This is the final make up of the Expedition Team, with details on each member further down the page:
Expedition Leader – Tim Winter:
Tim learned to sail on the Norfolk Broads in the 1970’s and first experienced offshore sailing with a week cruising round the English Channel in the aftermath of the storm that had devastated the ’79 Fastnet Race the week before. Since then, he has clocked up over 25,000 nm, mostly since joining the RN in Sep 1985; this has included racing and cruising in the Baltic, Mediterranean and Irish Seas, numerous weeks spent around the English Channel, the Fastnet Race in ‘87. The Round Britain and Ireland Race in ’92 and ‘94 and the Classic Coastal Race in New Zealand in ‘95. He joined 6 others to deliver an 82’ Maxi yacht from Plymouth to New York in ’91 and he completed the British Forces Transglobe Southern Ocean leg from Auckland to Punta del Este, via Cape Horn in 2010. It was this trip into the vast emptiness of that ocean that sparked Tim’s desire to sail into the Antarctic region; this has developed through his growing knowledge of the inspiring exploits of Sir Ernest Shackleton into the Antarctic Endurance 2016 project.
“I am very excited by the prospect of leading a team to stand on the shoulders of Shackleton, for the Inspiration of others, Celebration of the Endurance Expedition’s centenary and the strength of character in the young members of the Naval Service today and Education of a wide range of organisations on the subjects of team dynamics, high performance and ‘Life Changing Experiences’.”
Deputy Leader – Tony Lancashire:
Tony Lancashire is an enthusiastic sailor and mountaineer fortunate enough to have pursued his twin passions around the world, from alpine peaks to SE Asian seas. He has spent much of his spare time since his early years wandering about the mountains in some form or another, climbing in France, Italy, Norway, Canada and the Himalayas as well as extensively in the UK. He was a relative late comer to offshore sailing however, spending his first ever time on a yacht as part of a week’s AT during initial officer training. The storm lashed exhausting week that followed led to him vowing never to step on a yacht again, yet almost 20yrs later he has gone on to sail extensively around the globe including breaking through the winter pack ice in Northern Norway and a 2000 mile transit of Canada’s fabled NW passage in a tiny 17ft boat.
He thoroughly enjoys the combined challenges of sailing and mountaineering and has been in awe of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s exploits since an early age. As Deputy Leader of Antarctic Endurance 2016 he feels enormously privileged to have the opportunity to combine his twin passions of mountaineering and sailing whilst following in the footsteps of his childhood hero.
Watch Leader – Paul ‘Shady’ Lane:
Joined the RN in 1995, initially as a Mechanic but has now specialised as a hydrography officer and has served in a variety of ships and shore jobs around the world. He joined the team with no mountaineering experience at all, but is a water sports enthusiast qualified to instruct offshore sailing. His extensive experience in yachts along with his broad seamanship skills will equip him well in the role of watch leader.
“As paperboy, I used to walk past Shackleton’s boat the “JAMES CAIRD” everyday (now in Dulwich College) hence the motivation to achieve my life-time ambition of following Shackleton to Antarctica.”
Mountain Leader – William ‘Molly’ MacPherson:
Joined the RM in 1980, he has deployed on operations in the Falklands, N.Ireland, Sierra Leone, Iraq and Afghanistan. He has 5 years combined time in Arctic/Norway winter conditions and is a Royal Marines mountain leader, completing numerous major expeditions in the Himalayas, Africa, EU, N America, Krygystan, Tien Shan, Alps. His planning for and leading of individuals with physical considerations on Khumbu Challenge 2009 (KC09) was captured in the documentary by Chris Terrill “War Torn Warriors”; he was founder of Project Fortitude, a 5-year effort to support wounded RM in the recovery pathway through AT and expedition challenges. His sailing experience is very limited so it’s a new skill he has had to gain and is still learning!
“I look forward to having a unique experience of the Antarctic environment, an unparalleled physical and mental challenge and an incredible adventure in the company of a very special team. I expect to come away from it with a deep sense of achievement in trying to succeed in our goals, having brought the last two years of training and commitment together.”
Mountain Leader – Matt Hoey:
He joined the RM in 1998 and has deployed on operations to N.Ireland, Sierra Leone, Iraq and Afghanistan. As a qualified Royal Marines mountain leader, he has lots of mountaineering experience around the globe, capturing the summits of Mont Blanc (4810m), Island Peak (6189m), Lobuche East (6119m), Pokalde (5806m), The Monche (4107m) and Finsteraarhorn (4,274m). Sailing, on the other hand, is completely new to him.
“I hope to enjoy a quality experience in an extreme environment, building relationships with likeminded people.”
Team Doctor – Donald Angus:
Joined the RN in 2009 and deployed to the east coast of North America, the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean as the Medical Officer on a variety of ships. He spent a week skiing inside the Arctic Circle in Finland and ‘enjoyed’ temperatures down to -34 Celsius. He has extensive dinghy sailing experience (representing the UK in his teens) and has a reasonable amount of yacht sailing experience although most of it is one day racing. He has very little mountaineering experience although have been snow skiing almost every year so have plenty experience of the cold!
“Personally I look forward to being somewhat out of my comfort zone, seeing a part of the world I’d be unlikely to otherwise and experiencing the weather and sea-states that I’ve grown up hearing about in sailing fokelore. I don’t think a wave as big as a block of flats or sea so frothed by the wind there’s no real surface, can be properly imagined without having experienced it. Professionally it’s a hugely challenging prospect: there’s no “999” or mountain-rescue service where we’re planning to go.”
Comms Engineer – Dan Hill:
Joined the RN in 2003 and served in a number of ships in the Middle East, Mediterranean and around the UK; currently serving in HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH. Sailing dinghies for the RN Team, he has also sailed various yachts offshore, one of note from Reykjavik to Scotland for 2 weeks in 2014. However, he was a complete novice to mountaineering when he started on AE16.
“I am looking to experience exposure to risk in a remote and inhospitable environment that will encompass teamwork and leadership to survive and succeed. I will be following a childhood dream to follow Shackleton’s footsteps having read ‘South’ and other explorers’ books as a child.”
Exped ‘Pusser’ – Josh Cowart:
Joined the USN in 2008 and started an exchange post with the RN in 2013. He has served in US ships circumnavigating Africa and operating in the Gulf and has spent most of his time with the RN serving in Mine Countermeasures ships, again in the Gulf. He describes himself very much a ‘flat lander’ from the American South where they have pristine beaches, not craggy peaks. However, he has now been hill-walking in Snowdonia and conducted some mountaineering training in the Austrian Alps through AE16. He has a good bit more sailing experience as his family has often owned a sailboat of some variety, aboard which he gained quite a bit of coastal and river sailing experience to go along with his university racing experience.
“This expedition appeals to me, genuinely tugging at the heartstrings. The idea of re-inspiring the sense of adventure in young Sailors and Marines resonates with me massively. An additional opportunity is the chance to participate in such a unique AT experience, one that I can take back to the USN and attempt to persuade them to adopt similar programs.”
Marine Engineer – Emily Kutarski:
Joined the RN in 2013, currently serving in HMS DUNCAN. Her passion for mountaineering started whilst undertaking a 6-month solo backpacking trip in 2009, when she climbed several mountains and volcanoes in South East Asia and spent 5 weeks in Nepal trekking to both Annapurna and Everest Base Camps. She took up ski mountaineering in 2010 and climbed Kilimanjaro in the same year. Just prior to joining the RN, she spent 10 weeks in South America climbing several 6000m peaks along with a successful expedition to summit Aconcagua (6962m). She has not had much previous sailing experience before joining the expedition (a couple of days on a maxi racing yacht), since gaining Comp Crew qualification through the expedition she has organised a week sailing one of the JSASTC yachts in the Solent with other trainee engineer officers.
“I want to achieve a long held ambition to visit Antarctica and feel humbled to be able to attempt such a historic crossing of South Georgia. During the expedition I look forward to building on the new skills I have learned during the training and selection process. I hope to build on the foundation AT qualifications gained and reach instructor level during my time in the RN and hope to inspire others to push themselves to apply for AT.”
Diver – Kris Cunningham:
Joined the RN in 2008 and specialised as Mine Clearance Diver, serving in the Gulf and around the UK. An enthusiastic sportsman, representing the RN U23 at football, he is keen to expand his experiences in all kinds of outdoor activity. He is also a member of the team that achieved the world record for underwater cycling, raising over £7000 for charity in the process.
“I hope to experience a great adventure and continue to learn. This whole process has been a great learning experience for myself and I one day plan to lead an expedition or 10 myself and carve a career out in the navy as a modern day adventurer.”
Exped Photographer – Matt Bower:
Joined the RM in 2012 and served in 45 Cdo before joining the Royal Marines Assault Group in Plymouth. He has completed his RYA competent crew qualification and had a few weeks’ sailing experience with AE16. He has spent many weeks in the alps crossing numerous glaciers and climbing a lot of technical alpine routes. He also ascended Mt Kilimanjaro on 2006.
“I’m looking forward to an amazing adventure with a great bunch of people. I love challenging myself and being successful and this seems like a pretty good challenge!”
Xplore Skipper – Stephen Wilkins:
Commencing sailing at the age of seven, Stephen has logged over 350,000 miles at sea. With Xplore since 2007, Stephen is very proud of the success and adventures that everyone has had onboard Xplore in the South.From 2003, for 3 years Stephen was the Skipper and Expedition Leader of Pelagic Australis custom polar expedition yacht, voyaging to Antarctica, South Georgia Island, the Falkland Islands, and throughout Tierra del Fuego. Previously Stephen circumnavigated the globe as Skipper in the 2000/2001 BT Global Challenge and has twice competed in the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. A lecturer at the Australian Maritime College in the areas of marine meteorology, navigation, seamanship and electronics. Stephen also holds the qualifications of Master, Class 3, RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Examiner. His passions are people, sailing and exploring the southern reaches of the globe.
“As part of the 100 year anniversary of Sir Ernest Shackleton, Xplore visited London to promote the upcoming expedition with the Royal Navy team whose expedition we will be doing next January in Antarctica and South Georgia. A further highlight of the week here in London was the visit to Xplore of the Honourable Alexandra Shackleton, granddaughter of Sir Ernest Shackleton who is greatly enthusiastic and supportive of the Antarctic Endurance expedition which we will be doing. I was pleased to have presented her a signed copy of one of the Xplore hydrographic “Crafty Charts” showing that the spirit of discovery and adventure is still very much alive.”
Reserve Team Member – Alex Saunders:
He joined the RN in 2013 and is currently undergoing professional training as a Warfare Officer. Although an enthusiast of the great outdoors, he had no previous experience of offshore sailing or winter mountaineering. He is keen to use his involvement in AE16 as a springboard for other adventurous training activities in the future.
“Growing up reading Ranulph Fiennes’ accounts of Antarctica during the course of The Transglobe Expedition fostered a fascination with the continent and a desire to experience the conditions in the South. This was further fuelled by reading the works of the other great explorers and expedition leaders that have made their name in Antarctica”
Reserve Team Member – Tom Bloor:
Having joined the RM in 2011, until recently he has spent most of his time deployed in RN Assault Ships in the Middle East and Mediterranean; he is now on exchange with the Royal Netherlands Marine Korps. He has completed a wide range of ultra-marathons , including the Jungle Marathon (a 6 day multistage ultra-marathon through the Amazon Rainforest) and has cycled from Marrakech to London. He gained his RYA competent crew qualification a few years ago and has had a few weeks’ sailing experience with AE16. He has spent a lot of time in the hills and recently gained his mountain leader qualification. Having climbed Mount Fuji in the winter he is keen to further his ‘big mountain’ experience.
“I want to have an amazing adventure in an exotic place. This is an opportunity to work in a challenging environment and see what my limits are.”
Chief Research Officer / Chief Investigator – Professor Andrew St George:
Andrew wrote the Royal Navy’s leadership manual, Royal Navy Way of Leadership, for the Second Sea Lord in 2013. Andrew combines an academic background (Cambridge, Harvard, Oxford) with business experience (public affairs, communications) and advisory roles for the Royal Navy, Army (RMAS) and at the Defence Academy (JSCSC); he has also taught on the Royal Navy’s Perisher course (SMCC). He has written 14 books in business, communications and history; and has advised CEOs and business leaders. He is a visiting professor in management and leadership at Cass Business School (London) and a Fellow of Aberystwyth University Business School. His main research interest in this expedition is leadership in small teams in stressful conditions. Andrew is a keen skier, mountaineer and mountain biker.
Some of the AE16 Team with Xplore in London, 10 June 2015: Mne Matt Bower, AB Kris Cunningham, SLt Alex Saunders, PO Dan Hill, Maj Tony Lancashire, Cdr Tim Winter. (Crown Copyright/MOD 2015).