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Bipolar explorers

On April 14, the Kerguelen Islands welcomed British 19-year-olds Rob Gauntlett and James Hooper to celebrate the last stop of their odyssey to travel 22,000 miles from pole to pole in order to raise awareness and funds to stop global warming.

They began their journey more than a year ago, having spent 11 months skiing, sailing and biking their way to Punta Arenas in Chile. There they chartered Blizzard, a 65-foot aluminum expedition schooner built by Graham Radford and ASB Yachts based in Australia about two-and-a-half months ago through In addition to Gauntlett and Graham, the skipper and owner of blizzard, David Pryce, first mate Matt Watson and crewmember Richard Kirkham are on board, according to a report at

They left the Falklands March 3 and after the Kerguelen Islands they will sail south to the pole before heading north to Sydney, Australia to return the schooner. Trailing behind them is Russian solo adventurer Fedor Konyukhov, who is racing in the Antarctic Circle Cup, according to the report. So far they have sailed through an alley of 2,500 icebergs, judging from satellite images.

The boys hope to return to Sydney May 9. For information, visit

-Elizabeth Ellis