Burnham-On-Sea, Somerset

Published: January 28, 2008
Arctic explorers begin training alongside Burnham hovercraft crews

Two Arctic explorers who hope to be the first to travel to the North Pole in a hovercraft have this week begun training alongside the crew of Burnham-On-Sea's rescue hovercrafts.

Simon Marshall, from Wembdon near Bridgwater, and London-based friend Alex Henney will be attempting a 500-mile expedition to the pole in a custom-made hovercraft similar to Burnham's life-saving Spirit Of Lelaina craft.

With this in mind, the duo have begun training alongside BARB crewmembers in preparation for their Arctic expedition in May 2009.

In return, they will donate the proceeds of the sponsorship of their trip to BARB to help it meet its £30,000 annual running costs.

During the first training session, Simon and Alex were shown around BARB's two hovercrafts and took part in a training flight along the coastline.

BARB Chairman Mark Newman said: "We were delighted to be approached by Simon and Alex and hope we can do all we can to help them with their expedition."

"Not only will they help to raise funds for BARB, but our crews will also benefit from the experience of working with them."

Both Simon and Alex have a great deal of experience in trekking in the Arctic. Mr Marshall has over ten years' experience, having been the base camp manager during the 1996 Ultimate Challenge expedition, which gave novices the opportunity to experience polar travel. And Mr Henney was a member of Team Polar Horizon, which took part in the 2007 Polar Race, a 350-mile race to the Magnetic North Pole.

Burnham-On-Sea Hovercraft Web site
Hovercraft To The Pole Web site


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