We did it! In 2012 we completed our row and earned a Guinness World Record.

We were four explorers (Neal Mueller, Paul Ridley, Collin West, and Scott Mortensen) raising awareness about the Arctic Ocean by undertaking the first, non-stop, unsupported row across the Arctic Ocean. Our expedition delved into Arctic related issues that effect us all: climate change, energy innovation & environmental protection.

We were awarded a Guinness World Record for “Farthest Open Water Arctic Ocean Row”. This was awardeded in 2014 for the 2012 row.

Buy the book: Guinness Book of World Records.

Excerpt from the book:

“The Arctic Ocean is the only ocean that has never been rowed across. August 28th, 2012, a team of four young explorers completed an unsupported, non-stop, record-setting voyage in one of the exploration world’s last great firsts.

After 40 days and 1000 miles, Collin West, Neal Mueller, Paul Ridley & Scott Mortensen powered their way along a dangerous section of the fabled Northwest Passage. Their “survival story for the ages” was also an attempt to understand climate change in the Arctic region.”




Start: Inuvik, Canada
Finish: Point Hope, Alaska
Date: July-August 2012
Distance: 1,000 miles
Duration: 41 days
Men: 4
Precedent: None.



Video of near collision with ice berg


Men’s Journal Article

Mens Journal, November 2012, “Crossing the Arctic Ocean in a Rowboat”.




Team: 4 rowers and 2 rowing positions.

Expedition: 4 hours on / 4 hours off for 24 hours a day, for 41 days.

Boat Shape: Unlike traditional rowboats, the rowing vessel is built with the latest in rowing technology. The team will have two watertight cabins – one is for sleeping and the other is for gear and food.

Rowing Position: The seats slide on tracks in the center of the boat. A cable attached to one of the foot pedals runs through the rear cabin and hooks into the rudder, allowing the team to steer as they row.

Food and Water: The team used a desalinator which will convert 400-pounds of salt water into the 24 liters of drinking water the crew will need every day. Also, the team ate at least 5,000 calories of dehydrated food, energy bars, and trail mix each day.

Communication: The boat’s instruments are powered by solar panels mounted above the cabins. These solar panels will charge batteries which connect to a VHF radio, GPS, and navigation system. The team jammed to iPod for music and used a laptop to track the weather, update a blog and tweet.

In case of emergency: Ensuring safety to the crew is paramount. The cold conditions added an additional level of complexity because exposure to the water is not survivable for a long period of time like other warm climates. In order to minimize these cold weather dangers the team was harnessed to the boat at night and when the seas were high. Additionally, a life raft, grab bag, and survival suit are on board to use at any point. In such a situation, the team could activate an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) to provide the boat’s coordinates to rescue coordination centers. The Ocean Rowing Society is on call.

Ocean Rowing Statistics: According to the Ocean Rowing Society (as of September, 2011), the number of ocean rowers to successfully cross an ocean is just 495. And no one has ever completed an Arctic Ocean crossing. As a comparison, over 1,500 individuals have successfully climbed Mount Everest (including our team members Scott and Neal).