Russian Sets Record For Solo Circumnavigation of Antarctica
ScienceDave | May 17, 2008 at 02:41 pmby
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It makes me all warm and gooey inside knowing there are still rich, eccentric adventurers out there.
Russian Fedor Konyukhov completed the first solo circumnavigation of Antarctica in his 26m craft, throwing down the gauntlet to the world's yachtsmen to better his record for the perilous voyage.
The bearded 56-year-old from Moscow battled horrendous weather, huge waves and narrowly avoided a whale after setting out from Albany in January on his 16,400-nautical-mile journey.
When he sailed back into Albany on Wednesday, Konyukhov became the first solo sailor to complete the "racetrack'' for the new Antarctica Cup, and the first to circle the globe below the 45th parallel.
The Antarctica Cup, which will become an annual event, will challenge sailors to replicate Konyukhov's feat of making the circumnavigation below 45 degrees, including the feared South Atlantic crossing from Cape Horn to Cape Agulhas.
Solo entrants and crewed vessels will be able to take part, as well as yachts representing their respective countries.
``Having just spent 95 days in the Roaring Forty and Furious Fifty latitudes, I'm not planning to go back in the near future,'' he told reporters.
``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.''
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