Guinness Record: Arctic Row
Guinness World Record for “Farthest Open Water Arctic Ocean Row” awarded in 2014 for the 2012 row.
“The Arctic Ocean is the only ocean that has never been rowed across. August 28th, 2012, a team of four young explorers completed an unsupported, non-stop, record-setting voyage in one of the exploration world’s last great firsts.
After 40 days and 1000 miles, Collin West, Neal Mueller, Paul Ridley & Scott Mortensen powered their way along a dangerous section of the fabled Northwest Passage. Their “survival story for the ages” was also an attempt to understand climate change in the Arctic region.”
Mileage: 1000 Days: 41 Men: 4 Precedent: None.
View Arctic Row 2012 on a Google Map
Video of near collision with ice berg
Men’s Journal Article
We are four explorers raising awareness about the Arctic Ocean by undertaking the first, non-stop, unsupported row across the Arctic Ocean. Our expedition delved into Arctic related issues that effect us all: climate change, energy innovation & environmental protection.
Team: The expedition is made up of 4 rowers and 2 rowing positions. The team rowed 4 hours on / 4 hours off for 24 hours a day.
Boat Shape: Unlike traditional rowboats, the rowing vessel is built with the latest in rowing technology. The team will have two watertight cabins – one is for sleeping and the other is for gear and food.
Rowing Position: The seats slide on tracks in the center of the boat. A cable attached to one of the foot pedals runs through the rear cabin and hooks into the rudder, allowing the team to steer as they row.
Food and Water: The team will use a desalinator which will convert 400-pounds of salt water into the 24 liters of drinking water the crew will need every day. Also, the team will eat at least 5,000 calories of dehydrated food, energy bars, and trail mix each day.
Communication: The boat’s instruments are powered by solar panels mounted above the cabins. These solar panels will charge batteries which connect to a VHF radio, GPS, and navigation system. The team will jam out to an iPod for music and use a laptop to track the weather, update a blog, and tweet.
In case of emergency: Ensuring safety to the crew is paramount. The cold conditions add an additional level of complexity because exposure to the water is not survivable for a long period of time like other warm climates. In order to minimize these cold weather dangers the team will be harnessed to the boat at all times.
Additionally, a life raft, grab bag, and survival suit are on board to use at any point. In such a situation, theteam would activate an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) to provide the boat’s coordinates to rescue coordination centers. Furthermore, the Ocean Rowing Society is on call on behalf of the rower during the ocean phases.
A unique, computer-based, voluntary global ship reporting system called AMVER is used worldwide by search and rescue authorities to arrange for assistance to persons in distress at sea. With AMVER, rescue coordinators can identify participating ships in the area of distress and divert the best-suited ship or ships to respond.
Route: Arctic Ocean South to North
Start: Inuvik, Canada
Finish: Point Hope, Alaska
Date: July-August 2012
Distance: 1,000 miles
Duration: 41 days
Route developed with the expert help of Weather Routing Incorporated.
Ocean Rowing Statistics
According to the Ocean Rowing Society (as of September, 2011), the number of ocean rowers to successfully cross an ocean is just 495. And no one has ever completed an Arctic Ocean crossing. As a comparison, over 1,500 individuals have successfully climbed Mount Everest (including our team members Scott and Neal).