Preet Chandi: Woman sets new record for polar expedition

  • In Science
  • 2023-01-20 15:40:48Z
  • By BBC
Preet on a training expedition
Preet on a training expedition  

A British Army officer has broken the world record for the longest solo and unsupported polar expedition by a woman.

Preet Chandi, known as Polar Preet, first made history trekking to the South Pole in 2021.

The 33-year-old has so far travelled 868 miles (1,397 km) across Antarctica in temperatures as cold as -50C (-58F).

The previous female record was 858 miles (1,381 km), skied by Anja Blacha in 2020.

However, Capt Chandi, from Sinfin in Derby, did not complete her original aim of becoming the first woman to cross Antarctica solo and unsupported.

She set off from Hercules Inlet in November and hoped to reach Reedy Glacier within 75 days.

An online blog, which she has kept along the way, was last updated on Thursday.

Preet selfie
Preet selfie  

She reported being about 30 nautical miles away from her pick-up point and "pretty gutted" to have missed out on the crossing record.

Despite extreme cold and high winds, she said her spirits were being kept up by listening to recorded messages from friends and family.

Capt Chandi, who is a physiotherapist working at a regional rehabilitation unit in Buckinghamshire, said: "I'm pretty gutted that I don't have the time to complete the crossing.

"I know that I have done a huge journey, it's just difficult while I'm on the ice and I know it's not that far away."

She has been congratulated by the University of Derby, who awarded her an honorary degree last year.

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    (2023-01-21 18:38:16Z)

    Congrats to Preet Chandi on her incredible achievement! Not only did she set a new record for the polar expedition, but she also became the first woman to do so. This is a remarkable accomplishment that speaks volumes about her determination, strength, and courage. It's a reminder to us all that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Well done, Preet!

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