A LITTLE part of Waterlooville has reached the South Pole, thanks to a charity effort to get to the heart of Antarctica.
The Hampshire Flag Company donated a selection of flags to an expedition to the South Pole, which has raised more than £15,000 for charity.
Matt Elliott, of EBB Paper in London, raced alongside Yoyo Schepers-Menten to take part in The Extreme World Races Centenary Race to the South Pole – one of the toughest races in the world – and took 12 flags with him, donated by the Waterlooville firm.
He was raising money for the Royal British Legion and The Alzheimer’s Society.
Each custom flag was made from a lightweight knitted polyester and printed with the branding of the different businesses which supported Matt and Yoyo’s 40-day race against 16 other teams.
They skied more than 450 miles to mark the 100th anniversary of Norwegian explorer Amundsen beating Sir Robert Falcon Scott to get to the South Pole.
They also had to battle temperatures as low as -45C (-49F) and winds reaching 50mph. They skied on special cross country skis, pulling a pulk (polar sledge) weighing 110lbs. They had to endure 24 hour daylight, slept every night in a polar tent and ate a mix of nuts, chocolate and rehydrated food to try and replace the 8,000 calories they burned every day.
Hampshire Flag’s managing director Graham Wilkinson, said: ‘Anyone who can endure such harsh conditions and puts in two years’ worth of training in deserves real recognition and respect.
‘Matt’s determination and dedication to raise money for charity is admirable and we are delighted to have been able to support him by donating the flags.’