Hugo Turner & his twin brother, Ross, are British adventurers who have pioneered a range of extreme expeditions in pursuit of reaching the World's Poles of Inaccessibility. We caught up with Hugo, who tells us about their latest Blue Pole expedition to the most remote point of the Atlantic, where they spent several weeks on a 100% emission-free yacht. Due to unfavourable weather and engine limitations, they weren't able to complete the expedition. Hugo talks about the highs and lows of the trip and what's next for them.
Tell us a bit about your latest Blue Pole expedition.
We set out on an expedition to sail a 40ft yacht to the most remote point of the Atlantic – the pole of inaccessibility - conducting a plastic survey for Plymouth University’s International Marine Litter Research Unit to support a long term clean-up strategy of the oceans. We also tested a hydrogen fuel cell which was retrofitted to the yacht electric motor on a nationwide tour of the UK to highlight the threats facing our oceans and the technologies helping to protect it.
What was your biggest motivation for the trip?
We are all about discovering something new through our expeditions, regardless of where or what it might be. So, using a hydrogen fuel cell was a first for us and it’s certainly the first time it’s been used in this way so testing and exploring the potential of new technology was a real motivator.
There were many but in all honesty the hardest part is saying no and turning back. We tried to reach Madeira off the Portuguese coast but didn’t’ reach it due to weather and the performance of the electric motor. After reaching northern Spain and waiting there for a few weeks we returned to the UK to start our tour.
What’s inspiring you most at the moment?
The potential of hydrogen fuel cells – with only 100 grams of hydrogen, we could motor the yacht around 35 miles and at the same time. We were sleeping next to the cell while it was running because the only emission is water. I think hydrogen fuel will be one of the key energy sources in the fight against global warming.
What does being outdoors mean for you?
The great outdoors or the natural world is a place where you can find peace and calm or enjoy endless thrills and adrenaline depending on what you want to do, but the environment never changes. I don’t think there are many things that don’t change but can offer so many different experiences in so many ways.
What’s your go to healthy ritual?
Although I absolutely hate it, jumping in the sea for a cold swim. I’ve never regretted getting in after I’m out of the water, although I’m always asking why I’m doing it while I’m taking my warm clothes off!
What’s the most exciting thing in the pipeline for you & Ross next year?
We’re planning on reaching the Madagascan pole of inaccessibility which is really in the middle of nowhere and completely off the tourist route, so the culture and environment should be spectacular. This will be the sixth pole we’ve attempted to reach.
Follow this link to find out more about The Blue Pole Project: https://www.theturnertwins.co.uk/