Interview exclusive du sportif belge du 21ème siècle, notre explorateur polaire Dixie Dansercoer! Félicitons-le pour son nouveau record du monde au Groenland!
Notre explorateur polaire belge Dixie Dansercoer n'est pas à son premier record du monde là-bas dans ces contrées où le froid extrême prédomine et en tuerait plus d'un! Il offre une nouvel fois à la Belgique un extraordinaire record du monde en région polaire, ici au Groenland sur sa calotte glaciaire où il effectua, durant ce printemps, son tour complet en kite et en ski; soit 4 044,9 kilomètres parcourus en 55 jours!
L'homme est super "cool", humble et vit pleinement sa passion. Bien qu'il ait déjà 52 ans, Dixie prépare chacune de ses expéditions avec la plus grande rigueur car il sait à quel point il devra vivre pendant des mois avec la douleur du froid, le manque d'hygiène, les faiblesses du corps, le matériel qui flanche, ...
Dixie Dansercoer est sans aucun doute un Athlète hors pair qui mérite aujourd'hui incontestablement les honneurs...celle de la Nation belge, nos "I Like et nos Partages". Bravooooo Dixie! Here we go Belgium!
Voici en exclusivité pour Ice and Green et Arctic05 son interview où il nous livre ses ressentis et ses souvenirs de sa dernière expédition en Arctique:
- What's the feeling to have achieved this wonderful world record, Dixie ?
As it is with all groundbreaking exploits, they open the door for followers to do even better. We only open new doors for those who want to follow us in our quest to give it our very best and - why not - put Belgium on the forefront of Polar exploration, in order to keep our strong Polar tradition alive and kicking!
- What's your best expedition souvenir ?
It was quite wonderful and extraordinary to start and arrive at the same location. This may sound trivial, but when you look at the enormous ice cap that Greenland is, and knowing that we managed to go all the way around it by using just the katabatic winds, I really do marvel at that. As it is with the other expeditions I have done in the past, it takes a couple of years before I fully realize what we were able to accomplish.
Also, ski-kiting throughout the night with the sun barely setting on the horizon, giving off tremendously beautiful shades of red, purple and yellow, are sights I will long remember.
- What was the highest temperature during your adventure ?
Plus 3,2 ° C
- How's the thickness & shape of Greenland' inlandsis: is it meelting so fast ? Should we start to be really concerned ? What can we do to avoid seing the Arctic pack-ice + Greenland' inlandsis melting so rapidly during summer time ?
As we are only tiny little specks on the Inlandsis and have operated away from the thinnest layer of ice at the edges of the ice cap, I cannot claim that we saw the effects of Global Warming or any other unusual signs of melting. When we ended the expedition at the beginning of June, it was still too early to see the effects of the summer melt that then actually is very visible. But the only way to showcase the trend of Polar Melting are the scientific measurements that go over long periods, year after year, and as we all know already, the rapid rise in temperatures is undeniable.
Those people who are still asking if Global Warming is really happening, are old school, they are past tense and are not willing to put in any effort to prevent any further rapid increase in temperatures. Yes, there have been regular cyclic increases in temperatures over the course of our existence on Earth, but it has never gone so fast. Any living creature has the incredible capacity to adapt and we humans can do that even better with our intellect, but not at the lightning speed at which these changes are happpening!
- Do you recon, politicians (with the support of scientists & engineers) should start to envisage building up in the sky millions of mirrors above the Arctic pack-ice to avoid its melting (or other hi-tech solutions) ?
I do not think such hi-tech solutions are the one and only key to the problem. The most important change needs to come from our attitude and respect towards nature that is - and hardly anyone seems to realise this anymore - our prime and foremost source of survival.
Yes, I do agree that the biggest and most efficient decisions must come from politicians and business leaders who reach millions of people, but let's not forget the force of the masses. If all citizens of the world would suddenly agree to disagree, imagine what changes that could lead to!
- Did you encounter polar bears...?
No, again as we functioned on the Ice cap where no food is to be found for polar bears, they preferred to stay away from polar explorers who do not wash or bathe for months on end...
- If I say "51"...does it ring your bell, Dixie ?
Actually no, because I have already forgotten what that feels like as I have just turned 52!
And, that means that I am now fully integrated in Part Two of life and many more plans are brewing!
- So still fit & sharp, I see...was this expedition mentally/physically difficult Dixie...?
No, I cannot say that everything became more difficult because of my age. Maybe on the contrary, I can now place all difficult situations much better than when I was young. Acceptance and patience are the two biggest assets during a polar expedition. What I must admit is that the physical aches and pains that anyone experiences from any age do take a little longer to heal.
I am still running around with 'tingling' fingers in my left hand, the result of very long hours of pulling on the kite bar. With the winds pretty much coming from the same direction, i.e. from the right as we were on a clockwise itinerary and the katabatic winds coming down, the left arm was solicited twice as much as the left.
With a continous tight grip on the steering bar and the cold temperatures preventing a smooth flow of the blood to the body's extremities, there must have been a serious blockage that can only heal slowly.
- So, your next Arctic expe is planned in 2015 with Belgian Polar explorer Alain Hubert (left is Alain, right is Dixie) ...tell us a bit more ?
Actually no, it will be for 2016 as Alain asked me to postpone for a year.
The aim and scientific research done on this expedition will be communicated in due time!
- Any special messages you wish to share with Arctic05 and Ice and Green' fans ?
This fall, Polar Circles is putting its guiding services at the disposal of anyone interested in the Polar Regions.
From info-evenings - the first one will be on 2 September 2014 in Gent - to training weekends in the Ardennes, all in function of the direct experience of a mini-expedition in Spitsbergen and from there on little by little towards the more ambitious expeditions, you can find all info on www.polarexperience.eu