Please select your home edition
Edition
upffront 728x90

Fedor Konyukhov plays Russian Roulette - Cape Horn

by Robert Williams on 13 Mar 2008
Diving in and out of the huge swells, the radar is continually sounding false alarms - Trading Network Alye Parusa PPL PHOTO AGENCY Antarctica Cup Racetrack © http://www.antarcticacup.com
Day 46 of the inaugural Antarctica Cup: Position: 56,12.33S 67,13.11W Speed: 12 knots, Course: 89° Cape Horn certainly lived up to its reputation today as Russian adventure sailor Fedor Konyukhov swept through Drake’s Passage, pushed by 50-65knot westerly winds.

The infamous Cape marks the spiritual half way stage in Fedor’s trail-blazing solo circumnavigation around the Antarctica Cup Racetrack and these storm-force winds, coupled with the 135 million cubic metres of water running each second through the 500 n. mile wide funnel that divides the South Pacific from the South Atlantic, makes these the most feared waters in the world.

'The storm came upon me very suddenly - and very hard. I knew it was coming and hoped the winds would build gradually, but the storm came as one huge gust and the winds have not dropped below 50 knots since, with gusts up to 65 knots. It is like all hell has broken loose. It is pitch dark, it is snowing, the ocean is completely covered in foam and the air is filled with spray. The noise on deck is enormous – it’s as if I am in a wind turbine. The waves are short and traveling very fast – like a train. The boat is continually surfing down one wave and hitting the one in front. I have had to reduce sail to the minimum to stay in pace with the ocean. The feeling is that I am in the high altitude jet stream with the water roaring and running east.'

This is Fedor's fourth rounding of Cape Horn, and the second aboard Trading Network Alye Parusa. Among the first to congratulate the 56 year old circumnavigator was Russian Vice Premier Minister Sergey Ivanov, currently on a visit to the Russian Novolazarevskaya Antarctic Survey station to watch tests of the new GLONASS satellite position system (A Russian version of GPS). The two spoke by satellite phone and Mr Ivanov invited Fedor to the Kremlin when he completes the Antarctica Cup in May

For the moment, visibility, not the winds, remain Konyukov’s prime concern. 'Visibility is bad. I have my radar set for 6 miles - Alarm zone, but with my boat Trading Network Alye Parusa diving in and out of the huge swells, the radar is continually sounding false alarms. Each time, I jump on deck and get a cold shower. So far there have been plenty of alarms or false alarms but I cannot sight an iceberg. Frankly, it is hard enough to define the difference between ocean and sky – it all looks like one grey blanket. I hate to say it, but I am playing Russian roulette here. '

http://antarcticacup.com/
Bakewell-White Yacht DesignZhik ZKG 660x82Southern Spars - 100

Related Articles

Finale of Clipper Race global series starts in The Netherlands
The 198nm race to London is going to be one of the most nail-biting yet with just six points separating the top teams After a Departure Ceremony from Willemsoord Marina and a Parade of Sail in the presence of Dutch Royal Navy ship ZrMs Luymes, the fleet started the final short sprint to London off the Dutch coast.
Posted today at 3:22 pm
Thousands of spectators expected to welcome home Clipper Race fleet
Hurricane winds, giant waves, freezing conditions, battered boats and tragedy fail to quell fighting spirit of the crew. The tenth edition of the famous biennial race for novice sailors led by professional skippers is regarded as the most challenging on record after the event endured the most extreme conditions it has ever faced in its 20-year history.
Posted today at 1:58 pm
America's Cup World Series - Ian Roman's images of Pompey
Ian Roman was in Portsmouth for the America's Cup World Series capturing the Royal visitors Top international photographer, Ian Roman was in Portsmouth for the America's Cup World Series and provided this second of two galleries of the racing across the three days of the regatta, taking in the Royal visitors.
Posted on 26 Jul
America’s Cup World Series – More final day images by Ingrid Abery
Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images from final day Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images from final day
Posted on 25 Jul
America’s Cup World Series – Final race day images by Ingrid Abery
Ingrid Abery provided this gallery of images from final day Ingrid Abery provided this gallery of images from final day
Posted on 25 Jul
LV America’s Cup World Series - Up and down for Groupama Team France
The new leader is none other than the local team lead by Sir Ben Ainslie, who was rallied along throughout the six races 2016 America’s Cup World Series - This weekend the overall ranking for the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series has been turned on its head and with the Portsmouth act complete, the new leader is none other than the local team lead by Sir Ben Ainslie, who was rallied along throughout the six races by strong support from a home crowd.
Posted on 25 Jul
LV America's Cup World Series - Land Rover BAR take two from two
While Oracle Team USA did all but everything they could to take the win with a two, one, one scorecard today 2016 Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series - While Oracle Team USA did all but everything they could to take the win with a two, one, one scorecard today, it wasn't enough to topple the fast and furious tenacity of a Ben Ainslie led Land Rover BAR on the final day of racing at the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series in Portsmouth.
Posted on 25 Jul
2016 LV America’s Cup World Series - More images by Carlo Borlenghi
Carlo Borlenghi provided this gallery of images from America’s Cup World Series - Race Day 2 and Prize-giving ceremony. 2016 America’s Cup World Series - Carlo Borlenghi provided this gallery of images from 2016 Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series - Race Day 2 and Prize-giving ceremony.
Posted on 25 Jul
2016 LV America’s Cup World Series - Day 2 images by Carlo Borlenghi
Carlo Borlenghi provided this gallery of images from America’s Cup World Series - Race Day 2 and Prize-giving ceremony 2016 America’s Cup World Series - Carlo Borlenghi provided this gallery of images from 2016 Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series - Race Day 2 and Prize-giving ceremony.
Posted on 25 Jul
America's Cup - Southern Spars to build AC50 for Emirates Team NZ
Southern Spars has been appointed to build Emirates Team New Zealand’s AC50 wingsailed foiling catamaran One of the world's leading composite engineering companies, Southern Spars has been appointed to build Emirates Team New Zealand’s AC50 wingsailed foiling catamaran for the 35th America’s Cup campaign. The move marks a shift away from Cookson Boats who have been Team New Zealand's boatbuilder since 2000. No reasons have been given for the decision to change the builder.
Posted on 24 Jul