Iceberg halts Wagner's dream
Cape Town - Blind adventurer and motivational speaker Hein Wagner
and his running partner Mike Bailey will no longer participate in this year’s Antarctica Marathon on March 7.
An iceberg has damaged the ship, the Akademik Ioffe, which would have taken runners to Antarctica.
“We just received a report this morning from the owner of One Ocean Expeditions that the Akademik Ioffe was damaged by an iceberg. The ship will return to port in Ushuaia on March 3 to assess the damage," said Wagner.
"According to the organisers, it’s unlikely that the necessary equipment will be available to safely decide if the ship is seaworthy for the Antarctica Marathon expedition. The Russian owners of the ship therefore want to bring it back to Europe for a more complete inspection and repair."
According to Wagner, the organisers of the marathon do not want to have everyone depart on the trip, only to find that the voyage must be cancelled, which is likely.
“They have therefore decided to cancel this trip due to the ship being unsuitable for mechanical reasons. The sister ship, the Akademik Vavilov, which the organisers have chartered in the past, is available from 26 March to 6 April, so the marathon will take place then. Unfortunately, due to previous work commitments, Mike and I can no longer participate. We just received confirmation that we are confirmed for 2014 though, and all funds paid to the organisers will be transferred to next years event.
“Of course this is a huge disappointment for us. We’ve been planning this for a long time and have trained hard to be ready. There must be a very good reason why we’re not flying out to Argentina tomorrow."