Please select your home edition
Edition
Ancasta Ker 33 728x90

Icebergs may force closure of Antarctica Racetrack

by Bob Williams on 6 Mar 2008
Antarctica Cup: March 1 2008: Satellite image of huge iceberg and hundreds of smaller bergs situated close to South Georgia Island in the South Atlantic. This massive berg measures 42km x 12km and is located at 53.84S, 34.65W and is the likely source of thousands of other smaller icebergs.ÊSouth Georgia by comparision measures 180km. The iceberg field spans hundreds of miles and avoiding individual icebergs as he has done in the past will be very dangerous.Ê I have attached a couple of picture Antarctica Cup Racetrack © http://www.antarcticacup.com

As Russian solo circumnavigator Fedor Konyukhov draws to within 1,000 miles of Cape Horn, the continuous rain squalls and threat posed by an increasing number of iceberg sightings are stretching the 56 year old Russian adventurer close to the limits of endurance.

'It has been pouring rain for 36 days of the 39 days I have been at sea. Everything is wet and damp. So much fresh water in the Southern ocean is unbelievable -- and it is all being wasted. If we could only transfer these clouds over central Australia, the region would soon become a tropical rain forest!

I have done a good many expeditions across both the Arctic and Antarctic, but this time I am finding these wet, cold conditions extremely debilitating. After a month at sea, I desperately needed a good wash, and eventually forced myself to take a shower on deck. It was very quick, and I then rushed back down to my sleeping bag. But that is no sanctuary, because I woke up still shivering and shaking.

To make things worse, I have now seen 10 icebergs during the past week. How many more have I missed? I am on constant alert and getting very little sleep.'

Another issue Fedor now has to contend with, is a torn mainsail. Two vertical splits have appeared down the centre of the sail above the second reef point. These have been caused by the constant flogging in the very light winds experienced during the past two days.

'The breeze has returned now, which is a relief, but I have to plan to pull the sail down and stick a Spectra patch over the area. To do this, the surface needs to be dry -- and for that it needs to stop raining! Here on 55 South we get only 5 hours of darkness, but it is mostly grey and foggy. Below decks, it is like living in a cold, wet cellar. Above deck just add chilling wind and rain to that scenario.'

The latest news from the C-Core Ice detection service, providing routing advice to the Antarctica Cup Race Management suggests that there will be no let-up in these conditions even after Fedor has rounded Cape Horn. Pradeep Bobby writes: 'Our detection data from the March 1 satellite pass show a lot of icebergs - more than I have ever seen before. There is a massive berg 42km x 12km located at 53.84S, 34.65W close to South Georgia Island which may be the source of thousands of other smaller icebergs that are listed in the results.

The iceberg field now spans hundreds of miles and avoiding individual icebergs as Fedor has done in the past will be very dangerous. The large fissure in the middle of this iceberg, indicates that the iceberg could be unstable and may break up soon, which would mean even more ice pieces. The picture drew a lot of excitement in the office today, mingled with fear for how Fedor would chart his course.'

This concern is replicated at the Antarctica Cup Racetrack race control centre in Albany. Bob Williams, the Race Director says: 'We are monitoring the situation on an hourly basis. The rules allow us to close off one or more lanes within the Antarctica Cup Racetrack and once Fedor rounds Cape Horn, we are looking to limit Fedor to the outer lane between 45° and 50° S between the longitudes of 30° to 50° W - 10° to the east and west of Gate 10 on the Antarctica Cup Racetrack . We are asking our weather and ice experts for more information and will make our decision within the next 24 hours.'

Dateline 11: 30 UTC 5th March 2008 Day 39 of the Antarctica Cup Racetrack record attempt

Position: 56° 29'S 101° 54 'W
Speed: 8 knots Course: 97°
Naiad/Oracle SupplierAncasta Ker 40+ 660x82Helm Events 660x82

Related Articles

RORC Caribbean 600 coming of age
RORC Caribbean 600 - Day 4: The RORC Caribbean 600 has been a special event for all of the competitors. RORC Caribbean 600 - Day 4: The RORC Caribbean 600 has been a special event for all of the competitors. Last night the closest battle in any class was decided and the two remaining yachts racing showed great fighting spirit. This provided a fitting finale to racing in the beautiful, but sometimes brutal waters of the central Caribbean.
Posted on 26 Feb 2011
Rolex Middle Sea warm up Race
2009 Rolex Middle Sea Race - 23 yachts took part in a 15 nautical-mile warm-up race. 2009 Rolex Middle Sea Race - 23 yachts took part in a 15 nautical-mile warm-up race. For a variety of reasons, not least of them the weather, this short race proved a good shakedown ahead of the main-event.
Posted on 15 Oct 2009
Spain's Calima - Javier Pujol winner of the Giraglia Race
Javier Pujol, owner/skipper of the Sparkman & Stephens-designed 43-foot Calima (ESP) confirmed as winner of the Giraglia Javier Pujol, owner/skipper of the Sparkman & Stephens-designed 43-foot Calima (ESP), was confirmed as winner of the Giraglia Race today at the prizegiving ceremony for the 57th edition of the Giraglia Rolex Cup, held at the Yacht Club Italiano in Genoa. Alegre (GBR) won the elapsed time Rolex trophy
Posted on 21 Jun 2009
JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race
Britain’s favourite yacht race - Saturday 20 June 2009: Cowes, Isle of Wight The JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, organised by the Island Sailing Club, takes place on Saturday 20 June with a total entry of 1,779 boats this year. True to the ethos of the event, competitors come from all walks of life. Professional and Olympic sailors line up with family cruisers, sportsboats, classic yachts and one designs
Posted on 19 Jun 2009
Portimao Global Ocean Race leaders face confusing conditions
Michel Kleinjans on Roaring Forty crossed the Portimão Global Ocean Race Leg 5 Scoring Gate south-east of Newfoundland Portimao Global Ocean Race - Michel Kleinjans on Roaring Forty crossed the Portimão Global Ocean Race Leg 5 Scoring Gate south-east of Newfoundland. Felipe Cubillos and José Muñoz are currently 120 miles north of Flores in the Azores Archipelago and in the 0620 UTC position poll on Monday morning (15/06), their red Class 40 Desafio Cabo de Hornos is 71 miles ahead of second placed Beluga Racer.
Posted on 15 Jun 2009
Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 2009
Racing is scheduled to start tomorrow, Wednesday 10th June at the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 2009. Racing is scheduled to start tomorrow, Wednesday 10 June at the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 2009. Both modern and classic designs are present with Andrea Recordati’s Wally 101, launched less than one month ago, lining up against the Royal Huisman-built Meteor, a reproduction gaff rigged Gloucester Schooner launched in 2007
Posted on 10 Jun 2009
La Promesse closing in on Newport - OSTAR 2009
Katie Miller's EPIRBS activated - The OSTAR Race Office is set up in Newport The OSTAR Race Office is set up in Newport. On the 16:00 report La Promesse had only 657 miles to go and looks to have a lead of some 200 miles over JBellino based on her 0800 tracker report. At 06:00 EST today 7 June the Race Office in Newport was alerted by Katie Miller’s father that one of her EPIRBS had been activated
Posted on 8 Jun 2009
Admiral's Cup - Could it be sailed around the World?
Geelong Week, is preparing to expand its horizons with plans for an international IRC event Australia’s largest sailing regatta, Geelong Week, is preparing to expand its horizons with plans for an international IRC event. Today the Chairman of Geelong Week Andrew Neilson announced the Geelong Week dates for 2010 and explained the earlier than expected parting with the long term title sponsor Skandia, who had contracted to their title sponsorship until 2011
Posted on 5 Jun 2009
OSTAR - King of Shaves losses all instruments
Very difficult morning on the water for King of Shaves. I am sorry to report that at 08:30 we lost all our instruments A very difficult morning on the water for 'King of Shaves'. I am sorry to report that at 08:30 we lost all our instruments and for 30 minutes we were struggling to go anywhere at all. I used the wheel lock and tried to balance the sails so that we could sail on but it was at reduced speed
Posted on 5 Jun 2009
Spanish sailor's accidental adventure - more photos to believe or not
This sailor was caught trying to return to the harbour in Zumaia, in the Basque country of northern Spain. If you thought that the Southport skipper had a difficult time trying to cross the Southport bar last week, spare a thought for the Spanish sailor who was caught trying to return to the harbour in Zumaia, in the Basque country of northern Spain
Posted on 4 Jun 2009