71 Degrees North – Final Tonight!

by Lisa McGarry

It’s the final of 71 Degrees North and 3 celebrities have made it all the way to the final leg of the expedition: Hollyoaks actor Marcus Patrick, Welsh rugby international Gavin Henson and Footballers’ Wives actress Susie Amy.

They have reached the island of Mageroya at the very northern tip of Europe. They must cross this frozen rock to reach their final destination.

The final 3 will take on one more terrifying challenge after which one of them will be sent home. Then the last 2 will go head to head in a race to the finish. Only one will reach the North Cape at 71 Degrees North, the most northern point of Europe.

The first test of the final is a truly heart-stopping challenge, one that would make the most seasoned arctic explorer think twice. They must swim under ice! They meet Kate and Gethin standing in the middle of a frozen lake, 15 meters deep with the ice on top a meter thick.

The celebrities must swim between holes cut in the ice. There are 4 holes, whoever gets furthest wins. But they must resurface at each hole to show they are in control of their breathing. If they don’t, that hole won’t count. With the water barely above freezing, there’s a risk of cardiac arrest when they first get in and it is very easy to start hyperventilating.

Because it is so risky, a team of safety experts has been brought in. Alex Bohanna, a Special Forces veteran, will closely supervise the swim. A safety diver’s on standby underwater, and a medical team is ready on the surface in case they get into trouble. They wear lightweight wet suits which offer some protection from spikes on the underside of the ice, but not from the cold.

Kate and Gethin have the results of the under ice swim but only two celebrities can go through to the final.

They’ve raced over 2000km into the Arctic Circle and now just two celebrities will go head to head in the final challenge and be crowned the winner of 71 Degrees North.

Kate and Gethin arrive for the final briefing. Tomorrow’s challenge will mean the two celebrities standing will race by dog sled and on foot before tackling a terrifying rope crossing high above the Arctic Ocean to get to the finish. First to light the beacon at 71 Degrees North wins, but who will be crowned the winner of 71 Degrees North?