The Race To The Pole

So, the Americans have managed to circumnavigate the world with their leviathans. A mighty achievement, indeed. But an achievement that means little when faced with no competition from the brave men of the Royal Sky Fleet. Has not the Fleet soared from the Faeroes to the icy Falklands? From the dusty plains of Africa to the steamy jungles of the Subcontinent? Why then should we praise the Americans when our proud British lads have gone further for Queen and country than any mere colonial?

No, my loyal readers, what the civilized world needs is a proper example of achievement; an example of conquering the odds against all adversity, and proving the might of the Royal Sky Fleet against all comers! To this end, I, Alfred Lord Northcliffe, have put up the hefty sum of £50,000 to reward the first vessel that completes a course I have devised that terminates at the ultimate finish line: the North Pole. If a colonial like Robert Peary can reach the Pole by foot, then surely the magnificent leviathans that ply the skies can do the same!

So I open the prize to any man, crew or nation. There is no restriction except they must be ready to leave the start line in London on the first of March next year, under their own power. After London the Race will follow the course to Paris, then Rome, Vienna, Berlin, St. Petersburg, Stockholm, Oslo, Svalbard, and on to the Pole!

Join me, my fellow Englishmen, in giving the heartiest of welcomes to all intrepid participants in this venture, and in wishing the brave gentlemen of the Royal Sky Fleet the best of luck in this mighty endeavor!

For King and Country, sail high!

—Editorial published in the Daily Mail, 12 November 1909

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