An intrepid Clipper sailor and his squad will trek 100 miles over sea ice to play rugby Sevens
A former Clipper sailor will attempt to set a world record by playing a game of rugby in the North Pole.
Ollie Phillips, the former England Sevens, Gloucester and Stade Francais winger, completed the 40,000-mile Clipper Ocean Race in July 2014 on board the GREAT Britain yacht during an injury break from playing rugby.
Ollie, a Clipper Race ambassador, said: “Doing the Clipper Race gave me the confidence that I could handle extreme conditions and operate in adverse environments. During the circumnavigation, we overcame everything from a tornado, icebergs, hurricanes, massive waves to sweltering heat and freezing temperatures.
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He plans to trek 100 miles across the sea ice to the 1996 Magnetic North Pole in attempt to set a new Guinness World Record and raise £300,000 for the Wooden Spoon charity.
“We are not sure what to expect on this trek and the punishing cold and threat of polar bears is very daunting,” says Ollie.
“I loved discovering the unknown on the circumnavigation and the experience I gained will help when we are freezing and exhausted but need to work together as a team to help each other through.”
The squad, which includes fellow rugby veterans Tim Simpson and Pat Sanderson, will fly from Resolute Bay, in the former North West Territories of Canada before completing the journey on foot in the frozen conditions.
“Most of us know from our love of rugby how important teamwork is for success so we have something to draw on when the going gets tough,” said Oliie.
“Doing the Clipper Race has become part of my moral fibre and gave me the hunger to discover more of the world by taking on further challenges for charity.”
The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is one of the toughest endurance challenges on the planet. Twelve teams compete on the world’s largest matched fleet of 70-foot ocean racing yachts over the course of a year. Around 40 per cent of the crews are sailing novices and there is no upper age limit for competitiors.
The next race starts 30 August 2015 and will be the event’s tenth edition.