Team Polar Storm
Gaudi Bass, Sweat and Tears

Welcome to

In April 2006 Austin Dimmer, Andrew Girling and Simon Lacey set off on the 2006 Sony Polar Challenge a 350 mile race to the North Pole. Collectively they are known as Team Polar Storm and you can track their progress right here on please be sure to check back often. You can make a donation to either team member's charity by clicking Make a Donation

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."  - Mark Twain

Team Polar Storm

It is with this spirit that team Polar Storm sets off for the North Pole in April 2006. This websites goals are threefold:

The first and perhaps most important goal of is to help Austin Dimmer, Simon Lacey and Andrew Girling raise as much money as possible for their chosen charities.  Donations can easily be made through the Make a Donation section of the website. If you're feeling generous please take a moment to make a donation, every last penny that we raise will make a difference! After you have made a donation please feel free to download the MP3 file of "Polar Storm" the track written for our team by Gaudi, ice cool dub for hard-core missions. You will find instructions in the donations section of the site.

The second goal of the website is to promote our very generous commercial sponsors, each of our sponsors is an industry leader in their chosen markets, we are proud to be sponsored by them and encourage you to explore their fantastic product offerings by clicking on their logos in the Image Galleries.

The final and by no means least important goal is to give you our very welcome visitor a great experience. Through we would like to share our journey to the North Pole with you, it promises to be an exciting tale. Please bookmark the site and visit periodically for updates. Throughout the website, as long as you have broadband and Flashplayer installed on your computer, you can listen to music on the virtual iPod and watch one of the slide shows in the Image Galleries, the music has been kindly supplied by iTunes chart topper, Italian Music Producer/Artist, Gaudi from his album Bass, Sweat and Tears. The track "Polar Storm" has been specially produced for our team by Gaudi, this track is available as an MP3 download in the Make a Donation section of the website. Our only request is that if you do download the track please make a small donation to one of our charities. A big thanks to Gaudi for letting us use his tunes and writing "Polar Storm", we hope you enjoy!!

Gaudi Endorsements


So without further ado lets make the introductions:.

Austin Dimmer


 Austin Dimmer in the Brecon Beacons

Austin Dimmer grew up in the village of Lochgoilhead in the western highlands of Scotland and is therefore no stranger to wild terrains and extremes of weather… however this expedition will be pushing the boundaries beyond anything he has experienced or encountered so far. A goal oriented and immensely enthusiastic individual, 29 year old Austin has a BEng in Engineering with Business Management & European studies from Strathclyde University and an MSc in Ergonomics from Loughborough University. He presently works for ‘Back in Action’ a company providing specialist ergonomically designed products and furniture for people suffering from back problems and other conditions such as RSI and workplace injury.

Austin has a love of extreme sports and spends a lot of time climbing and hiking the mountains of Scotland, when he’s not harnessing the elements with his power kite.  It was actually his kite that led him to the Sony Polar Challenge… he’d spotted some editorial in a kite-surfing magazine about a kite-surfing challenge in Greenland and was intrigued by the idea… but not being one to ever take the easy route he thought “why fly with kites across Greenland when you can haul yourself by your own steam to the north pole?”!

His fascination with the Polar Regions was however seeded long before… As a child he was captured by the BBC’s 1985 arctic documentary ‘The Kingdom of the Ice Bear’ and when, in 2000, his brother Quentin crewed the three-masted bark Europa on an expedition around Antarctica, Austin was inspired.

A seriously high level of all round fitness is required to even start a race like this, let alone finish it, not only physical strength, but mental strength and stamina will all be tested to the limit. For the past few years Austin has followed a path of fitness called ‘Wholistic fitness ™’ which integrates traditional eastern techniques like yoga and meditation with western techniques for cardiovascular work, nutrition and strength building. This has given him a strong foundation on which to base his training and has guided his general approach to preparing himself for the race. He also feels that the race has given him a focus, albeit an extreme one, through which to fully integrate these principles into his life. Put simply, he believes that by improving himself and raising his all round levels of fitness and abilities he will be better prepared and able to contribute to improving the lives of others through the sponsorship he raises and by sharing his experience with others.

In his own words, as a result of taking on this challenge: “I have become more disciplined and fitter than I’ve ever been, improved my technical skills (he has built this website from scratch!) gained a deeper understanding of personal sacrifice and commitment for the benefit of myself and others. I am learning Russian and have also had to develop my presentation skills in order to raise sponsorship by giving talks on motivation, goal setting and team work. This has given me new levels of confidence”. He is not just doing this for the competition, or for the raising of funds but for the whole experience through which he aims to enhance himself in order to actively enhance the lives of other people who he comes into contact with.


 Simon Lacey


Simon Lacey

 " Hi there. I'm Simon Lacey from Oxford. From a very young age, I have always been driven by challenges and the opportunity to race to the North Pole sounds irresistable. I am delighted to be a member of Team Polar Storm - a team formed just 10 weeks before the race itself."

My so called 'notable achievements'; to date include climbing 4 of the “7 Summits” (Aconcagua, Mt McKinley, Kili and Elbrus), completing the New York & Paris marathons, the London triathlon, rowing the 'Head of the River' &
living out of a back pack for a year or two.

Outside of sport, my passion includes travelling, photography & learning languages. (During 2002-3 I took time-out to travel through S.America & Asia for 12m). I am 31 years old, married to a very supportive partner & fellow adventurer Nicola, work in sales for 'Kettle Foods’ (yes, the makers of Kettle Chips) and enjoy photography, the good life, wine & company.You can follow my progress on my website which is now live!

Andrew Girling

 Andrew Girling


Andrew Girling is 51 and lives near Canterbury in Kent with his partner Alison. He runs a small environmental consultancy business dealing with issues relating to chemical pollution in the environment.

Andy has been a competitive athlete for over 30 years, reaching international standard at marathon and triathlon. Notable results include winning the Florence Marathon way back in 1985 and being 4th in this year’s age group World Duathlon Championships in Newcastle Australia. Andy is also an experienced offshore sailor and was a member of the winning crew in the 1996-97 BT Global Challenge around-the-world yacht race.

Outside of the competitive environment Andy enjoys travel and he has visited countries on all of the continents except Antarctica. His early adventures included an overland journey from London to Nepal in a double-decker bus. His other interests include fishing, bird watching and Scuba Diving.

Andys’ wants Team Polar Storm to be successful in the race and is sure that with Austin and Simon the team has the right ingredients to do so.

About the Sony Polar Challenge

The Sony Polar Challenge route covers 320 nautical miles. Competitors participate in a 4 - day 65 mile training expedition in which they ski from Resolute to Polaris Mine - the Sony Polar Challenge starting point.

 “Many events claim to be the toughest but, to my mind, none equal the race to the North Magnetic Pole. This event really offers everything“



Dr Mike Stroud OBE

Ranulph Fiennes’s expedition partner

The race itself runs from Polaris to Issachen Mine through 3 checkpoints. The first two checkpoints are resupply points where competitors rest for 12-24 hours and take on new food and fuel supplies, and the third is the 1996 position of the Magnetic North Pole. It is difficult for planes to land here so the finish line is 25 miles after this point, near a dissused airstrip.


Polar Challenge Route Map


Stage 1 Polaris Mine area to a way point, just North West of Bathurst Island (Control point 1 - (76º37’N 101º50’W)) 110 miles
Stage 2 Bathurst Island to a waypoint near King Christian Island (Control point 2 - (77º46’N 101º45’W))< /br> 95 miles
Stage 3 King Christian Island to 1996 Magnetic North Pole position (Stage point 1 - (78°35.7'N 104°11.9'W )) 63 miles
Stage 4 1996 Magnetic North Pole position to Isachcsen (Finish - (78º47’N 103º30’W)) 16 miles

The competition is high and team Polar Storm will be competing against some of the fittest, and most experienced extreme athletes of today. Other teams include: ‘Breaking trail’ – three transatlantic rowers, experienced in competing in extreme environments, ‘GKN’ – a team of Royal Marines. There are also teams such as ‘Climb for Tibet’ – a team with a noble quest, who, during the race will be speaking out peace messages at special designated points.

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