Photo Release -- Groundbreaking Live Visual Broadcast From Antarctica Marks the Start of The Willis Resilience Expedition World Record Attempt

The Willis Resilience Expedition World Record Attempt

  • Willis Resilience TV captures Parker Liautaud and expedition partner, Doug Stoup leave the Ross Ice Shelf in a live visual broadcast from Antarctica
  • 19-year-old Parker leaves the Ross Ice Shelf in an attempt to set a new World Record for the fastest-ever walk from the edge of Antarctica to the South Pole
  • Watch the journey unfold at

LONDON, Dec. 8, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- It is an extraordinary journey that has involved two years of preparation and planning, but at 0830 GMT on Friday, 6 December 2013, 19 year old explorer Parker Liautaud, a sophomore at Yale University along with his expedition partner, Doug Stoup, departed the Ross Ice Shelf in an attempt to set a new World Record for the fastest-ever walk from the edge of Antarctica to the South Pole. If successful, Parker will become the youngest person to ever reach both the North and South Poles on foot. The pair are attempting to make the 640km journey in 22 days, each pulling a sled weighing over 80kg that contains all of the needed food and supplies to survive on their epic walk.

A photo accompanying this release is available at

With the assistance of technology never used before for this purpose, Parker and Doug's departure from the Ross Ice Shelf was captured live on camera and aired across the world on the daily live Willis Resilience TV Show, which emanates from a state-of-the-art broadcast studio constructed in the lobby of the Willis Building, home to Willis Group Holdings (NYSE:WSH), the global risk advisor and insurance broker, in the heart of the City of London. Viewers can catch the historic moment on at the 3 minutes 25 seconds mark on this link.

While Parker and veteran explorer Doug Stoup will make their planned 400-mile trek on foot and unsupported, their progress will be tracked every step of the way by a 2.6 ton custom designed 6x6 Toyota Hilux truck, the "Ice Broker," capable of transmitting, via satellite, live video, telemetry, data and biometrics around the world via the expedition Website, News of the expedition, and related programming, is being broadcast on the daily one-hour television show hosted on the website which premiered on December 2. As of today, 16 separate one-hour shows are planned through until December 23.

"It is extraordinary to think that after all the careful planning and preparation we have finally started our journey to the South Pole on foot. 640km is all that stands between us, the South Pole and a new World Record. Thank you to Willis for their belief in Doug and myself and I look forward to speaking to you all, hopefully just before New Year, from the South Pole. Please follow our journey online at"

- Parker Liautaud, Willis Resilience Expedition Leader

Before starting their journey, Parker, Doug and their support crew; the Ice Broker Driver and Mechanic Eyjo Furteitsson, cinematographer Paddy Scott and communications specialist Nathan Hambrook-Skinner first had to reach the elusive starting point for the walk, the Ross Ice Shelf on the edge of Antarctica. The Ross Ice Shelf, nearly the size of France, is named for Captain Sir James Clark Ross, who discovered it on 28 January 1841. The Ice Shelf has fascinated scientists ever since.

To get to the Ross Ice Shelf, the team travelled in Ice Broker a total of 1790km from Union Glacier to the South Pole down to the Ross Ice Shelf in order to undertake a coast-to-pole-to-coast transect of Antarctica.

During that bumpy crossing of the Antarctic continent over vast fields of sastrugi, or ice waves, the team were collecting snow samples for three scientific research programs, all of which aim to collect valuable data to contribute to our understanding of global climate patterns. One of the team's first jobs on the ice was to deploy the ColdFacts 3000BX, a lightweight weather station which has not been used before in Antarctica. The device has been relaying metrological data every 30 minutes. Along the way the team was also collecting snow samples for research purposes.

"All of us armchair explorers, who have read of the exploits of Shackleton, Scott and Amundsun, watched in awe from the middle latitudes as Parker and Doug began their audacious journey this morning. The difference, of course, is that more than a century ago, when Amundsen reached the South Pole in December 1911, the world waited for months for news of their travels. Thanks to the Ice Broker, and the Iridium satellite rig sending signals aloft from its roof, we're watching the drama unfold in real time, with live pictures coming in from a part of the planet that very few humans have ever stepped,"

- Josh King, Chief Communications Officer, Willis Group Holdings (NYSE:WSH)

Viewers around the world can watch the Willis Resilience Expedition unfold 24/7 on the expedition website On December 2, the Willis Resilience Expedition started broadcasting a live one hour TV show at 8.30am GMT every day from the Willis building in London. The daily shows will continue to feature a live update from the team in Antarctica as well as interviews with guest panelists on issues of Antarctic exploration and climate change.

Notes to Editors

About Willis: Willis Group Holdings plc is a leading global risk adviser, insurance and reinsurance broker. With roots dating to 1828, Willis operates today on every continent with more than 17,500 employees in over 400 offices. Willis offers its clients superior expertise, teamwork, innovation and market-leading products and professional services in risk management and transfer. Our experts rank among the world's leading authorities on analytics, modelling and mitigation strategies at the intersection of global commerce and extreme events. Find more information at our website,, our leadership journal, Resilience, or our up-to-the-minute blog on breaking news, WillisWire. Across geographies, industries and specialisms, Willis provides its local and multinational clients with resilience for a risky world.

An unsupported expedition: The Willis Resilience Expedition will have a vehicle tracking the explorers however, the team in the truck will provide no support to Parker along the way. The vehicle is tracking the team to provide round the clock footage and imagery along the way and will not carry any equipment for Parker.

The photo is also available via AP PhotoExpress.

CONTACT: For all press enquiries please contact Captive Minds Emily Conrad-Pickles | 07799 414 790Source:Willis Group Holdings