Cyclone Pounds Konyukhov on Southern Ocean

Russian explorer Fyodor Konyukhov has spent the weekend being smashed by the full force of the Southern Ocean as he attempts to row from New Zealand to Cape Horn, Chile.

Winds of up to 90kph and waves 9 metres high and travelling at 25 metres per second have pounded his boat, Akros, for the last three days. “The ocean has merged with the sky. The horizon is gone. There is no ocean, no sky. Solid flying water,” he said. “If I was climbing Mount Everest, I would be in the Death Zone.”

Konyukhov is 108 days into his voyage and is still about 1,400km from Cape Horn. He had enjoyed excellent conditions the previous week, which proved to be the calm before the storm.

“The boat and I have not had to withstand a storm like that yet. I’m scared the boat will capsize lengthways or that I will steer the boat sideways into the wave.”

In the next seven days, he will have to contend with four storms, with little rest in between. Conditions may worsen as he reaches the Drake Passage, between Antarctica and the southern tip of South America, considered the wildest seas on earth.

Fyodor Konyukhov’s current location.


Bad, heading to worse. Konyukhov in the teeth of the cyclone. Photo: