SWOOSH Snowsailer Iceland Roundup
Post Iceland Adventure
What was the highlight of your trip?
Without doubt the weather clearing on the Sunday at 4am. This allowed us to get up on top of the glacier and ride for 16 hours. Proving the durability of the snowsailer and being able to set a speed record of 47km/h as well as being the first to traverse a glacier in a snowsailer.
What were the conditions like?
Absolutely absurd…………when we arrived at the bottom of the Langjokull Glacier on our first day the Katabatic winds, these are winds that blow down a slope in cold climates were already gusting at 35 knots. To top it all for the first 3 days we were subject to incessant rain and high winds. This meant that the snow became like sugar and impossible to ride on. If someone had said to me that being at 1300mts above sea level, in summer, on a Glacier in Iceland, and subject to 30mm of rain a day I would have said “No way!!!!” but that’s what we encountered for the first 3 days, rain, whiteout and wind gusts up to 45 knots at times.
How did you overcome the many challenges you faced in Iceland?
It was a case of the team working together to come to a solution. We agreed it was pointless to remain on the glacier overnight and put up with the rain when we could ride down to the basecamp hut and remain dry. Secondly being able to get some decent sleep meant that we made great decisions when setting up our ride day. This left us in the position to start riding as soon as the weather cleared and the snow crisped up.
At 1300mts above sea level the dehydration factor is huge. On top of that you are constantly moving whilst trying to stay warm and having a bottle of Staminade with each of us, along with a bottle of water kept us hydrated at all times.
What does the Staminade tagline “First aid for thirst” mean to you?
We set ups a “buddy” system between the 3 of us whilst on the glacier. This was to ensure we were safe at all times. Just like you would carry a first aid kit with you as a backup, the fact that we could rely on Staminade as our go to drink, and check that each of us were hydrating ourselves throughout the day, ensured that prevention was better than cure.
Did you break the ‘Guinness World Record – Greatest distance travelled in 24 hours Snowsailing? How far did you travel?
We did not have the opportunity to ride for 24 hours due to weather. However we set a speed record of 47km/h in the “Staminade Dash” and during the day we rode covered in excess of 235km.
That we should have been on the glacier in May not June and we should have allowed an additional 5 days to accomplish what we set out to do. Our expeditions are so reliant on weather and ground conditions. We checked the weather for 14 days before we arrived and at no time was there an indication of what we were about to find when we arrived. Having the extra time would definitely have allowed us to achieve our goal.
What are your top tips for any individual who has a World Record in their sights?
- Believe in yourself and your dream.
- Build in a weather factor so that you are not racing the clock and expending needless energy on stressing out about what you cannot control.
- Surround yourself with positive people.
- Take the best gear that you can get your hands on.
- Make sure that in your training you don’t skimp on putting in the hard yards. The last thing you want is to ever think “If only I had………………”
Are there anymore World Record breaking attempt in the works for team Swoosh?
Yes, a massive event in 2019. Adrian will be attempting a solo journey to ride the SWOOSH Snowsailer from the South Pole to Union Glacier, a distance of 1000km. This will be made in the ideal weather window giving Team SWOOSH the opportunity to set the 24 hour world record but also the record for the quickest time from the South Pole to Union Glacier – wind powered.