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Fedor Konyukhov sets Antarctica record

by Robert Williams on 7 May 2008
Fedor Konyukhov crosses the Finish Line: Official Finish Time 1056:50 WST, 0256:50 UTC, 07 May 08 Antarctica Cup Antarctica Cup Racetrack http://www.antarcticacup.com
Russian solo circumnavigator Fedor Konyukhov returned to Albany, Western Australia, (7th May 2008 WST) a hero today, throwing down the gauntlet to yachtsmen around the world to break his 102 day record around the Antarctica Cup Racetrack.

For the bearded 56 year old sailor, this was his 4th solo circumnavigation. 'Will it be his last?', Fedor was asked 'Having just spent 95 days in the Roaring Forty and Furious Fifty latitudes, I’m not planning to go back in the near future. But the Southern Ocean provides the most spectacular sailing conditions in the world. If I go again, it will be with a crew to make the most of the wild surfing rides you get down there.' He answered.

Setting out from Albany with his Open 85ft monohull Trading Network Alye Parusa at 18:21:40 UTC (10:21:40 WST) on Australia Day – 26th January to take on yachting’s last great frontier. He braved a succession of storms, freezing temperatures, the ever present threat of icebergs and collisions with whales. Konyukhov came through it all unscathed, returning to King George Sound at 02: 56:50 UTC (10:56:50 WST) today to record a time of 102 days 00 hours 56 minutes 50secs for this 16,400 mile circuit of Antarctica.

He had set out from Falmouth England on 12th October 2007, and discounting a 5 day stop in Cape Town and 2 weeks in Albany prior to the start, his 85ft yacht has been ‘home’ for the past 6 months. 'We have done 30,000 miles together and now have the greatest respect for her. But I am looking forward now to a nice thick steak, a shower, clean sheets, and 12 hours of sleep. It sounds basic, but that is exactly what I need.' He told reporters gathered on Albany Dock to greet him back


To commemorate this inaugural voyage, Bob Williams, Chairman of the Antarctica Cup Race Management announced that they will name Gate 12 (0º W - 0º E) within the Racetrack as the Konyukhov Gate.



Fedor’s achievements
a.. First solo sailor to complete the Antarctica Cup Racetrack.
b.. First solo sailor to traverse the South Atlantic Ocean - Cape Horn to Cape Agulhas - below 45° South.
c.. First solo sailor to sail non stop from 121°E - 110°E, 15,700 NM, below 40° south taking 95 days - 40 days of which were below 50°S.
d.. First solo sailor to sail a maxi yacht solo around Antarctica.

Antarctica Cup origins
The Antarctica Cup Yacht Race concept has taken Bob Williams and his team 5 years to develop. It brings land based racetrack functionality to yacht racing with a ‘virtual’ 360° racetrack around Antarctica. Like all great racetracks it has a permanent home - Albany in Western Australia.

Albany is one of the oldest ports in Australia. King George Sound is the gateway to Princess Royal Harbour where Albany is located, and like Sydney Harbour, is one of the most beautiful waterways in Australia.

The Princess Royal Sailing Club is one of the oldest in Australia, having been based in Princess Royal Harbour for the past 98 years. It hosts the annual Albany Race around Cape Leeuwin from Fremantle. Next year work will commence on a new AU$100 million waterfront development and marina in Albany with deepwater berths for maxi sized yachts.

The Antarctica Cup will now be an annual. Fedor’s solo circumnavigation has sparked considerable interest around the world with entries now planned from the USA, Europe and Australasia.


Antarctica Cup Ocean Race Divisions
Division A – Nation Vs Nation Monohull & Multihull
Division B – Solo Monohull & Multihull
Division C – Crewed Monohull & Multihull
Division D – Production Monohull & Multihull

The Antarctica Cup Racetrack will be open each year from December to March for races and record attempts.


Fedor Konyukhov - Biography
a.. 1977: Led a scientific research expedition on a 40 ft yacht along the route of Commodore Vitus Bering.
b.. 1979: Second stage of the scientific research expedition on yacht along the route Vladivostok –Sakhalin Island – Kamchatka – the Commodore Islands - Ascension - Klyuchevskiy Volcano.
c.. 1980: Participated in the Baltic Cup.
d.. 1990/1: First Russian sailor to complete a solo non-stop circumnavigation - Sydney (Australia) to Sydney.
e.. 1994: Completed a second against the prevailing winds.
f.. 1997: Skippered the Russian entry in the Ericcson Maxi World Cup.
g.. 1998/9: Completed the Around Alone Solo Round the World Race in Open 60 ‘Modern University for the Humanities’
h.. 2000/1: Completed the Vendee Globe solo non-stop round the world race in Modern University for the Humanities’
i.. 2002: Completed solo crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in the 7 meters rowboat ‘Uralaz’, setting a record 46 days, 4 hours from La Gomera (Canaries ) — Barbados
j.. 2003: Set a 9 day E-W transatlantic sailing record from Canary islands — Barbados on a 102 ft catamaran ‘Trading Network Alye Parusa’ (ex. ENZA)
k.. 2003: Set a 16 day W-E transatlantic sailing record from Jamaica — Lands End (UK) on ‘Trading Network Alye Parusa
l.. 2003: Set an 11-hour trans-Baltic sailing record from Helsinki (Finland) to St. Petersburg (Russia). on maxi yacht BOLS
m.. 2004: Set an E-W transatlantic solo sailing record of 14 days 7hrs from La Gomera (Canaries) to Barbados in current 85ft yacht ‘Trading Network Alye Parusa’
n.. 2004/5: Solo circumnavigation from Falmouth (UK) to Hobart (Tasmania) Falmouth in Single-handed round the world sailing in ‘Trading Network Alye Parusa‘
o.. 2008: Set a solo non-stop record around the Antarctica Cup Racetrack of 102 days 00 hours 56 minutes 50secs in ‘Trading Network Alye Parusa‘



(Sail World: We stand and applaud you Fedor Konyukhov)

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