Belgian Adventurers to Use Kites to Break Antarctic Record

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Two Belgian explorers are hoping to set a world record for the longest ever polar expedition without outside support, supplies or motorized aid.

They plan to travel over 6,000 kilometers (3,728 miles) in 100 days across Antarctica.

Veteran adventurer Dixie Dansercoer, who crossed Antarctica in 1997, and 26-year-old Sam Deltour said they will take advantage of the specific wind patterns around the continent to cover large distances using specially-made kites.

They say they could travel an average of 60 kilometers a day, and up to 300 kilometers a day in peak conditions, effectively sailing their heavy sledges across the ice and snow.

Dansercoer is confident they can beat the current world record established by Norwegian Rune Gjeldnes, who trekked 4,800 kilometers in 90 days five years ago.

[Dixie Dansercoer, Polar Adventurer]:
"We strongly believe that we can beat this record because we've now experimented with daily averages and we can go much beyond the 60 kilometer average per day."

Each will drag sleds initially weighing 190 kilograms (420 pounds), which will contain food supplies, tents, kites and scientific equipment.


During their trip they will measure wind patterns and supply information about the quality of the ice they encounter to scientists studying climate change back in Belgium.

As for the risk factor involved, Dansercoer explains:

[Dixie Dansercoer, Polar Adventurer]:
"There's of course the apparent risk factor but it's never higher than being out here in the traffic in Belgium. So when we talk risk I feel much more at ease and comfortable in a place where I can sense them."

Dansercoer and Deltour plan to reach the South Pole around December 14th, 100 years to the day after Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen was the first to set foot there.