October 24, 2007

An update for SOUTH (for which we are sponsor 27): From Ben Saunders (SpoFi member), who plans to make the first return journey to the South Pole on foot, comes this expedition update. Details inside.

posted by worldcup2002 to navel gazing at 01:02 PM - 2 comments

A quick bit of history: I put down $100 on behalf of SpoFi back in 2005 or 2006 (I think). Given the option to get a refund, I've told Ben to keep the money. He also agreed to my posting his email, which I received yesterday: -------------------------------------------------------- Dear supporters of SOUTH, Firstly, my apologies for the bulk nature of this email, but I wanted to drop you all a line to give you a quick progress report. The main news is that the SOUTH expedition has had to be postponed to October 2008. This is, for the most part, due to the pressure of raising sponsorship. A few of you have expressed (understandable) frustration at the time it's taking to get this project off the ground, and I wanted to stress that the expedition's budget is close to US$1million, so even if we had sold all the miles by now, it would cover less than a fifth of the total cost. The idea of selling miles came after a few people emailed after my 2004 expedition to ask if they could contribute to the next one somehow. I've had a couple of gut-wrenching emails from parents of kids with pocket money invested in the expedition, and in hindsight, it wasn't the greatest idea - I now have 125 people with a vested interest in a project that has been postponed three years in a row, and 125 people I feel I've let down. Rest assured that the expedition will go ahead - I'm on track to announce a three-year partnership with one of the world's largest technology companies later this year, and the decision has also given me time to return to the North Pole: in March 2008 I set off from the coast of Canada for the geographic North Pole with the aim of setting a speed record. Robert Peary is widely credited with reaching the Pole in 37 days in 1909, using dog sleds. Travelling on foot, no one has come close to Peary's time, and I'm going to have a go at raising the bar a bit. I haven't announced this to the press (or on my website) yet, so you heard it here first! If you'd like your sponsorship investment refunded, drop me a line at ben@bensaunders.com. If you're happy to continue your support (and you have my heartfelt thanks if you do) then you don't need to do anything. As ever, you can read more about what I'm up to at http://www.bensaunders.com/ and I look forward to catching up with as many of you as possible before I head back to the Arctic... My best, Ben Saunders

posted by worldcup2002 at 01:06 PM on October 24, 2007

Thanks for the update wc2002. I read it and thought I had commented. I guess I dreamed it.

posted by justgary at 09:07 PM on November 06, 2007

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