Charlie’s Previous Challenges
In 2005, I set up Team Commando Joe and as a three man team we took part in the 2005 Polar Challenge. The Challenge sees competitors from various walks of life, ski from Resolute Bay, one of Canada’s northernmost communities, well inside the Arctic Circle. After just a few days sorting kit out in Resolute Bay, sixteen teams skied the 60 miles, pulling their paulks to the start line. When the race started, teams were going in various directions, choosing the route they thought would be the best for their team. With the sun never setting, we skied for as long as we possibly could, before pitching tent, cooking some food and getting a short but much needed sleep. This was our routine for nine days. During that time we saw five polar bears, a seal basking in the sun but we also hallucinated due to exhaustion. We pushed ourselves hard. 9 days, several hours and minutes later we crossed the finish line, in second place.
The Polar Challenge was my first really tough challenge, but served as a taster for my next challenge, which was longer and mentally harder. The Ocean Fours Rowing Race took place in 2006. After months and months of preparation we rowed, with the tide from New York, under the Verrazano Bridge, out into the Atlantic Ocean. Those who have rowed the Atlantic have generally rowed from the Canary Islands on the eastern side, to either Barbados or Antigua on the western side. We rowed from west to east, the same direction that I will be rowing across the North Pacific. This voyage took us 85 days and cost me five stone in weight loss, but it was well worth it… we raised over £250,000 for charity and earned two Guinness World Records as well! Apparently the first words I said to my father and brother in law was “The Pacific’s next!”