The storm that flipped the trimaran Groupama 3 was not so successful at short-circuiting Russian sailor Fedor Konyukhov. He was able to sail through the big waves and is still sailing fast in his attempt to set a record on the Antarctic Cup Racetrack in the Southern Ocean aboard his 85-foot monohull, Trading Network Alye Parusa.
From the press release: Fedor Konyukhov, the Russian solo circumnavigator caught in the same southern ocean storm that saw Franck Cammas’ Jules Verne trimaran Groupama 3 capsize on Monday, reported today that the barometer is finally rising and the sky is clearing. “Massive waves are still threatening but I have increased sail area to sail in rhythm with the waves.” He told his shore team via satellite phone.
“The waves are unbelievable. They are not normal. They are small hills with white foamy rollers running at high speed. I try to keep them at an 120° angle to the boat. This is the safest way to sail with them. Each wave is 100 meters apart – perfect for surfing on my 27meter surf board. If I catch the wave right, we run down at 15-16 knots. Otherwise we are climbing up the long swell. The conditions are similar to what I prepared for and boat has performed quite well.”
“I have just had a hot cup of coffee and spotted the first albatross since the storm, though the winds are still gusting up to 50 knots. The barometer is back up to 1000Mb from 960Mb this morning. It is wet and damp inside the cabin. Weather permitting, I will open one of the hatches tomorrow to get some ventilation down below. My feet are very cold, and I’m now wearing plastic garbage bags inside my boots.’ The storm conditions were similar to what I prepared for and the boat performed well. Thankfully, all that broke during the 60 hours of 50-65 knot winds was one of the dual masthead wind instruments”.