(19.55 CET, 22 November 2014, Novo Runway, Antarctica): After three years’ meticulous planning and preparation, the exciting Antarctica2 tractor expedition departed into the vast icescape today for its 5000 km journey to the South Pole and back.
In buoyant mood and excited about the challenges ahead, the multi-national team left for this modern-day polar adventure with their red Massey Ferguson MF 5610 tractor forging a path across the snow. Following a period of storms and a wind chill factor down to minus 50 degrees C, the weather conditions for departure were good, and clear skies made for the perfect start to the expedition.
For ‘Tractor Girl’, Manon Ossevoort, it is the beginning of a dream come true as she realises her long-held ambition to take a tractor to ‘the end of the world.’
“It seemed like such an impossibly big dream but it’s all falling into place – now it’s mission possible!” said 38-year-old Manon, Expedition Ambassador and Lead Driver. “I’m like a child on Christmas morning – full of excitement and anticipation.”
“As tractor supplier to the expedition, we are thrilled to see the team finally depart on this once-in-a-lifetime challenge,” remarks Campbell Scott, Massey Ferguson Director Sales Engineering and Brand Development. “It’s a bold mission and promises to be a fascinating story of strength, endurance and team work. Our MF 5610 is ready to face the extreme elements and repeat the achievement of our TE20 tractors which took explorer Sir Edmund Hillary to the South Pole in 1958.”
In a message to the Antarctica2 team congratulating them on their departure, Campbell said: “The hopes and aspirations of the entire worldwide family of our famous red brand, together with the pride, skill, legacy and vision inherited from our founders ride with you as you travel. We wish you a safe journey.”
The expedition team will be up against temperatures as low as minus 50 degrees C, altitude up to 3400m, with both soft snow and hard-packed ice underfoot. Along the way, they can expect to face strong winds, raging blizzards and whiteouts. Depending on conditions, the expedition is scheduled to reach the Geographical South Pole sometime in early December.
"It’s a bold mission and promises to be a fascinating story of strength, endurance and team work"