The Polar Row, a world first
and the most record-breaking manpower expedition in history
GUINNESS RECORDS CLAIMED
POLAR ROW I : TROMSØ - LONGYEARBYEN
July 20, 2017 - July 30, 2017
- Northernmost latitude (78°15'20'') reached by a rowing vessel
- Fastest crossing of the Arctic Ocean
- First to row the Arctic Ocean South to North
- First to row across the Barents Sea
FOR FIANN PAUL:
- First to row 4 oceans
- First to hold current speed records on 4 oceans
POLAR ROW II: LONGYEARBYEN - ICE SHELF, ICE SHELF - JAN MAYEN
August 8, 2017 - August 21, 2017
- Northernmost departure point (78°13')
- Northernmost latitude (ice shelf edge - 79°55'50'')
- First to row the Arctic Ocean North to South
- First to row the Greenland Sea
FOR FIANN PAUL AND CARLO FACCHINO:
- First to row the Arctic Ocean in both directions
- The most record breaking man-powered expedition
- The longest distance rowed on the Arctic Ocean Open Waters within one expedition
FOR FIANN PAUL
- Most record breaking Ocean Rower
Records can be verified on the Official Guinness World Records Website
Beginning in July 2017, a crew of international rowers carried the coveted Explorer's Club flag on a pioneering initially two-stage, later extended to three-stage Arctic expedition. The first stage of the expedition departed Tromsø (Norway) for Longyearbyen (Svalbard), and was officially recognised as the first ever South to North row in the Arctic, and reached the northernmost latitude achieved by a rowing crew (record which stood for 27 years) and among many records broke existing Arctic Ocean speed record by 3,5 times. It was the biggest record demolition in the history of Ocean Rowing and set Arctic Ocean speed record higher than the current Pacific Ocean speed record, very unexpected occurrence in the Ocean Rowing world. Captain Fiann Paul became the first person to row 4 Oceans and the first person to hold speed records on 4 Oceans.
The majority of the crew members were then replaced in Longyearbyen where the initial plan was to head directly to Iceland. Instead the expedition was extended by adding additional stage: to row North all the way to the Ice Shelf. Having reached the Ice Shelf, team Polar Row II broke the Northernmost Latitude record again, the exploratory Polar Row team then continued to Iceland. Due to various difficulties, the crew finished it's Journey in Jan Mayen. Despite not reaching Iceland, the distance covered by the expedition remained the same as the initially planned two-stage expedition by adding the additional stage of rowing to the Ice Shelf, and the amount of records claimed remained same, which include many World Firsts. Fiann Paul and Carlo Facchino became the first People to row the Arctic Ocean both directions. It was the most record breaking Ocean Row and Fiann Paul became the most record breaking Ocean Rower.
The crew had no sails and no motor to aid them in their quest, and was buffeted by strong and unpredictable Arctic winds (in stark contrast to completely wind dependent lower latitudes' ocean rowing routes). Fiann Paul and Carlo Facchino were dedicated to continue the Journey to Iceland. Fiann arranged a replacement crew and a private airplane but the airplane didn't receive the landing permit from the Norwegian Military Authorities.
In addition to setting an unparalleled series of Official Guinness Records (listed above), the crew had two further objectives. Through generous donation from supporters, the crew raised a significant amount of money for the children's charity Unicef who work to provide better lives to children at risk in 190 countries of the world.
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 undertook a study into the physiological responses to the extreme stresses that the crew experienced during this uniquely challenging expedition. The results of the study are currently being documented.