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Commando Joe stakes their claim
Commando Joe team
The Commando Joe team in Resolute Bay
Last updated: 22 April 2005 1157 BST
lineThe Commando Joe team prepare for their 350 mile polar race with a mini expedition in the area around Canada's second most northern community...
(April 2005)
Commando Joe

Commando Joe - what's it all about?

An interview with Gloucestershire's very own action man.

An interview with Commando Joe campaign manager Adrian Bell.

Icy preparations


Commando Joe

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2005 Features Archive

Polar Facts

There are around 25,000 bears with about 60% of those living in Canada.

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The Commando Joe team arrived in Resolute Bay, the second most northern community in Canada, on Thursday 14th April 2005 ahead of this year's Scott Dunn Polar Challenge.

All the teams participating in this year’s race then spent three days and two nights on the ice, on a mini-expedition, to check their equipment and familiarise themselves with procedures.

Positive start

The Commando Joe team got off to a positive start in their attempt to claim the polar race as their own.

quoteOur background as Commandos gives us that mental and psychological edge.
Charlie Martell

The three members of the team – Cirencester-based Charlie Martell, Steve Clewley and Gary Bullen – forged ahead and were the first team to arrive back in camp. Speaking from Resolute Bay on Sunday night, Charlie explained:

"The Polar Challenge is as much about mental stamina and attitude as it is about physical prowess.

"Our background as Commandos gives us that mental and psychological edge, as well as both physical capability and previous experience of the Arctic.

"That’s a big advantage over the other teams, a fact borne out when we were the first to arrive back in camp."

Polar bear attack

On Monday (19th April), the teams began the 65-mile slow ski to the start line, at the abandoned Polaris Mine, before the race starts on Saturday (23rd April).

During this period they’ll face temperatures of -60C, biting winds, and the risk of attack from polar bears. That risk is only too real because, on Sunday (17th April), two explorers unconnected with the Polar Challenge narrowly escaped injury after shooting a polar bear as it tried to claw its way into their tent while they slept.

Weapons practice in Resolute Bay

For that reason, part of the preparations in Resolute Bay focused on the polar bear threat; team members were practising close-range weapons fire just in case they actually meet one of these creatures during the race.

The Commando Joe team will begin their attempt to win the 350 mile polar race on Saturday 23rd April 2005. The team are also raising money for the Meningitus Trust and awareness of the condition. See the original Commando Joe feature.

Keep an eye on Commando Joe's progress at the pole with the regular updates below...

Commando Joe updates!

Find out how Charlie and the team are getting along on their 350 polar race.

Click here for their latest progress

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2005 Archive
Check out the 2005 Features archive for past stories from the website

2004 Archive
Check out the 2004 Features archive for past stories from the website

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