October 19, 2017
Laura Try

Alex Gregory | The Polar Row | IGo Adventures

Most ocean rowing events are challenging enough as it is.
On this occasion replace the scorching sun with freezing cold water.
Replace the sunburn with a frozen foot.
It's so cold, you'll wear your foul weather gear for 14 days straight, even when you sleep!
Now poke icebergs out the way with your oars as you row.
Welcome on board The Polar Row.

Alex Gregory, 2 x Olympic and 5 x World rowing champion, took part in the 3 stage ocean rowing expedition from Norway to Svalbard, then on to Iceland.

Our Project Manager Angus Collins and Social Media Manager Laura Try headed to London, to the Igo Adventures Inspired by Adventures Evening to hear about his challenge.

Alex, who spent his life “pursuing little bits of metal” in the Olympics, explained after retiring in August 2016, he woke up 6 months later with a burning desire to do something incredible. Within a matter of weeks, he was invited by email to join The Polar Row challenge, one which outlined “some rowing experiences useful.”

Despite the freezing conditions taking its toll on the crew’s bodies, Alex explained it was the simple life on board the boat which he enjoyed the most. This often the case with most ocean rowing crews we speak to.

Alex’s soggy, swollen hands made the national press and became an internet sensation.

The crew picked up a staggering 11 records along the way, the most records gathered by a human powered expedition.

Here are a just a few:

  • Northernmost latitude reached by a rowing vessel
  • First people to row the Arctic Ocean south to north
  • Biggest crew to row in the Arctic
  • Fastest crossing of an Arctic Ocean

They used a Rannoch R45 boat. It was not specifically designed for the arctic challenge which demonstrates how sturdy, reliable and capable our boats are.

Angus and Laura caught up with Alex after his presentation.

Find out more about how he dealt with the gruelling conditions here:


Thank you to Igo Adventures and Alex for a spectacular evening.