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Matrix Shackleton Centenary Expedition

UNDER EMBARGO UNTIL 00:01, TUESDAY 26 AUGUST 2008

Polar history has immortalised the words that Sir Ernest Shackleton, legendary explorer, allegedly used to recruit his team of intrepid voyagers.

β€œMen wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages. Bitter cold. Long months of complete darkness. Constant danger. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success.”

Now, a century on from Shackleton’s first polar expedition, the call to men, and women, is being repeated…

The 2008 Matrix Shackleton Centenary Expedition, a modern-day re-enactment of the 1908-09 Nimrod voyage made up of six descendants of the original expedition team, is offering one individual the adventure of a lifetime – the chance to join this exclusive club.

While no previous Polar experience is required, the seventh team member will need to be active, healthy and fit. Interested β€˜explorers’ will undergo a series of questionnaires including fitness and medical surveys followed by psychometric testing and panel interviews for shortlisted candidates and a final elimination round of endurance training in North Wales. The successful applicant will then be put through their paces with a crossing of the Arctic landscape of Baffin Island, Canada, under the watchful eye of polar explorer Matty McNair.

The successful applicant will depart the UK at the end of December 2008 and travel to meet the expedition team to start their Antarctic journey on January 6th 2009 at the 97 Mile Point – the date and spot where Sir Ernest decided to put the lives of his team ahead of glory exactly 100 years earlier. Accompanying them will be Shackleton’s great-grandson, Patrick Bergel (36), a great-grandson of Jameson Boyd-Adams, David Cornell (38) and Tim Fright (24), the great-great-nephew of Frank Wild, the only explorer to accompany Shackleton on all his missions.

These four explorers will be greeted by three team mates who, having begun their own Antarctic journey on October 29th 2008, will have already covered 803 miles from β€˜Hut Point’. Using Shackleton’s personal compass to navigate the icy wastelands, this team will already have crossed the vast Ross Ice Shelf and ascended the formidable Beardmore Glacier.

This trio is being led by Lt Col Henry Worsley (47), a descendant of Frank Worsley (Shackleton’s skipper). Accompanying him is Henry Adams (33), another great-grandson of Jameson Boyd-Adams and Will Gow (35) who, inspired by a desire to unite Shackleton’s descendants at the Pole, first came up with the idea of re-creating the voyage. Gow is related to Sir Ernest by marriage.

Together, the combined team of seven, will finish the journey that their ancestors began and β€œClose the Pole” on behalf of the 1908-09 Team.

David Royds, chairman of Matrix Group, says: β€œThis is a once in a lifetime opportunity for someone to experience the stark reality of Antarctic conditions and fulfill a dream.

β€œThe successful candidate will need to be prepared to endure -35Β°C temperatures and 50mph headwinds, to haul their own 100lb sled and to camp on the remotest landscape on earth. It’ll certainly be an adventure to tell the grandchildren!

β€œMany dream of exploring the globe, but very few of us have the drive, energy and passion to realise an adventure so extreme. I’m delighted that Matrix is part of this exciting expedition and is facilitating this life changing journey.”

Expedition leader Worsley adds: β€œThe type of person we will be looking for is someone whose cup is always half full - never half empty; someone who can laugh at themselves; a strong team player who sees this as a lifetime opportunity and can tell a good joke to keep others’ spirits up. Above all else we want a candidate with a relentless passion to succeed whatever the adversity.”

TheMatrix Shackleton Centenary Expedition is looking for an exceptional candidate. If this unique opportunity to forge history has captured your imagination, register your interest at the Matrix website

ENDS

For information, team interviews and photography

Mark Cooper, Van Communications, 020 7079 9222 / mark.cooper@vancomms.com
Anna Farrell, Van Communications, 020 7079 9226 / anna.farrell@vancomms.com
Hannah Wallis, Van Communications, 020 7079 9227 / hannah.wallis@vancomms.com

Notes to Editors:

Matrix Shackleton Centenary Expedition

The full expedition begins in Antarctica on Wednesday 29th October 2008 and is scheduled to take 80 days. A separate section of the team will arrive 97 miles from the South Pole in January 2009 and complete the final leg alongside the full expedition team.

The Matrix Shackleton Centenary Expedition has two aims - to commemorate the centenary of the 1908/09 Nimrod Expedition (by completing the full 900 mile journey to the South Pole originally attempted by Shackleton) and to raise awareness for the Shackleton Foundation.

The Matrix Shackleton Centenary Expedition will help create an endowment of Β£10 million for the Shackleton Foundation. The Foundation supports individuals of all ages, nationalities and backgrounds who exemplify the spirit of Sir Ernest Shackleton: inspirational leaders wishing to "make a difference". The Foundation helps individual leaders cross their own β€˜Antarcticas’, in whatever field, especially where the project benefits the β€œless advantaged”. More information about funding criteria and selection can be found at http://www.shackletonfoundation.org

To make a personal donation, visit www.justgiving.com/shackletonfoundation

Matrix Group

Matrix Group – Headline Sponsor of the Matrix Shackleton Centenary Expedition

Matrix Group is a privately owned financial services business founded in 1987 whose areas of expertise include Fund Management, Investment Banking, Commercial Property and Principal Finance.

To date, Matrix has raised more than Β£6 billion for its investment products and currently has more than Β£2b billion of assets under management. Matrix’s staff of around 150 are based in the West end of London, at One Vine Street, W1.

www.matrixgroup.co.uk




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