Row to the Pole expedition keeps us on the edge of our seats

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One year on we look back on Artic explorer Jock Wishart’s epic row to the Magnetic North Pole.

One year on we look back on Artic explorer, Jock Wishart’s epic row to the Magnetic North Pole.

Friday 29th July 2011 was a momentous day for us here at Old Pulteney Distillery. That’s when Artic explorer Jock Wishart and his intrepid six-man crew set off to row to the Magnetic North Pole. The historic expedition, sponsored by Old Pulteney, was four years in the planning. A recce of the route took place by plane in August 2009, and a specially commissioned and designed ‘ice boat’ was built – ‘The Old Pulteney.’ Jock undertook the challenging process of finding and selecting the first five members of his crew and then a global competition was held to recruit the 6th and final member. After the winner was revealed on 7th January 2011, the team undertook 8 months of intense training to prepare for the expedition.

Once the ‘Old Pulteney’ set off through the ice strewn seas, however, there was nothing we could do here at the distillery but sit and wait for news. Jock and his team certainly kept us on the edge of our seats! The Old Pulteney had several collisions with icebergs and floating ice, and at one point Arctic ice closed in on her almost completely, threatening the whole expedition.

We eventually heard they had made it on 26th August 2011- reaching the magnetic north pole at 12.30amGMT. It probably won’t surprise you to hear that we had a dram or two of Old Pulteney to celebrate!

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