Preet Chandi: Woman sets second world record in polar expedition – BBC
A British Army officer has broken a second world record in the course of an Antarctic trek.
Preet Chandi, known as Polar Preet, has not only surpassed the world record for the longest solo and unsupported polar expedition by a woman, but also the overall record.
Capt Chandi, from Sinfin in Derby, first made history trekking to the South Pole in 2021.
She said of her latest challenge: “It was the toughest thing I’ve ever done.”
Capt Chandi, 33, exceeded the previous world record of 907 miles (1,459.8km), set by Henry Worsley, a retired Lieutenant Colonel, in 2015.
He was picked up from the ice 126 miles (202km) short of completing a crossing of Antarctica and, following illness, lost his life in hospital in Chile.
During the expedition, she covered 922 miles (1,485km) in 70 days and 16 hours, despite difficult conditions.
She said: “It feels incredible to have travelled such a distance, though it was always about so much more than a record.
“I’m just grateful that Antarctica allowed me safe passage for my journey.
“It was a lot tougher than last year’s expedition – the toughest thing I’ve ever done.
“The conditions were harder this season but I felt it was important to keep going.”
She said the severely-adverse conditions had prevented her from completing her coast-to-coast target, about 100 miles (160km) from where she was picked up, despite skiing for 13 to 15 hours a day.
On some days, she had as little as five hours’ sleep.
But she said she had remained determined to see how far she could push herself.
She added: “Mentally, it was tough knowing I didn’t have enough time to make the crossing, but the expedition was about pushing my boundaries and inspiring others to do the same, so how could I not continue?
“I’m disappointed I ran out of time to make the crossing of Antarctica, but I did everything I could.
“I didn’t take a day off and pushed as hard as possible every day.”
Capt Chandi said she had not yet thought about whether she would attempt the crossing again.
She added she was looking forward to having time to recover.
Capt Chandi, a physiotherapist at a regional rehabilitation unit in Buckinghamshire, has also become the first woman to have skied solo to the South Pole twice.
The previous longest unsupported solo female distance record was 858 miles (1,381km), completed by Anja Blacha in 2020.
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