Pioneers Making History

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The Polar Row will be a world first
and the most record-breaking manpower team in history



Beginning in July 2017, a crew of international rowers will carry the coveted Explorer's Club flag on a pioneering two-stage Arctic expedition. The stage of the expedition departs Tromsø (Norway) for Longyearbyen (Svalbard), and will be officially recognised as the first ever South to North row in the Arctic, and will reach the northernmost latitude achieved by a rowing crew. The exploratory Polar Row will then continue as the crew depart Svalbard to cross 2000km of icy Arctic waters to reach Iceland. In so doing, they well become the first rowing team to row in the Arctic in both directions. The crew will have no sails and no motor to aid them in their quest, and will be buffeted by strong and unpredictable Arctic winds (in stark contrast to completely wind dependent lower latitudes' ocean rowing routes).

In addition to setting an unparalleled series of Official Guinness Records, the crew has two further objectives. The second is philanthropic in nature, as the crew aims to build a school in the Himalaya region. This will be the second such school successfully funded by the Fiann Paul Foundation

The final aim of the expedition is to make a contribution to research. In association with the University of Cambridge, crew member Dr. Danny Longman will document the physiological responses to the extreme stresses that the crew will experience during this uniquely challenging expedition. 



  • First to row the Open Waters Arctic Ocean from South to North
  • Fastest row in the Arctic
  • Northernmost latitude reached by a rowing vessel
  • First to row the Open Waters Arctic Ocean both directions
  • Largest team to row in the Arctic



While live weather and tracking remains up to date direct contact with crew on board is currently unavailable