Letter: Polar achievement to be proud of

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The Independent Online
Sir: Paul Vallely, in "Secrets of a holiday on ice" (29 May), has missed the point of the women's polar relay - to demonstrate that people from non-expeditioner backgrounds (unlike Rebecca Stephens or Robert Swan), with limited time and financial resources (in this case two or three weeks each and pounds 1,500, not pounds 15,000 as he suggests), who have the determination, can do something outside of the ordinary.

No other country managed to field enough women with sufficient pluck and determination to undertake such a task. It should be regarded as another fine polar achievement, certainly not in the same heroic league as Shackleton, Scott or Fiennes, but enough to make us proud to be British.

JULIAN HANSON-SMITH

Oakham Rutland

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