Inflatable boats reach Lofoten Islands after Lerwick stop off

The team which left Lerwick last week for the Arctic Circle on two small inflatable boats have completed their mission.

The seven men and one woman crew reached the Lofoten Islands on Sunday evening. As part of the Gore-Tex Arctic Challenge they battled rough seas and a 10-hour, 220-mile night crossing from Shetland to Måløy to complete the adventure.

The team, which took on the task in a bid to prove the capabilities of modern rigid inflatable boats (RIBs), arrived in Svolvaer in the Lofoten Islands at 8pm on Sunday, having travelled 903 miles on water.

Crew member Pete Goss said: “This has been a great trip where I have learned exactly what a RIB can do when put to the test. Thanks to a lovely group of people it has been extremely fun and Norway is breathtaking. As we came into Svolvaer we all felt immensely proud of our achievement and I truly hope it inspires others to get out onto the water and explore.”

Highlights of the trip included swimming in the middle of Norwegian sea at night, 100 miles offshore, surrounded by oil rigs while Julian Hutson-Saxby played a specially selected guitar while bobbing in the water. The team had the freedom to explore, swim and jump in and out of the sea thanks to being kitted out in state of the art Musto HPX dry suits with Gore-Tex technology.

The crew was comprised of professional and highly-experienced offshore adventurers such as Paul Lemmer, Pete Goss, Hugo Montgomery-Swan and Mark Beeley as well as complete novices.

Daily Telegraph journalist Bryony Gordon was the only female member of the team and until the training for the challenge had never done anything like it before.

She said: “I thought it would be terrifying but I have had the most amazing time and feel amazingly lucky to have been able to take part in it. I think I’ve done London girls proud.”


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