O’Brady and Rudd race for a world first
Lou Rudd and Colin O'Brady are locked in a race to become the first person to traverse Antarctica solo, unsupported and unassisted. The two men must make it from Hercules Inlet on the coast of Antarctica to the Ross Ice Shelf on the other side of the continent, on route they will pass through the South Pole.
26 days in and the race is still far too close to call. Despite starting a day later than Rudd, O'Brady currently holds an approximately two-day lead. O'Brady is 41km ahead, but with dangerously variable weather conditions a two-day lead could evaporate quickly.
In the early going both men have struggled with snowstorms and white-outs. Navigating in these conditions requires complete trust in your compass and GPS. Their next major challenge will be sastrugi fields as they head up towards the Thiel mountain range. Sastrugi are hard ridges of snow and ice formed by the polar winds, they can make moving a heavy sled significantly more difficult and present a serious injury risk. Even a minor fall in the Antarctic wilderness could prove deadly.