Russian adventurer-sailor Fedor Konyukhov is confirmed as the first competitor in the Antarctica Cup Yacht Race (ACYR).
Starting in December 2007, Fedor will attempt to sail his 88.58 ft. boat "Alye Parusa" around the challenging 14,500 nautical mile Antarctica Cup Racetrack and in doing so claim the inaugural world record for sailing solo, non-stop, around the Antarctica Cup Racetrack and become the first ocean racing sailor to circumnavigate Antarctica in the Southern Ocean.
Chairman of Antarctica Cup Management, organiser of the Antarctica Cup Yacht Race, Bob Williams is confident that this inaugural event will inspire future competitors and establish the Antarctica Cup Yacht Race as on ongoing event attracting worldwide participants, "We welcome Fedor in his historic quest. 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", he said.
Commenting on his decision to select the Antarctica Cup Racetrack, Fedor Konyukhov commented, "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 great 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.", Fedor said.
Fedor Konyukhov’s participation in the ACYR is sponsored by the leading retail chain of supermarkets in Moscow “Trading Network Alye Parusa” (Scarlet Sails). TN Alye Parusa has been the main partner for several of Fedor Konyukhov’s offshore sailing record attempts including his single-handed round the world circumnavigation in 2005.
The event will be based out of an Australian port yet to be announced.