Fedor Konyukhov

A massive Iceberg is blocking the way for Fedor.

Antarctica Cup Management are being provided iceberg tracking services by Canadian company C-CORE in conjunction with the European Space Agency (ESA). Satellite images provided on 5th March have located a massive iceberg around 70 nautical miles to the east of South GeorgiaIsland (53.84S, 34.65W). This iceberg known as A53a is 47 kilometres long and 12 kilometres wide (at 110 ks/hr it would take over an hour to drive around A53a).

A53a is the most northern of around 50 massive icebergs (minimum size of 10 nautical miles long) that are located around Antarctica. A53a has a diagonal fissure which indicates it may soon split forming two massive icebergs. A53a in itself is not a hazard to competitors on the Antarctica Cup Racetrack but what is a hazard is the thousands of ice particles, large and small, that are constantly breaking off A53a and are making their way north. This situation will expand when A53a splits into two.

Antarctica Cup Ocean Race management team will meet on 6th March and examine the iceberg data provided and will discuss @@apos@@closing@@apos@@ some Sectors of Lanes of the Antarctica Cup Racetrack in the vicinity of South Georgia Island as well as issuing Fedor, his shore team, and weather router with instructions to exercise utmost care whilst Fedor traverses this hitherto never raced across zone of the South Atlantic Ocean. The following image of A53a is provided courtesy of C-CORE and ESA:


06 March 08. Notice of Part Closure of Sectors of the Antarctica Cup Racetrack and Yellow Flag Alert.

Due to extreme iceberg presence the following area of the Antarctica Cup Racetrack is CLOSED until further notice: The section of the INSIDE LANE between Longitude 20 West to Longitude 50 West (GATE 11). This area is now classified ‘Out-Of Bounds’.

A ‘YELLOW FLAG ALERT’ is placed over the CENTRE LANE from Longitude 30 West to Longitude 50 West. Icebergs are expected to extend well north of South GeorgiaIsland and can be expected in this sector of the CENTRE LANE. Entry to this sector should be avoided. If entry is considered necessary entry should be limited to the northern most reaches of this sector. Extreme caution must be exercised in this sector and the periphery of this sector at all times.

Quote from weather router Lee Bruce:

“That sounds reasonable to me, except that I am concerned about too narrow of a passageway coming north past Cape Horn. There isn@@apos@@t much that can be done to set up to handle adverse wind in that section--and it@@apos@@s too early to say if there will be any.  But we can try our best.

I had assumed that Fedor would be best off near the outer lane for that stretch, but the coordinates you suggest create a narrow channel for Fedor to sail through to get to that lane.  We can try our very best to honor that limitation (it makes sense for Fedor@@apos@@s safety).

The same can be said for trying to stay in the outer lane once Fedor reaches it.  Five degrees is a narrow corridor, given the changeable weather in that part of the world.  But Fedor has maintained nearly that spread since crossing the dateline, so it isn@@apos@@t impossible. We can try our best, but a small incursion south of 50S could be forced upon us.