SiteGround-supported Antarctic Rowing Expedition wins 8 Guinness Records (+ A Petition to Protect the Southern Ocean)
Last December, while everyone was in the whirlwind of the end-of-year Holidays, among the SiteGround team there was a different excitement in the air. We had just announced our support for the World’s first human-powered rowing expedition from the Antarctic – and our whole team was anticipating the start of the adventure, planned for January 2023.
Fast forward to a little over a month later, the mission was successfully completed with extraordinary success and 8 Guinness records! As one of their main sponsors, at SiteGround we are extremely proud with the accomplishment of the crew, but even more so with their cause – the petition to help prevent the overexploitation of the once pristine marine environment of the Southern Ocean.
Our support for entrepreneurial spirit and a stand for the Planet
It all started in November 2022, when we decided to hold an inspiring internal event for the SiteGround team in our HQ office. We had invited Bulgarian entrepreneur and adventurer Stefan Ivanov, who already had 2 Guinness Records with his son Maxim, awarded for their astounding journey, called NEVEREST. For NEVEREST his son and himself spent 105 Days across the Atlantic in the hurricane season in a rowing boat they built themselves in their garage at home.
During the meeting with the team, Stefan revealed that he was about to become part of another expedition with even bigger stakes and cause – to help protect the environment of Antarctica. The upcoming mission resonated deeply with the inherent values of the SiteGround team – to challenge yourself, raise the limit of what’s possible, and live with purpose. But it also highlighted our need to care and take action for our planet and our personal and collective responsibility for its protection. In the words of our co-founder, Ivo Tzenov, “The courage to keep doing what you believe in, despite that everyone tells you it’s impossible, is no stranger to us. It’s exactly what’s been driving our work and success at SiteGround from the start. But the mission had our support also because of their cause and stand for the environment, which is also something that we at SiteGround firmly believe in”. So it was only natural that we decided to support this endeavor.
The Shackleton Mission 2023
The crew of the Shackleton Mission included 6 leading explorers and adventurers from 5 countries – Captain Fiann Paul (Iceland), Lisa Farthofer (Austria), Jamie Douglas-Hamilton (United Kingdom), Brian Krauskopf (USA), Mike Matson (USA), and our home-country representative Stefan Ivanov (Bulgaria). The expedition departed across the Southern Ocean from the Antarctic King George Island to South Georgia Island aboard their boat, Mrs Chippy, on January 11, 2023. Their 850 nautical mile journey passed across what is regarded by many as “the most dreaded bit of ocean on the planet”. It retraces the voyage made by Sir Ernest Shackleton and 5 of his crew in 1916 that saved the lives of all 28 members of Shackleton’s previous Endurance expedition.
The 2023 Shackleton Mission was conducted under the flag of “THE EXPLORERS CLUB”. Established in New York in 1904, the club has been supporting scientific expeditions of various disciplines and uniting its members in the bonds of good fellowship. It’s the same club, whose flag graced the first expeditions to the South and the North Poles, mount Everest, and even the Moon!
The whole SiteGround team followed the Antarctic mission’s journey closely thanks to the online diary of the Bulgarian representative in the crew, who even managed to post regular updates along the way! On January 17, 2023, the mission was completed and the team landed safely on Laurie Island (South Orkney Islands) after rowing 777 km (420 nautical miles) in the Southern Ocean in 6 days. The row meets all requirements of the Ocean Rowing Society and qualifies as a successfully completed polar ocean row and won 8 Guinness Records:
🏆 First human-powered expedition from the Antarctic
🏆 First human-powered expedition on the Southern Ocean South to North
🏆 First human-powered expedition on the Scotia Sea
🏆 The first human-powered expedition completed entirely within the Southern Ocean
🏆 Southernmost start of a rowing expedition
🏆 Fastest row on the Southern Ocean
🏆 Longest distance rowed on the Southern Ocean
🏆 Fastest Polar row
A small row boat, a giant leap for the Planet
The crew of the Shackleton Mission were aiming to challenge what’s humanly possible, but their mission went beyond that. It is true evidence that with the right team, the right partner, and support, we can accomplish anything.
That’s also true for the mission’s even greater goal – to prevent the overexploitation of the once pristine marine environment of Antarctica. The petition started by the crew calls for the designation of new marine protected areas of at least 4,000,000 km2 in the Southern Ocean – the largest marine protection in history. Given that over 90% of the large marine species in the oceans are already in danger of extinction, with your help we can stop this.
Read more and sign the petition: