of 1:250,000) and to carry out a geological reconnaissance of the region as part of NZ’s Ross Dependency mapping programme. To achieve this, leader Wally Herbert and I (as the surveyor) planned to establish extensive ground control (accurately located natural features) to provide the framework for us to map the detail from US oblique aerial photography once back in New Zealand. Geologist Vic McGregor was responsible for the geological mapping and rock collection and mountaineer and guide Kevin Pain was our field assistant – and my tent and sledging mate. That was the theory, but then there was always the “Antarctic factor” which ensures that every physical, or even mental, endeavour is just that much harder to do there than anywhere else on earth thanks to the ever-present cold and the effort of even moving around in over-stuffed clothing or carrying out fiddly tasks wearing great furry mitts.”
The three schools that raise the most funds for the Scott-Amundsen Race and the Royal British Legion will be rewarded with a visit from the Scott team! Mark, Vic and Kev will give a full presentation during their visit, with slides, videos, images, in short, the full works.
Schools wishing to donate should do so via the JustGiving.com page. Enter the name of your school when donating, and email Andy the webmaster firstname.lastname@example.org to make sure we register your donation.
We’d also like to invite all the schools that are following the progress to contact the webmaster, so that you can be mentioned on a new “Scott-Amundsen Schools” page. Please include a very short text on your school and any SACR-related activities, especially fundraising efforts! We’ll list your school plus a link to your website.
The Race has now finished, with both teams safely back in Punta Arenas before heading back to the UK. You can still take a look back at their daily race progress – click on the icon to see a particular day’s sitrep in full.
View SACR in a larger map