Russian ocean paddler, Fedor Konyukhov, is well on his way from Port Chalmers, Dunedin to Cape Horn.
The 68-year-old adventurer and ordained priest already has four circumnavigations to his credit, two by yacht and two by hot air balloon. He now plans to be the first person to circumnavigate the planet by oar.
In his adventure-packed CV, he also has a record 16-day Atlantic crossing in 2003 with Tony Bullimore in Alye Parussa, the former ENZA.
He has already set a rowing record (in 2013–14) from Chile to Mooloolaba, a distance of 17,408km, in 159 days, 16 hours and 58 minutes.
Rowing his 9m British-built fibreglass vessel, Akros, Konyukhov had stroked 6,390km in 73 days from Port Chalmers in mid-February – and had 1,161km left to Cape Horn.
“Two more degrees of longitude and we’ll be at Point Nemo – the furthest place in the world from land.” He said he was enjoying ‘Mediterranean weather’ with temperatures soaring to 12o – but his voyage hadn’t all been plain rowing.
“Sometimes the waves are huge, with half a kilometre between them. The powerful, foamy wave crests pass over the boat. I can’t cook so I just drink water until it eases.”
He chose Dunedin as beginning and finish port for his epic row because of its reputation as the albatross capital of the world.
Konyukhov plans to depart the Cape Horn area in December this year for Western Australia and continue on into Dunedin in mid-2020. BNZ