SEPANG – National explorer and expedition head Muhammad Muqharabbin Mokhtarrudin or Qobin has described the successful completion of the mission to the North Pole in the 2017 Seven Continents Exploration Club (KE7B) North Pole expedition as a marker that the current state of extreme sports in the country was of international standard.
When met outside the international arrival hall of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) here today, he expressed gratitude that the expedition was successfully completed despite many unexpected challenges.
“I hope this success will motivate and inspire young Malaysians to achieve their dreams and explore the world,” said Qobin.
The plane carrying Qobin, 35 and two other national explorers, Shahrom Abdullah, 38, and Muhammad Irwan Yusoff Abdullah, 37, landed at KLIA at 12.15pm.
The trio who successfully completed the mission at 11.06pm Malaysian time on Thursday, April 20, were greeted at the airport by KE7B adviser Datuk Akmar Hisham Mohd Yusof and KE7B club members.
Akmar Hisham said the success of the expedition proves that Malaysia now has world-class explorers on par with explorers of developed countries.
“Physically, Malaysian explorers are smaller in size and needed a longer time to make the trip. It’s because of this that we needed a longer period (for the expedition) compared to explorers from the United States.
“But (although physically small) what is important is that the Malaysian explorers arrived within the same time frame as the explorers from the developed countries,” he said.
Asked about plans for future expeditions, Akmar Hisham said it all depends on availability of enough funds and the preparation of explorers.
Based on the plan, the 2017 KE7B North Pole expedition involved skiing and pulling a sledge for 111 kilometres in 11 days starting from Barneo Station to 90 degrees North.
However, the three Malaysian explorers successfully completed their mission in just seven days, four days earlier.
The explorers departed for Oslo, Norway on April 4 before spending a week at their base in Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway for a week.
The North Pole expedition is the sixth mission of KE7B after the club conquered Seven Peaks in Seven Continents in 2010, English Channel Swim in 2012, Felda Mount Everest Climb in 2013, Crossing of Greenland in 2014 and the South Pole Expedition (2015-2016). – BERNAMA