Fedor Konyukhov
enru
03.06.2014

The row boat Tourgoyak has left the Pacific

On December 1st, 2013 the Tourgoyak boat was released into the waters of the Pacific Ocean at the Chilean yacht-club Higuerillas (Concon, Valparaiso region). Today, May 3rd, 2014 it was lifted from the water and put on keel blocks at the Australian yacht-club of Mooloolaba.

Details

On December 1st, 2013 the Tourgoyak boat was released into the waters of the Pacific Ocean at the Chilean yacht-club Higuerillas (Concon, Valparaiso region). Today, May 3rd, 2014 it was lifted from the water and put on keel blocks at the Australian yacht-club of Mooloolaba.

Fedor Konyukhov: "Today is both a happy and sad day for me. I am enormously happy that the boat is safe on land and was able to cross the entire Pacific Ocean from Chile to Australia. For almost half a year my row boat was my home and has become an extension of myself. At the same time, I am a bit sad to think that this is it: there will be no more rowing across the Pacific or any other ocean with this boat. It's only been three days since I finished the crossing, but I am already missing the sunrises and the sunsets in the ocean and the 160 days of solitude on the South Pacific.

I wanted this project to be a testimony that with God everything is possible. It doesn't mean I wasn't scared of the Ocean with its vastness, force and unpredictability. I was scared and many times, but I always had faith that through my prayers to Our Lord and St. Nicolas, God would spare me and allow me to complete this journey. I also knew and felt that many people in Russia, Ukraine, Chile and Australia and other countries were praying for my safety. During the 160 days at sea I didn't encounter a seriously dangerous storm; although,  there were plenty of storms, big and small, but I survived. The weather was bad more often than it was good, with the high seas of 4-5 meters and the wind of 35 knots. On the bright side, the boat and I were spared from a full on tropical storm or worse, a tropical cyclone. Despite the risk of running into a cargo ship or fishing trawler I was able to elude any close calls. While rowing through the French Polynesia there was a threat of being thrown on an island or reefs but thankfully I was able to avoid that misfortune. The Tourgoyak's hull didn't get damaged at all and finished the crossing in great condition. I myself was spared of any injuries and arrived safe and sound.  There were some minor failures of the electronic equipment but the boat as a whole performed beautifully.    

Even though I had an unsuccessful first start from Concon on December 14th, 2013, it didn't diminish my desire to row across the Pacific. After only three days on the ocean I had discovered that the accumulators on the boat were quickly failing and wouldn't last the entire crossing. Turning back was one of the hardest things I did on this crossing, but it was the right thing to do. My second start was on December 22nd, 2013 and it went much better than the first one. My arrival into the coastal waters of Australia happened under ideal weather conditions. That was a gift from above and I am sure it was a result of all your prayers. My safe landing on the beach of Mooloolaba into the open arms of friends and family was something I can never put to words. My sense of gratitude and happiness from seeing the cheering crowd at the beach was overwhelming and will remain in my heart forever.  

This Friday, Tourgoyak will once again head into the ocean, but this time safely inside of a 40’ long container on a cargo ship. Its travel will be long: across the Pacific Ocean, through the Panama Canal, then onto the Atlantic Ocean to arrive in Russia via the Baltic Sea. The final destination is the Russian city of Chelyabinsk, where it will be on display at the Seyho Motors pavilion, the main sponsor of the transpacific crossing. I have another ocean row boat residing in the Chelyabinsk's region. The URALAZ boat that I rowed across the Atlantic Ocean in 2002 is located in the city of Miass at the Golden Beach yacht-club on Lake Tourgoyak. Coincidently, both of the Russian transoceanic row boats will be based in the Ural.  

Later this week my team and I will be leaving the hospitality of the Sunshine Coast and heading home to Moscow, Russia. Our expected arrival is Sunday, June 8th at the Moscow airport Domodedovo.

I'm with you. Fedor Konyukhov".



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31.05.2014

Land at last! Day 160

On Saturday, May 31st, 2014 at 13:13 Brisbane time, Tourgoyak landed on the east coast of Australia finishing the continent to continent rowing marathon across the Pacific Ocean. Fedor Konyukhov had crossed the largest ocean on the planet solo, non-stop, unassisted and in a record time of 160 days.

Details

On Saturday, May 31st, 2014 at 13:13 Brisbane time, Tourgoyak landed on the east coast of Australia finishing the continent to continent rowing marathon across the Pacific Ocean. Fedor Konyukhov had crossed the largest ocean on the planet solo, non-stop, unassisted and  in a record time of 160 days.

He started the transpacific crossing on December 22, 2013 from Chilean port Concon, and160 days and 9,400 nautical miles (17,408 kilometers) later he landed in Australia.

This was an enormous undertaking. Fedor is now the first Russian who has done both the transatlantic and transpacific rowing. He rowed across the Atlantic Ocean in 2002 in 46 days.

Fedor and his boat were greeted by a large crowd of locals and guests of Mooloolaba. After going through customs and security, Fedor took his first step onto a public beach. Initially, He planned to row straight into the yacht club located at the Mooloolaba river mouth, but decided to land at the beach.  

Fedor attended a press-conference at the Yacht Club of Mooloolaba answering many questions about his journey. His answers will be posted later this week-end.

The ambassador of Russia in Australia, Vladimir Morozov, read a congratulatory letter from the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin.

Mayor of the city of Mooloolaba presented Fedor with a surf board, and in return the explorer gave the mayor one of the oars from the row boat.

We would like to thank and congratulate every one who helped and assisted and followed this truly amazing project. We will post a comprehensive interview with Fedor later this week.   

Fedor Konyukhov's  support team.

The transpacific expedition was supported by the Russian Geographical Society. To learn more about RGS and Fedor Konyukhov’s collaboration click here.

The investors of the transpacific project:

The official partner of the expedition: Akros LLC.

The mass-media coverage is provided by the following:

Translated by Tatiana Koreski



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30.05.2014

Update from Fedor Konyukhov

30 of May 18:00 local time. Fedor reported that he is 27 miles from entry to Mooloolaba river (light House). Averaging 1.5-2 knots. Winds S-E-E 10-15 knots. Not much current. Surrounded by 7 trawlers, they are not approaching to him. He expect to be within 5 miles from the coast at 8:00 A.M. on Saturday.

Details

30 of May 18:00 local time. Fedor reported that he is 27 miles from entry to Mooloolaba river (light House). Averaging 1.5-2 knots. Winds S-E-E 10-15 knots. Not much current. Surrounded by 7 trawlers, they are not approaching to him. He expect to be within 5 miles from the coast at 8:00 A.M. on Saturday.

More details here: http://yb.tl/konyukhov2



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30.05.2014

Preparations to meet Fedor Konyukhov are underway

If the weather cooperates, Fedor will arrive to Mooloolaba Marina morning Saturday, May 31st. The current plan is that Fedor's transpacific crossing is scheduled to take place at The Yacht Club Inc. which is located at 33-45 Parkyn Parade, Mooloolaba, Queensland 4557. Everyone wishing to see Fedor's arrival is welcomed to come to The Yacht club Commodore dock, located right in front of the main building.

Details

If the weather cooperates, Fedor will arrive to Mooloolaba Marina morning Saturday, May 31st.

The current plan is that Fedor's transpacific crossing is scheduled to take place at The Yacht Club Inc. (www.theyachtclub.com.au/contact-us/) which is located at 33-45 Parkyn Parade, Mooloolaba, Queensland 4557. Everyone wishing to see Fedor's arrival is welcomed to come to The Yacht club Commodore dock, located right in front of the main building.

A technical support group for Fedor's transpacific crossing found him and the boat on Thursday's late afternoon. A helicopter took the team as far as 70 miles into the ocean to locate and film the boat and her rower from above. The trip was successful and it was the first visual contact with the explorer since his departure from Chile on December 22, 2013.  

We hope that Fedor will be able to approach the coast on Friday late afternoon and land on Saturday morning. Due to safety reasons, he will try to avoid arriving to the yacht club late at night, but will spend the night drifting alongside the coast using sea anchor. He will proceed to Mooloolaba at the first sign of sunrise. 

To follow Tourgoyak's final miles go to http://yb.tl/konyukhov2

Australian Coast Guard (Mooloolaba) is coordinating Fedor’s arrival. Mr. Rod Ashlin is duty officer for these 24 hours. Tel: 07 5444 3222



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29.05.2014

Tourgoyak from Above

On Thursday, May 29th, the land support team for Fedor Konyukhov's expedition across the Pacific flew 70 miles into the ocean to see Fedor and his row boat. Initially, we were going to take off when Fedor would be only 50 miles away from the coast. However, the last 24 hours turned out to be very challenging for rowing: Fedor entered the coastal current that carried him north during the night but by morning it turned around and started pushing him south.

Details

On Thursday, May 29th, the land support team for Fedor Konyukhov's expedition across the Pacific flew 70 miles into the ocean to see Fedor and his row boat. Initially, we were going to take off when Fedor would be only 50 miles away from the coast. However, the last 24 hours turned out to be very challenging for rowing: Fedor entered the coastal current that carried him north during the night but by morning it turned around and started pushing him south. In 24 hours Fedor was able to row only 10 miles making it the slowest day in the entire transpacific crossing. Thursday we were scheduled to fly out to see Fedor.  Although he was further off the coast then we estimated we decided to board the helicopter and take off to find him. The Channel 7 news broadcaster joined our venture on another helicopter. We were using signals from the Yellow Brick buoy to locate the boat.

Our pilot Nathan Smith flew the helicopter at a speed of 120-130 miles per hour. Since we had taken the doors down so the news crew would be able to film Fedor from the air, the helicopter couldn't  fly faster for safety reasons. After only 45 minutes from our take off we flew over the coordinates generated from the Yellow Brick buoy on board of Tourgoyak. The day was clear and we immediately spotted the boat. Fedor saw us too, probably even before we saw him, and decided to light a white flare to aid our search for him.

This was the first time we saw Fedor since his departure from Chile 158 days ago. A historical moment. An emotional moment. Our helicopter was hovering over Fedor's boat at a height of 50 meters.

Fedor dropped his oars and stood in the middle of the cockpit watching us silently. Later, on the phone, he told us that at the first sign of our helicopter he knew that his journey was close to ending. He knew we were coming: early in the morning we told him to look for us. 

Despite this knowledge, Fedor was very moved when he finally saw us. There were seven people on the flight: the pilot Nathan Smith, the manager of the transpacific project Oscar Konyukhov, two project sponsors Sergey Eremenko and Evgeniy Kruchkov, two film operators  Anton Volskiy and Maksim Kataev from NTV the largest news broadcaster in Russia, and a third media representative Vladimir Zaytsev from Perviy Obrazovatelniy, an educational network for the Modern University for the Humanities.

The Tourgoyak boat appeared relatively clean absent of sea growth, and it looked strong with all of the equipment on board and reserve oars intact. Fedor (from the distance) is in good shape but skinnier than normal.

We spent 15 minutes circling around the boat, just long enough to film it from different angles, and turned back towards the Sunshine Coast.

Considering that Fedor has 70 miles to go, we expect him to arrive at Mooloolaba late Saturday afternoon.

Friday will be filled with last minute preparations for a welcoming party to greet Fedor as he finishes his 9000 mile row across the Pacific.



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28.05.2014

90 miles before the finish

It's the morning of May 28th. Last night went well, the wind was weak but shifting. I could accomplish 38 miles in the last 24 hours. It's a good result considering the situation. Right now, the most important thing is to keep the course steady, which means I'll have to sacrifice some speed. I can no longer just follow the wind but must row strictly west. Currently the wind is northerly and later today it is expected to blow from the north-west.

Details

It's the morning of May 28th. Last night went well, the wind was weak but shifting. I could accomplish 38 miles in the last 24 hours. It's a good result considering the situation. Right now, the most important thing is to keep the course steady, which means I'll have to sacrifice some speed. I can no longer just follow the wind but must row strictly west. Currently the wind is northerly and later today it is expected to blow from the north-west. At night time I will face a head wind of 10-15 knots. This will undoubtedly slow down my boat and my course will suffer as well.  Unfortunately thursday won't bring relief either; the wind will continue to blow be from the north-west. Only by Friday, I should get the wind from the south-north direction, but the tricky part is that it will be a strong 15-20 knots. These strong winds will make approaching land difficult. The weather will be challenging for the next few days. I still continue to hope and keep my course towards the Mooloolaba marina; however, there is a risk that the boat will be pushed either north or south of the marina.

Taking into account my average speed of 30 miles per 24 hours, I think Saturday might be the day of my arrival to into the waters of Mooloolaba.

This is my news for today from the Pacific Ocean, or rather the Corral Sea. 9000 miles are behind the stern and less than 90 miles are left to go. One month ago I couldn't even think that one day I can say these words out loud. But now there is no time to sit back and relax, these last few days will be extremely important. The transpacific crossing will be done only when I dock my boat at the yacht-club. I'm with you. Fedor.  

The map of the Tourgoyak's course: http://yb.tl/konyukhov2

The detailed map of the course: www.oceanrowing.com/Konyukhov/Pacific2013/dist_map.htm

Translated by Tatiana Koreski



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26.05.2014

150 miles until the land. Day 155

The ocean is still, like a lake. A weak wind is from the south-east. I only did 35 miles since yesterday. If I keep this tempo, God willing, I'll see the Australian coast by the end of the week. I don't want to get ahead of myself though, the weather is too unstable.

Details

"The ocean is still, like a lake. A weak wind is from the south-east. I only did 35 miles since yesterday. If I keep this tempo, God willing, I'll see the Australian coast by the end of the week. I don't want to get ahead of myself though, the weather is too unstable.

Last night, the sun set into the crystal clear ocean. There was not a single cloud on the horizon. I was filming the sunset on camera hoping to catch green flash at the end, but no such luck. It was a starry night and by morning, the deck was covered with a dew. The day is going to be sunny and warm.

Today I think was the last time I ran the water pump during this crossing. I have only good things to say about the Schenker company: they make terrific water desalination pumps. During my transatlantic crossing in 2002, every time I had to use a water pump was stressful. This time though, I have no stress or problems when using the water pump: simply push the on button and one minute later a nice fresh water is flowing my way. I get 30 liters every hour.

During the 155 days on the ocean I haven’t got any problem with the gel accumulators. It was the right move to return to Chile and switch the lithium batteries that have a very complicated process of charging, with the new gel batteries. Once again, I want to thank the electricians in Concon who did such a professional job of rewiring the entire batteries' system of Tourgoyak.

To be left without drinking water and power would be detrimental to crossing across the ocean. These were two of my biggest concerns, after a potential damage to a hull. The solar panels worked great at every hint of a sunshine, which regrettably, I haven't had much on this crossing. Out of 155 days so far, the 100 of them were of a complete overcast with thick and low- hanging clouds. I had to be very economical with the use of the energy. Again, the water pump worked like a clock. As for the rest of my equipment on board, I have no complaints: most everything survived and continues to work well.  

God willing, this week is my final sprint. I'm planning and praying to see the land by the end of the week. I'm with you. Fedor."

The map of the Tourgoyak's course: http://yb.tl/konyukhov2

The detailed map of the course: www.oceanrowing.com/Konyukhov/Pacific2013/dist_map.htm

Translated by Tatiana Koreski



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24.05.2014

Day 153

It's the morning of May 24th. Last night was fair and uneventful. At sundown, I saw 5 whales going north, and thankfully, they didn't pay the slightest attention to me. At the sight them I froze and brought the oars back on deck. When whales are around, it's better to not attract their attention.

Details

"It's the morning of May 24th. Last night was fair and uneventful. At sundown, I saw 5 whales going north, and thankfully, they didn't pay the slightest attention to me. At the sight them I froze and brought the oars back on deck. When whales are around, it's better to not attract their attention. The head wind is from the north-west, and by noon it's expected to be strictly from the west, which will undoubtedly stop the boat. By night though, the wind should become south-westerly. Only by tomorrow morning will it come from the south-east. So, for the next 24 hours the wind will make a 360 degree spin which will cause swells and chaotic movement in the ocean.

The day is promising to be difficult. It's morning (10:00 am Brisbane time), and I'm 210 miles from the entrance of the Mooloolaba marina ( 26.41′S и 153.07′E). Despite my sharp turn south, I'm still determined to reach the city of Mooloolaba and finish my transpacific crossing at their yacht-club  www.mooloolabamarina.com.au.

The weather forecast shows that the wind will be from south-east. I'm going to be slightly south of Mooloolaba. The south-east wind will help me to navigate north along the coast towards Mooloolaba.

 

There was a time when I faced 8-9 thousands miles until Australia. Right now, the remaining distance is a mere 200 miles. My life will change completely as soon as I step on land. However, 200 miles might be close if you have a good sail boat (one day or so), but on an ocean row boat these many miles will take at least one week. I'm with you. Fedor."

The map of the Tourgoyak's course: http://yb.tl/konyukhov2

The detailed map of the course: www.oceanrowing.com/Konyukhov/Pacific2013/dist_map.htm

Translated by Tatiana Koreski



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23.05.2014

250 miles left to go. Day 152

The last 24 hours were great; Tourgoyak and I covered an entire one degree. The wind is east-north-easterly, 10-12 knots. The waves are helping the boat along the course. There were six flying fish on deck this morning. I am not fishing any more, to save time, but it's nice to get a surprise like this. I cooked three of them and the other three are drying on the railings.

Details

"The last 24 hours were great; Tourgoyak and I covered an entire one degree. The wind is east-north-easterly, 10-12 knots. The waves are helping the boat along the course. There were six flying fish on deck this morning. I am not fishing any more, to save time, but it's nice to get a surprise like this. I cooked three of them and the other three are drying on the railings. The weather is changing and by Saturday the wind will be making a complete 360 turn around. At first, it's forecasted, the wind will come from the north, then from the west and later will die down towards the south. I can already see that my mileage on Saturday will be poor.  Come Sunday, the wind is expected to be from the south-east, at the port side, which is a good direction for me.

I'm in a great hurry to get as close to the Australian coast as possible. The weather window is narrow and won't last long. I have 4-5 days at most, and the weather will change, perhaps bringing much stronger winds which would complicate my landing."  

The map of the Tourgoyak's course: http://yb.tl/konyukhov2

The detailed map of the course: www.oceanrowing.com/Konyukhov/Pacific2013/dist_map.htm

Translated by Tatiana Koreski



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22.05.2014

5 months at sea

It's the morning of May 22. Last night went well. The wind is weak, less than 10 knots. The 40 miles covered is a good result considering I have no help from the wind. There is no current, the ocean is calm: not helping but not interfering either. I'm praying that it will continue this way. I'm in full control of the boat: I can turn it south-west, west, or north-west. I'm at the latitude of the Mooloolaba marina, and will stay here until the end. There are 300 miles left to go.

Details

"It's the morning of May 22. Last night went well. The wind is weak, less than 10 knots. The 40 miles covered is a good result considering I have no help from the wind. There is no current, the ocean is calm: not helping but not interfering either. I'm praying that it will continue this way. I'm in full control of the boat: I can turn it south-west, west, or north-west. I'm at the latitude of the Mooloolaba marina, and will stay here until the end. There are 300 miles left to go. I can see dark clouds up ahead; it's raining on land. So far, it's clear here.  "

Today marks my fifth month on the ocean. It seems incredibly long, but in reality, I am one month ahead of schedule. Simon Chalk and I predicted that I would be approaching Australia in mid-June. I have with me his map with his handwritten calculations and notes.

I received a message from my friend Vladimir Ledenev, who was my teammate in the North Pole - Canada 1988 expedition under the leadership of Dmitriy Shparo. Vladimir wanted to remind me that when the finish line is so close it's critical more than ever to stay alert. There is no room for mistakes. I'm with you. Fedor."

The map of the Tourgoyak's course: http://yb.tl/konyukhov2

The detailed map of the course: www.oceanrowing.com/Konyukhov/Pacific2013/dist_map.htm

Translated by Tatiana Koreski



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