Fedor Konyukhov to set a benchmark for sailing solo, non-stop around the Antarctica Cup Race Track 16/4/07

Serial Russian adventurer-sailor Fedor Konyukhov is to set a benchmark for sailing solo, non-stop around the Antarctica Cup Race Track, starting in December 2007.

The 55-year-old from Moscow has an unrivalled history of adventure behind him, including the Around Alone and Vendee Globe races, a solo trans-Atlantic rowing record and arctic dog-sledding.

The Antarctica Cup was created in 2002 by Perth, Australia, based sailor and sports promoter Bob Williams, to provide a spectacular yacht race through the most challenging waters of the world, the Southern Ocean.

Fedor will sail his 27 m boat Alye Parusa non-stop around the challenging Antarctica Cup Racetrack to set a benchmark for others to break.

The boat is currently undergoing a total refit at the Pendennis Shipyard, Falmouth, in the south west of England.

He describes himself as “a traveller”, and said of his quest, “sailing around Antarctica is one of the greatest challenges in offshore sailing. With several circumnavigations completed I have always treated the Southern Ocean leg as the most extraordinary, risky and beautiful part of the voyage. I have considered previously the historic challenge of rounding Antarctica non-stop and the Antarctica Cup Yacht Race offers this opportunity.

“To me racing around Antarctica is about sport, adventure and history. This is also a moment in Russian sailing heritage. To commemorate this event I am dedicating my participation in the ACYR to the historic discovery of the Antarctica by my country-mates,” said Fedor.

Chairman of Antarctica Cup Management, Bob Williams, is confident that by setting a benchmark Fedor will inspire future competitors and establish the Antarctica Cup Race Track as a challenge either as a record to be broken, or for a full-on race.

“We welcome Fedor in his historic quest,” he commented. “Now that the Volvo Ocean Race has deleted the great Southern Ocean from their future events, the Antarctica Cup Yacht Race Offers blue water ocean sailors the supreme yachting challenge.”

Fedor Konyukhov’s participation in the ACYR is sponsored by the leading retail chain of supermarkets in Moscow – Trading Network Alyse Parusa (Scarlet Sails). TN Alye Parusa has been the main partner for several of Konyukhov’s offshore sailing record attempts, including single-handed round the world sailing on Open 85 maxi yacht in 2005.

The Russian skipper will set out on the 14,500 nautical mile blast around the bottom of the planet from a southern Australian port, with Hobart and Fremantle currently being considered.