UK & World News
Prince Harry's South Pole Race Is Off
A race to the South Pole featuring Prince Harry has been abandoned due to harsh conditions.
Expedition director Ed Parker announced the race was over due to the "higher degree of stress imposed on the team members, due to unprecedented terrain on the plateau".
However, Mr Parker said that the South Pole Allied Challenge expedition would continue - with all three teams coming together into one non-competitive group.
Harry was racing with a team of injured British servicemen and women against United States and Commonwealth groups in an expedition organised by the Walking With The Wounded charity.
Mr Parker said: "We always knew that this wasn't going to be easy, but that is what makes the challenge so exciting.
"Our aim was to show that despite injury, young men and women from our armed forces can still achieve great things.
"Until now, the three teams have been racing against one another across the Antarctic plateau, but yesterday I took the decision to suspend the race.
"The reason for this is entirely simple - safety, which remains the core principal of our expeditions.
"While all three teams were progressing well, it was becoming evident that there was a higher degree of stress imposed on the team members, due to unprecedented terrain on the plateau."
Hollywood actor Alexander Skarsgard, star of the hit HBO series True Blood, was heading the US team and English actor Dominic West, from the popular series The Wire, was racing alongside the Commonwealth team.
Trekking around 15km to 20km (nine to 12 miles) a day, the teams have so far endured temperatures as low as minus 45 degrees Celsius and 50mph winds as they pull their 70kg sleds towards the southernmost point on the globe.
The terrain made up of sastrugi - sharp irregular grooves in the snow caused by wind erosion - has made the skiing particularly difficult.
The Prince, who took part in the Walking With The Wounded trek to the North Pole in 2011 for five days, is patron of the Antarctica expedition.
The group is due to arrive at the South Pole in mid-December.