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'Wild Viking' in Antarctic waters hailed a sex god

Published: 12:21PM Tuesday February 07, 2012 Source: Fairfax

A self-proclaimed "Wild Viking" who fled Auckland authorities to head to Antarctica is now in polar waters, while in Norway he's being hailed as a sex god.

Jarle Andhoey, 34, was sailing a 16-metre steel yacht, Nilaya, south after he was forced out of Auckland two weeks ago for illegally entering New Zealand.

He was trying to reach McMurdo Sound where last year his yacht Berserk disappeared with the loss of three men.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said a New Zealander was accidentally on the yacht when it sailed suddenly and the Norwegian press said he was a 150-kilogram tattooed Maori.

Norway's daily Dagbladet said they had known of Andhoey's plans and had prepared a profile feature on him for publication once he got to sea.

He had no official permission to enter the Antarctic Treaty region.

Dagbladet questioned whether Andhoey was a "folk hero and sex symbol and provocateur or a lunatic."

Last year's disaster was the subject of a documentary on TVNorge and ratings figures show it was more popular with women than men.

Dagbladet said the time of the metrosexual man was over.

"Norwegian women are turned on by men who smell of sweat, [who] can put up a wall and drain an outdoor toilet."

Dagbladet said Andhoey was a magnet for women, quoting Twitter and Facebook entries.

"If I do not get married Jarle Andhoey, there shall be no other," said one entry, while another said "Jarle Andhoey remains damn sexy."

Friend Christian Foss told the newspaper that Andhoey could be a tough customer.

"He is one of the toughest people I know. He cares very little about what others think, and his sense of style is not the best."

Childhood friend Anders Berthling Hamre said Andhoey had lots of girlfriends.

"He is an emotional person and very protective of those he loves," he told Dagbladet.

The tragedy last year changed him, leaving him with little sleep.

"The trip to Antarctica is the search for answers and peace of mind."

Berserk was at McMurdo last February and was last seen by the offshore patrol ship HMNZS Wellington.

Andhoey had questioned whether Wellington sent Berserk to sea ahead of a severe storm, rather than allow it shelter.

The navy had denied this.

Andhoey said the plan had been for Berserk to stay near the island in McMurdo Sound through the winter, but they had a problem when one of the crew, Leonard Banks, suffered toothache.

They wanted to try and reach the US base at McMurdo to see a dentist.

Andhoey speculated that the Americans refused them permission to visit the base.

He wanted to find out what happened, to look for wreckage.

"This gnaws me day and night. I think we all agree on one thing, and it is to find the answers."

Dagbladet reported a "150-kilo Maori warrior with facial tattoos" was hiding in the boat as Nilaya left Westhaven.

Rune Olsgaard said the Maori man had worked on Berserk last year before it left on its fatal trip.

"He had a strong desire to join. He also knew that our friends were gone, and would be there to find answers," says Olsgaard.

He said the man "did not have the paperwork in order" and had no passport.

"He fooled (Jarle) by getting into the room at the anchor winch front of the boat.

"New Zealand authorities can settle down. He was not kidnapped, but would really like to be with us.

"Jarle is happy that he is there too. He is a solid guy."

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