Training and Selection

A good start to the research has been achieved with the initial gathering in Anglesey in the last wekend in June providing the opportunity for the majority of the initial data set to be collected. It also enabled the team to get to know each other and early opinions to be formed on what lay ahead. Since then, most of the team has been to sea in a Victoria 34, courtesy of the Joint Services Adventurous Sail Training Centre in Gosport, and some ‘summer’ mountain experience to be gained, again through the support of the Joint Services Mountain Training Centre INDEFATIGABLE.

A step change will take place in 2015, as the team selection process starts to hone in on the final group to take part in the Antarctic expedition in Jan 2016. The winter mountain training in Scotland, taking place in the first week of Feb, will give everyone an experience of the challenges ahead and provide the basis of the first cut in active participation. The next training period is back at sea, this time in a Joint Services Challenge 67 yacht for a week (16 -21 or 21 – 27 Mar) learning some of the skills required of prolonged offshore sailing in some demanding ocean conditions.

To follow will be alpine training for glacier traverse skills and further altitude acclimatisation and further offshore sailing, subject to availability of a suitable yacht.

The first of this year’s training has successfully completed.  Here is the team taking part in the Winter Mountain Foundation training mustered ahead of heading out for a day on the ridgeway behind them:


The view across the Cairngorm National Park was spectacular on the last day; more pictures are available on our Facebook page at THIS LINK .


Sail Training was successfully completed over the period 15 – 27 March 2015. This provided an excellent challenge for the members of the team and an opportunity to evaluate their readiness for the next phase of the project.  It included several days at sea in the English Channel (not all as benign as this picture suggests!):


And some important inshore training for safe anchorage techniques, boat handling and man overboard recovery.  These delightful weather conditions on the River Dart were soon forgotten when working the boat across a strong current!


The 3 Peaks Challenge.

A training opportunity as well as a fundraising effort through individual sponsorship saw 9 of the team taking part in the 3 Peaks Challenge (completed in 23 hours and 45 minutes).  These pictures show the team at the start and up to the top of Ben Nevis: