Polar Ocean Rowing Expedition Led by Fiann Paul Secures Three World Firsts

January 26 19:24 2023
Polar Ocean Rowing Expedition Led by Fiann Paul Secures Three World Firsts
Photo taken by Danya Schwertfeger
The Expedition captured three Guiness World Firsts including First to Row from the Antarctic Continent, First to Row the Southern Ocean South to North, and First to Row on the Scotia Sea.

Fiann Paul’s latest Polar Rowing Expedition made landfall on January 17, 2023. The team of six ocean rowers traveled 407 nautical miles in six days, from King George Island to Laurie Island.

The team consisted of Captain Fiann Paul (Iceland) First Mate Dr. Mike Matson (USA), Jamie Douglas Hamilton (UK), Lisa Farthofer (Austria), Stefan Ivanov (Bulgaria), and Brian Krauskopf (USA). The team rowed for 24 hours a day in groups of three, switching shifts every hour and a half. 

The record-breaking expedition includes three world firsts, including: First to Row from the Antarctic Continent, The First Row on the Southern Ocean South to North, and First Row on the Scotia Sea; as well as the records of Southernmost Start of an Ocean Rowing Expedition, and Fastest Polar Row.  

Lisa Farthofer earned the distinction of First Woman to Row on Polar Open Waters. Fiann Paul earned a Grand Hat Trick, for the third time he holds three overall speed records simultaneously, this time on the Indian, Arctic, and Antarctic Oceans. 

Where the Southern Ocean overlaps with the Scotia Sea, located 60 degrees south of the equator, lay the most dangerous waters in the world. The crew of six endured temperatures that hovered at 1 degree centigrade with 100% humidity. They battled rough waters, waves up to nine meters, winds at 35 knots, and icebergs. 

But crew member Lisa Farthofer still found beauty in the elements. “You will never know until you are able to experience such brutal and pure beauty of nature,” Farthofer says, “Rowing on Antarctic waters was more than just achieving records, it gave me the opportunity to dive into a world I would have never been able to see.”

Despite the conditions and the circumstances, the team broke speed records. Their average speed was 2,85 knots; 10 years ago polar rows were moving less than 1 knot on average.  “This expedition was objectively my most difficult row weather-wise and logistics wise,” Fiann Paul states, “It required a lot of extra effort to start from Antarctica, and both starting and ending in cold weather.” 

This mission marks the end of Fiann Paul’s ocean rowing career. However, the world’s most successful explorer doesn’t plan on retiring completely, “Being an explorer is not just about going on expeditions,” says Fiann Paul, “It is an approach to life. Thank you to Mike and the whole team for making this expedition possible. It was an intense adventure.”

About Fiann Paul

Fiann Paul is an Icelandic explorer, athlete, artist, speaker, and Jungian psychoanalyst.  He is the world’s most record-breaking explorer and holds the world’s highest number of performance-basedGuinness World Records ever achieved within a single athletic discipline. Paul was the first and only person to achieve the Ocean Explorers Grand Slam, completing open-water crossings on each of the five oceans using human-powered vessels. He also led the most record-breaking expedition in history and the only three successful human-powered pioneering expeditions into the open waters of both polar regions.

He holds four academic degrees and is a trained Jungian psychoanalyst. His work includes discussing the psychology and psyche of explorers and endurance athletes and traits of successful people and leaders. Paul is an artist and photographer whose work encompasses indigenous people, Arctic landscapes, and social and environmental issues. His outdoor art installations have decorated the main streets in Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavik, as well as other cities all over the world. 

He is an anthropologist by passion who has lived on every continent. His unique approach to life, bringing together physical, artistic, and intellectual excellence, has led him to be described as a modern-day Renaissance Man. 

For more information visit  https://www.rowlaughexplore.com/the-shackleton-mission

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