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Expedition Greenland ICE: Investigating the Climate with Eolus

Explorers Dixie Dansercoer and Eric McNair-Landry are on the verge of an Arctic world record attempt in Greenland. The courageous duo are set to begin a kiting expedition in which they will circumnavigate the Greenland Icecap, a mind-boggling distance capitalizing on the power of the wind. Simultaneously they will perform ground-breaking scientific research that will further aid our understanding on global warming and provide insight into how it can be countered. DEME supports the Greenland ICE expedition because it shares Dixie’s ambition to reduce mankind’s environmental footprint and encourages pioneering, sustainable activities.

Brussels, March 31, 2014 -Dixie Dansercoer (51) and Eric McNair-Landry (30) are ready to embark on an expedition to set a world kiting distance record over the massive Greenland Icecap - the second largest ice cap in the world - covering more than 5000 kilometers in under 80 days. Dixie and Eric will simultaneously perform scientific data collection to assist researchers in their crucial understanding of climate change, not only in Greenland but throughout our globe. The Belgian-Canadian team will be setting off on this unprecedented expedition on April 7th.

Eric and Dixie will be dropped off by helicopter onto the ice cap, somewhere West of Tasiilaq on the east coast of Greenland and finally end at the same point: Green-speed Ridge (N 65°46.736 W 38°32.869). They will be traveling anti-clockwise to follow the katabatic winds that – under the influence of the Coriolis Effect (rotation of the Earth) – veer to either left or right, depending on whether you are in the northern or southern hemisphere. ”We’ll highlight sound risk management and a strong commitment to corporate responsibility, exuding experience, leadership, ambition, a zest for pioneering with calculated risk taking”, says Dixie.

Intensive preparation phase

”An expedition of this nature is going to be particular because we are traveling in a big circle around a wind source, meaning we will be edging with our left ski continuously,” explains Eric when asked about the physical challenges ahead. ”This will obviously put a lot of strain on the left knee, and in general kiting requires strong knees.” Dixie’s physical preparation involves specific lower back exercises: ”A couple of months before the expedition I began pulling tires on long hikes. Running and biking are my regular endurance fitness choices.”

However it will be an indomitable mental strength upon which both expeditioners will rely, something they have stubbornly honed during their intensive preparation phase. ”Keeping sane on an expedition is difficult but obviously necessary,” admits Eric. ” Generally I find that keeping the mind exercised is a good antidote: bringing along thought provoking books, video and audio lectures, and a sketch pad to document and design tends to keep me well occupied.” Dixie adds: ”A polar expedition is a contradictory thing to do in an otherwise modern society that offers nothing but comfort, an endless palate of colours, diverse smells, and a neverwavering menu of stimuli. The only way to prepare for a long-haul expedition is to invite difficulty into your life.”

100% Green Expedition: wind and solar energy as worthy expedition partners

Dixie and Eric will be promoting environmental sustainability by offsetting their own environmental imprint.

With limited resources available during expeditions on the ice and none of the CO²-producing tools, this expedition will showcase an ambitious sustainable activity producing limited waste. Regarding the environmental footprint, the explorers will operate under the slogan “reduce to the max.” To date the team has pushed waste reduction so far that the total waste amounts to only 600 grams for two people for 80 days on the ice (= 3,75 g per person per day!). During the expeditions, an average of 9 cl of fuel will be burned per person per day. The project will be using new pioneering solar energy and kiting techniques to master wind power in a more efficient way, making the expedition close to 100% environmentally friendly. Dixie and Eric strive towards a maximum use of renewable energy and sustainable mobility.

During their journey Dixie and Eric will make 100% use of the wind to advance. Based on theoretical wind circulation and in cooperation with scientists a specific route was determined so that the progress could be accomplished by kite.

Newly developed kites

Dixie and Eric will carry newly developed Ozone-kites in their sleds, including various sail sizes to catch the wind at both high and low altitudes. Dixie: “One, of course, needs wind to cover such a great distance with kites, but too much wind can make kiting a dangerous operation. It will be an exercise of constant adaptation when choosing the appropriate kite for the specific wind conditions. For low wind days we will use the prototype Chrono 18 square meter kite.”

Dixie and Eric will also take along two state of the art flexible solar panels which will provide energy for charging all batteries (including Iridium Extreme satellite phones, Canon video and photo camera, Panasonic Toughpad, Astron Rough Pro and other electronic devices). It is the explorers’ mission to create a global desire and subsequent engagement on an individual level. Dixie: “Our focus is to reach as many global citizens as possible through our adventurous platform and to help them engage in a realistic fashion. When an individual recognizes his/her environmental footprint, then he/she is able to do something about it.”

Ground-breaking scientific research on the vast Greenland icecap

As with every Polar Circles 1 expedition, a sportive goal is not enough to complete such a rigorous adventure. Dixie and Eric will carry scientific equipment with them to collect much needed data on global warming for global climate experts – this information will be used in ground-breaking research which affects us all. The research will be monitored and managed by a dedicated scientific research committee.

For more information:

Visit: www.greenlandice.be and follow Dixie and Eric on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Moreover, you can use the following link to download pictures and the expedition logo:

Contact

Interel contact: Cedric van der Donk, cedric.vanderdonk@interelgroup.com – 00 32 474 346 037

Polar Circles: Stefan Maes, project coordinator Greenland ICE: stefan@polarcircles.com – 00 32 475 89 43 46.

 

1 Polar Circles is a company specializing in polar expeditions, polar guiding, corporate supporting programs, and public speaking – www.polarcircles.com

 

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